News

Teaching math at Coco Juku?

Coco Juku is a new eikaiwa/English school chain that launched with a lot of fanfare in 2013. It is owned by Nichi Gakkan, that also happens to own Gaba.

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No pay increases at ECC – Yet!

All instructors should be aware that ECC will be mailing out your new contracts shortly. Please note that you will not be advised of your hourly pay increase. Unlike other years, ECC has prolonged negotiations.

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Berlitz members meet to plan bargaining strategy

Standard - negotiateGeneral Union members at Berlitz will meet this Sunday, 16 February to plan their third round of collective bargaining. Current demands include a 7% pay increase, pay for lock ups, union representation at disciplinary hearings, and pay for work done before, between, and after lessons; along with others.

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Making a good job better - 2013 In Review

2013 was a very good year for the General Union Gaba branch. It was different to all previous years for the agreements that we managed to make with the company and in the amount of social activities we organized to bring instructors together. We’re looking forward to making 2014 another year where we make a good job better – and we would love to have your help.

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ECC Branch: Some of our many achievements

The General Union and ECC have been negotiating for nearly 20 years. The latest Labour Agreement won as part of the 2013 Shunto (Spring Offensive) gives union members more protection against non-renewal. ECC has signed off on renewing members’ contracts unless there are exceptional reasons. This is a huge victory as contract renewals have been a long term concern for members.

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Santa wants to know why!

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Gaba's Slap in the Face to Instructors

Gaba Corporation has decided to hold a year-end party at Tokyo’s prestigious Imperial Hotel for all their Kanto region staff, and as such they have closed all 30 Kanto Learning Studios for the last three lessons on Sunday December 15th.

Unfortunately, you, I and the thousand or so other instructors are not invited.

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Improving workers' lives at Berlitz since 1993

Many of the working conditions that you now enjoy have been negotiated between the General Union and Berlitz:

  • Enrollment in Unemployment Insurance for MG teachers.
  • Enrollment in Health and Pension Insurance (shakai hoken) for those working 30+ hours per week.
  • Paid holidays for MG and per lesson teachers. (collective agreements 1994 & 1999)
  • Premium pay of 25% overtime and 35% for work on a set rest day.(collective agreement 1994)
  • Right to refuse work on a set rest day or national holiday(collective agreement 1996)
  • Pre-consultation agreement with the union before terminating, transferring or changing the working conditions of any union member.(collective agreement 1994)
  • Grievances dealing with dismissals, health insurance, unfair treatment of teachers.

 

 

Third strike at Osaka Gaigo leads to mediation application

How do you deal with an employer that is like a deer frozen in your headlights in the middle of a highway? Welcome to Osaka Gaigo Senmon Gakko.

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ECC and Gaba hold Christmas parties; teachers considered second class and not invited

Two of the largest English School chains, Gaba and ECC, have held, or are about to hold Christmas parties. Unfortunately, regular teachers/instructors are not invited! The companies have invited both school and office staff in appreciation of their hard work but fail to recognize the hard work put in by teachers. ECC teachers were left to look at pictures of a luxury hotel party posted on Facebook by their coworkers.

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Gaba Branch Update - November 2013

October was a very sad and unusual month for the General Union Gaba Branch, with the disappearance of member Pascal Burel while hiking. The branch had never experienced anything like this before, but Pascal's fellow members, friends and coworkers rallied around to raise money and spread the word about the search. While the situation is very bad, and we hope nothing like this ever occurs again, the union managed to play a role in raising the profile of the case and helping to financially support the search.

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"Unexcused" absences: Cold and Flu season at Gaba

'Twas the night before Christmas, and in every LS,

We could hear the sound of instructors trying to suppress,

Their coughing and sniffling with the greatest of care,

Thinking to themselves that this wasn’t quite fair.

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OTC - Organizing drive begins

OTC members have been busy writing a new leaflet outlining the branches achievements over the past few years at OTC. We've done well - health and pension insurance, unemployment insurance, paid FLEXIBLE annual leave, as well as solving a host of individual grievances such as study leave, resignation procedures etc.

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How much?

 

That was the average summer bonus for a shokuin/seishain at ECC this year.

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Even a typhoon won't stop our organizing campaign at Peppy Kids Club

Call us crazy but even a typhoon won't get in the way of our new organizing campaign at Peppy Kids Club/iTTTi Japan.

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General Union and Gaba Corporation sign grievance procedure agreement

Under the Trade Union Law, companies in Japan must hold collective bargaining with unions. But they are not legally required to deal with individual problems raised by employees. In other words, if you wanted to legally ensure that you were heard at Gaba you needed to submit collective bargaining requests through the union, decide on a date, then spare a day, have a prior-approved agenda, a translator, and approximately six volunteers to argue your case.

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Union demands members' contracts be renewed at Nippon Steel & Sumikin Intercom

Nippon Steel & Sumikin Intercom has answered union demands in the negative, stating that union members' contracts will not be renewed. The union members have more than 15 years of service. Revisions to the Labour Contract Law in August 2012 now make it necessary for employers to have social acceptable reasons for non-renewing contracts that have been renewed several times.

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Osaka Gaigo: Strike 2

Standard - gaigo strikeOn October the 10th eleven members of the General Union and Naniwa union working at Osaka Gaigo Senmon Gakko staged a half day strike for a 5% pay increase and a bonus payment of at least one months wages twice yearly. The strike united Japanese and foreign workers, office workers and teachers and workers on temporary and permanent contracts.

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Gaba Branch Update - October 2013

The Gaba branch is always busy working on various issues to improve the working lives of instructors. Some issues are large, such as overall pay rates and conditions. Others are smaller, and may only deal with a situation being faced by only one instructor. But all of them are important, and instructors who are experiencing any difficulties in their work at Gaba are encouraged to contact the union.

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ECC Union Meeting in Nagoya, Sunday October 6th

New to ECC? New to Nagoya? Interested in finding out more about your union? Come along to the ECC union meeting and meet the Nagoya branch reps, non-members are more than welcome.

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Branch declared at Nippon Steel & Sumikin Intercom

On September 30, General Union members working at Nippon Steel & Sumikin Intercom declared a union branch. Members with over 15 years of service with the company are concerned about their job security and worsening working conditions. The company has already implemented salary cuts for teachers and hinting at non-renewing teachers contracts.

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A new wave of union activism in GU Berlitz branch

After the biggest union meeting of Berlitz union members at the end of August, the union has submitted demands to raise wages, protect part time teachers from arbitrary cuts in lessons taught, and to make sure that Berlitz teachers are paid for all the work they do.

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Kansai Gaidai - 15 out leafleting!

The past year has seen enormous growth in our branch at Kansai Gadai but members are keen to see numbers increase even more - there is strength in unity.

This morning, fifteen people were out spreading news of the union to non-members at the entrance to the university. Twelve Kansai Gaidai teachers were supported by three members of the General Union Executive Committee.

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Peppy Kids Club Strikes

Standard - on strikeSome time back, iTTTi Japan effectively fired our branch chair by non-renewing him after eight years at Peppy Kids Club. The grounds were flimsy at best and we believe it was for union activity. He was making progress in organizing Japanese teachers and the company was scared.

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August 2013 Gaba Negotiations - new issues covered

On Monday August 26, 2013 the Gaba Branch of the GU held negotiations with Gaba Corporation. Topics discussed included three main topics: paid training, a proper grievance procedure for dealing with workplace problems, and also the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. 

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Union wins job back for fired disabled Nova teacher

Nova recently fired a long term employee, and union member, due to his disability. This was part of a series of actions harassing our member because he is disabled. Needing the job badly, our member had stood by as they cut his work hours 2 years running, along with cutting his shakai hoken (health insurance & pension).

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Collective agreement with ECC secures member employment

On July 29 2013, the General Union and ECC finalized a collective labour agreement over contract renewals. This new agreement gives union members extra protection from non-renewal and the new contract renewal guidelines introduced by ECC in April.

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Nova: Stop firing disabled workers!

EB is a long term employee of Nova. He was there when the bankruptcy happened. For some time now, he has had a neurological condition. It does not affect the quality of his lessons, nor has there been student complaints.

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Gaba Incentive Survey

For lessons from May 2013 onwards Gaba changed the incentive system. Two changes were made: the first was paying an additional 200 yen for morning weekday peak lessons (the F-peak incentive), this was a good increase for morning instructors, and Gaba and the General Union signed a collective agreement over it.

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Gaba pay increase - collective agreement signed

In an historic first, the General Union and Gaba Corporation have signed a collective agreement guaranteeing a pay increase. All instructors will now receive an extra 200 yen per lesson for the first three morning weekday lessons. This is a 13.3% increase for A-belt instructors, which are approximately half of Gaba's instructor workforce.

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