News

Union membership pays off at Polaris Kindergarten

Ever wondered what being a union member can do for you?

When a member at Polaris Kindergarten recently quit their job with 1-month notice as stated in their contract, the company objected and refused to pay the outstanding salary. After just a few letters and phone calls, we are happy to report that the member has now received their outstanding monies.

Union membership pays off at Interac

Ever wondered what being a union member can do for you? Here's two recent examples.

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Annual Leave at ECC- How many days do you get?

Note:This information is a guide only. Contact your union rep for further advice before consulting ECC.

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Shunto negotiation demands submitted to ECC

The ECC branch has voted to submit demands for negotiations later this month. Talks will center around job security and the introduction of special leave.

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ECC Nagoya Recruiting Drive

General Union ECC members have launched a new recruiting drive aimed at increasing membership in and around, Nagoya.

The General Union has a long history at ECC. Flexible paid holidays, the end of the ALP lottery system, and shakai hoken enrollment are just some of the big achievements the ECC branch has negotiated.

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"No hands" Policy! – Opinion piece

Sitting in my staffroom the other afternoon, I cringed as I watched a Japanese colleague repeatedly hit a student over the head quite forcefully. It took me back to my teacher training days.

When I completed my elementary school teacher training back in the ‘80s, the most popular professor constantly drummed it into our heads: “No hands, no touch of any kind.“ He also told all the males “Never be alone in a classroom with less than 10 students.”

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OTC – Teachers decide negotiation points for 2012

Spring is the traditional time for Japanese unions to negotiate improvements in working conditions. Called “shunto” in Japanese, it translates as Spring Labor Offensive. Right across Japan unions, big and small, are now deciding what demands they will be submitting to employers. Here in Osaka, teachers at OTC have been discussing teacher development.

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GU won the absence allowance for cancellation of part-time classes after the term started, for low enrollment

GU won the absence allowance for cancellation of part-time classes after the term started, for low enrollment, etc. as “reasons attributable to the employer” (according to Article 26 of the Labour Standards Law)

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Negotiation deadlock broken at ECC

The union's strategy of applying for mediation with the Osaka Labour Relations Commission has achieved its purpose- breaking the negotiation deadlock with ECC.

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Nova conditions down

Conditions at NOVA continue to spiral downwards. From November, NOVA has started cutting teachers’ base salaries and allowances.

NOVA has once again taken advantage of contract workers by unfairly targeting teachers whose contracts are up for renewal. Members have been contacting the union in dismay.

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New union branches at Ashiya Gakuen High & Kansai Gaidai

New branches of the General Union have been formed at Ashiya Gakuen High-School where teachers are fighting to prevent a worsening of their working conditions and Kansai Gaidai where full-time contract teachers have issues regarding contract renewals.

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Kobe Shoin Women's University

As well as reducing the number of classes taught by some long-standing teachers, the University is attempting to let go all four of the teachers who were freshly hired last year.

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Osaka U: Massive cuts to come for part-timers

Part-time teachers at Osaka Univeristy (Handai) got a shock in October when the university administration unveiled plans at an information meeting to cut the number of part-time teachers in their faculty to zero in three years.

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Tezukayama U and sudden class cancellations

As we have reported previously Nara Labour Standard's Office ordered Tezukayama University to pay a General Union 60% of their wages for a class the university had cancelled due to the low student enrolment in the class.

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Good news at Kinki University

Over the last few years the Education Ministry (MEXT) has exerted pressure on universities to guarantee a minimum 15 classes in each semester, excluding examinations. This has lead to a number of problems for teachers such as being forced to work on national holidays and a lengthening of the semester with no increase in compensation.

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Shane English School ordered to conduct health checks

The health and well-being of teachers at Shane English schools doesn't appear to be a top priority for management. Teachers don't have shakai hoken (health insurance and pension). Teachers weren't even being provided with the medical checks stipulated under the Industrial Health & Safety Law.

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November Union-Management Talks

The union met with ECC on Friday, November 18th, to discuss the emergency personnel number, evaluations and SD meetings.

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W5 signs labor agreement with union

The General Union and W5 Staff Services (ALT Dispatcher), have recently signed a collective agreement* covering the following.

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Okayama City Board of Education forced to apologize

Many Boards of Education recognize the legal obligation to negotiate with the General Union some out there try to escape their legal duty. Okayama City BoE is one of those.

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Halloween Costumes - Don't pay for one!

As Halloween takes off in Japan, it is also becoming a popular autumn sales theme. At ECC, Halloween is no longer simply a KEW cultural lesson.

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Halloween Costumes - Take the online survey

Halloween event lessons have become a new sales promotion at ECC. Teachers are now under even more pressure to wear Halloween costumes. The union believes that ECC should provide some kind of allowance to cover expenses related to Halloween.

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ECC refuses mediation!

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Union protests "NO WAGES" for part-timers!

Only a week ago ECC told the union that the working conditions for native instructors were great and that they couldn't understand the union's demands for permanent employment. This week part-time native instructors got a nasty surprise.

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Gaba Open Meeting - Sunday, September 25

Come to an open meeting to find out what the General Union is doing to win employee benefits at Gaba TOKYO Date: Sunday, September 25 2011

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ECC recognizes union's SIC demands

ECC has taken the union’s grievance over summer intensive courses (SIC) seriously and has promised to make major improvements.

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ECC SIC Survey Results- 65% of teachers unhappy!

Nationwide, ECC union reps have been hearing concerns about summer intensive courses. Teachers have raised issues about the lack of notice and access to teaching materials.

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Insurance at Clover International School

Months of stalling tactics by Clover International School forced the General Union to lodge a kakunin seikyu (individual claim) with the pension agency for shakai hoken, after the school’s  harassment caused our member to take stress leave.

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Union gears up to protect university jobs in 2012

For the second straight year General Union members working at universities are not waiting around in fear of losing classes in the next academic year. Our members are taking a proactive approach and are having the union submit demands for no reduction in koma or worsening of working conditions in the 2012 academic year.

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ECC Summer Intensive Courses- Online Survey!

ECC union reps have been hearing concerns about summer intensive courses (SIC) from teachers across Japan.

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A win at Shinobu Foods

In 2009 the General Union began organizing at Shinobu Food when a dispatch worker came to us with a Worker's Compensation Insurance claim. The union was able to help the worker in having their injury recognized under the insurance and to protect her job.

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