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The recent coronavirus outbreak has highlighted serious inadequacies such as a lack of physical and financial security for Gaba instructors. The company has faced various disasters such as the March 11th 2011 triple disaster, Typhoon Hagibis #19 in 2019, and this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.

While Gaba continually makes changes to the contract to suit the operational concerns of the company, such as the introduction of the recent online lessons, Gaba does not likewise amend the contract to respond to important issues for instructors.

When it responds to these, it does so on an ad hoc basis in the form of temporary changes such as with a “Letter of Understanding” which also does not fully take into consideration the voices of instructors. These are also done unilaterally.

While Gaba can be commended for some of their actions, there is no permanent framework in place for such situations. The impromptu measures such as Letters of Understanding are insufficient and create an atmosphere of uncertainty and distrust. They are at best temporary patches and not long-term solutions.

Instructors require Gaba’s guarantee of adequate safety measures and financial security in the event of a crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic. To resolve these issues, a binding agreement is necessary and as such instructors collectively request amendments be made to the contract.
The terms of the contract should not be dictated unilaterally as Gaba has done to date. It should be negotiated with instructors to ensure a fair agreement for both parties. As it stands, the Master Services Contract for Itaku-Independent Instructors does not mention obligations for Gaba Corporation and we would like the company to include the proposals in this document in the contract.

Demand 1: Gaba will not penalize instructors who request to close a lesson in line with Article 6.3 when the lesson/s are not actually closed as per the instructor request.

Demand 2: Gaba will provide a safe, healthy and professional working environment for instructors. This will include, but not exclusive to, conducting emergency drills at least yearly at each Learning Studio. It will provide emergency supplies such as food, water and helmets that are replaced as necessary.

Demand 3: Gaba will allow instructors to block any student who behaves inappropriately. Gaba will cover this option directly in training for every new instructor, both during initial certification and in OJC at their designated Learning Studio.

Demand 4: Gaba will not penalize instructors for cancelling lessons, not submitting lessons, or any action taken in the interests of safety in the event of infectious diseases, natural disasters or other unforeseeable dangerous conditions.

Demand 5: Gaba will provide professionally made personal protective equipment (PPE) for instructors to guarantee safety during times of large-scale infectious disease. Gaba will protect the safety of instructors by ensuring that clients also use PPE. Gaba will ask clients who are exhibiting symptoms to refrain from taking lessons. If clients exhibiting symptoms appear at the LS, they will not be permitted to take lessons.

Demand 6: Gaba will pay instructors for a period of no less than 3 months in case of a temporary LS or company-wide closure. This compensation will be 100% of the average payment received over the previous three months.

Demand 7: In the event of a temporary LS or company closure Gaba will pay new instructors (with the company for less than six months) 250,000 yen per month.

Demand 8: The company will not discriminate against or punish instructors for belonging to a union or engaging in union activities. This demand is in line with the rights for workers recognized in the Japanese constitution Article 28 and the Trade Union Law of 1949.

Demand 9: Gaba will publish on GFI news of any confirmed cases of infectious disease in any Learning Studio, such as was done on September 11th about the Ikebukuro case. Gaba will also continue to notify the General Union regarding cases.

Demand 10: Gaba will compensate instructors who commit lesson slots to receive online lesson feedback from Gaba’s Instructor Support staff.

 


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