So, what has the union ever done for me?

The Gaba branch of the GU was founded in September 2007. It was founded by Gaba instructors, for Gaba instructors. After the branch was founded, and asked for improvements:

 

  • The rate of pay was increased from 1400 yen per lesson to 1500 yen.
  • Contract lengths were extended from 4 months to 6 months.
  • Instructors were recognized as workers entitled to union representation under Trade Union Law.
  • The union and company made an agreement to negotiate in May 2012.
  • Since then morning peak lessons have received an addition 200 yen incentive.
  • The amount of money available for monthly incentives has been increased.
  • A number of issues affecting individual instructors have also been brought to the company over time, including working conditions in the LS, harassment, and other things. Instructors have generally found the company a lot more responsive to issues raised through the union to when they have raised issues themselves.

 

There are many more things the union would like to see improved. Some of these are financial, such as improved incentives, pay, and the transportation allowance that all other comparable companies (Berlitz, ECC, Nova, Aeon, etc) pay.

However, some other improvements that we would like to see introduced will not cost the company more money, but will improve things at the company. These include a proper procedure for handling problems at work, a proper system to deal with harassment, well-prepared and practiced emergency drills, and proper employment contracts.

While the recognition that instructors are employees under trade union law guarantees union rights, we would also like to see instructors recognized as employees under labor law. This could see instructors gain standard benefits such as workers compensation for accidents and unemployment benefits to protect instructors in case of unemployment.

As you can see, while some positive changes have been made, there is still a lot of room for improvement. If you would like to see your conditions improve, consider joining!

July 3, 2013


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