Gaba Assures Union: "We are Determined To Improve Working Conditions"

On Monday March 5th 2013 the General Union Gaba branch held our first collective bargaining session of the year with Gaba.

Five members and three union representatives attended, and we made it clear that we expected improvements, and ultimately, the company said that they were "determined to improve conditions" for instructors, and that they were considering increasing the TNT bonus and the per lesson pay rate.


Gaba Union Branch Demands

Our demands are simple: Improve our working conditions


What you're missing out on

Go to any GABA orientation and they're quick to point out to you the freedom of picking your own working hours and choosing your own holidays. They don't underline the clear fact that even though you can pick your own schedule (as part timers do in any job) they have no obligation to you to provide lessons or pay during that time. In fact your open schedule allows GABA to sell a wide range of lesson availability to students without having to pay for this drawing card.


What can you do?

The General Union has made real improvements in the working conditions of teachers at other schools, such as ECC and YMCA. While it is true we are all free to look for another job, most likely it will be another job with little security or benefits, and with a similar set of problems. So why not play a part to make Gaba a better place to work for everyone - you, me and the instructors who will come after us?


How do your conditions compare?

We've heard many complaints from GABA teachers regarding their wages, and let's face it, ¥1500 for 40 minutes' work is not much money in an industry and company that makes money.

Do GABA teachers enjoy the same pay and other fringe benefits? Let's examine.


More reason to join than ever

The General Union GABA branch was established in 2007. With the recent change of ownership and management at the company, we are looking forward to better things in the future. In April, the union and GABA signed an agreement resolving the various legal cases that have been filed over the last few years. GABA has also agreed to negotiate in good faith to improve working conditions. The first negotiating session was held on May 28th 2012.


GABA Does About Face: Rehires Branch Chair, Drops Lawsuits

In October 2011, as GABA was taken over by Nichii Gakkan, management decided to do a spot of union-busting and fired Francis Strange, the chair of the GU GABA branch. This was in addition to previously suing the union for 58 million yen for libel, plus suing the Japanese government for recognizing instructors as employees.

We are now happy to report that things are moving in the union’s favor. Firstly, GABA’s claim of libel against the union was found to be baseless, with the case being dismissed on 15 November 2011.


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


What's Gaba trying to hide?

Gaba has blocked the union website from their company computers, is withholding registered union mail from instructors and counselors alike at the LS and has demanded several union members neither discuss union activities nor distribute union literature at the workplace.


Gaba Branch Organizing Committee

Adrian (Chair)

I am from Australia, and have been working for Gaba since April 2006. I work in the Futakotamagawa Learning Studio. I have been a union member since November 2008, and I notified the company of my membership in November 2009.

I joined the union because I believe that we all deserve decent working conditions, and that workers acting together is the best way to achieve this.


Robert (Secretary)

I am from Jamaica and I've been with the company since 2003 and have worked at various learning studios. I, just as every instructor, would like to have improved working conditions, fair treatment for everyone and a healthy and rewarding relationship with the company. This can only happen through communication and being proactive.

Within the current framework, individual instructors cannot effectively represent themselves with the company. We are all in the same boat and whatever changes take place affect each and every one of us. The union is one of the main channels through which we can collectively effect a positive change, not only for ourselves but for all parties involved.


Instructors win right to union representation

In December 2009 the Osaka Labor Commission made a ruling that confirmed Gaba instructors have the right to union representation under Trade Union Law. Gaba attempted to appeal the decision at the Central Labor Commission but the appeal has been rejected this week. The ruling stands. Gaba instructors have rights under Trade Union Law.


GABA Teachers Win a Pay Increase!

GABA teachers have unionized and are seeing direct results. Shortly into negotiations the company announced an across the board increase of 100yen per lesson for teachers: an increase of over 6% for the lowest paid teachers. Teachers with Belt training have received an increase of 200yen per lesson: an increase of 10% for many. Depending on the number of lessons taught, that is a monthly pay increase of 15,000 - 40,000yen per month.


GABA Workers Demand Dignity at Work

A General Union organizing project which started in January this year in cooperation with our sister union in Tokyo has borne fruit. On 6 September, GABA workers declared a union to their employer.


Additional information