Schools

Nagoya International School abounds in Trade Union Law violations

There are very few employers that the union has sued for unfair labour practices (Trade Union Law violations) when compared to the number of employers we’ve dealt with over the past thirty years, but Nagoya International School has the unique position of being the only employer we have sued twice this century (actually in a span of three years).

We're not sure if pride, a lack of knowledge, or poor advice, or all three are getting in the way of getting along with the General Union, but we do know we keep suing them for unfair labour practices.

Trade Union Law article 7 forbids employers from partaking in certain acts.

(1): to dismiss or otherwise treat in a disadvantageous manner a worker by reason of the worker being a member of a labor union, having tried to join or organize a labor union, or having performed justifiable acts of a labor union; or to make it a condition of employment that the worker will not join or will withdraw from a labor union

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7 November: Unfair Labour Practices trial begins

名古屋国際学園不当労働行為 第1審問

DATE & TIME: Monday, 7 November 2022 10:00 - 12:00
日時:11月7日(月)10時~12時

Location: Osaka Labour Commission in Temmabashi
場所:大阪府労働委員会(天満橋駅から5分)

We hope as many members as possible can attend to support our member who will be taking the stand in this unfair labour practices case that has been going on since 2019.
2019年から続いているこの不当労働行為事件に多くの組合員にご参加いただきたいと思います。

Please come out and support! ぜひ、ご支援ください!

I'll be there (RSVP) - 参加します

Can’t attend? Don’t live in Osaka? Send a SOLIDARITY MESSAGE

参加できない場合、連帯メッセージを送って下さい

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Next Trial Dates・次の審問日程

11/28 15:00 – 16:00
GU member・組合員:Examination/Cross Examination・尋問/反対尋問

12/14 15:00 – 16:30
Employer・使用者:Examination/Cross Examination・尋問/反対尋問

Read more about Nagoya International School・名古屋国際学園について詳しく見る

 

 

Nagoya International School Sued AGAIN!・名古屋国際学園が再び不当労働行為で訴えられる

Some people never learn・学習しない人々

As GU members prepare for the first testimony in our first unfair labour practice case against NIS, a second unfair labour practice came up.
ゼネラルユニオン組合員が名古屋国際学園の不当労働行為事件の審査での証言の準備をしているさ中、2つ目の不当労働行為が発覚した。

So, we sued them again on 17 October. Some people never learn and some employers seem to have unlimited resources to fight with a union. More news coming soon.
そこで、われわれは10月17日に再び名古屋国際学園を新しい不当労働行為事件として訴えた。決して学習しない人もいれば、組合と闘う資金は資源を持っている使用者もいるようである。近日中に最新ニュースをお届けする。

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We Won't Stand for Union Busting at Nagoya International School

Protest Action at Nagoya International

SchoolSunday, 25 September - 19:30 ONLINE

Sign up to attend to defend our member whose employment contract was not renewed after they filed a sexual harassment complaint and decalred their union membership. Read more about this dispute.

At our online action we will be informing members of the public about the benefits of unionisation and our current dispute with Nagoya International School. We will also be sending direct messages to the administration of the school to urge them to negotiate with the union in good faith in order to resolve this dispute.

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Nagoya International School dispute heats up・名古屋国際学園での争議は一段とヒートアップ

On 19 and 21 August, General Union members staged a small leafletting action at at Kozoji station in Kasugai City, and Nagoya Station to inform members of the public about our current dispute with Nagoya International School over a member who was non-renewed after filing a sexual harassment complaint and declaring union membership. Our leaflet also urged members of the public to join a union themselves in order to improve and protect their working conditions regardless of where they work.
8月19日と21日、JR高蔵寺駅(春日井市)と名古屋駅で、ゼネラルユニオン組合員がビラ配りを行ない、名古屋国際学園との間の現在の争議(セクハラを訴えて組合員宣言をした組合員が契約更新されなかった)について広く市民のみなさんに知らせました。またこのビラでは、あらゆる職場で労働条件を改善し、守るために、働く人たちが労働組合に加入するよう呼びかけました。

The union is now preparing an online action aimed at further pressuring the school to negotiate and resolve the issue of the unfair contract renewal. Keep your eyes open for the date and time of this September action.
組合は現在、学校側に不当な契約更新拒否の問題を交渉し解決するよう促すためのオンラインアクションを準備中です。この9月のアクションの日時の告知に、引き続きご注目ください。

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Stop Unfair Labor Practice at Nagoya International School!・名古屋国際学園の 不当労働行為に 抗議を!

The General Union is currently in a dispute with Nagoya International School over a member who was non-renewed after filing a sexual harassment complaint and declaring union membership.
名古屋市守山区にキャンパスを持つ名古屋国際学園(Nagoya International School) は2019年、セクシャル・ハラスメントの告発と組合活動をした教師との契約を更新しませんでした。

The Union has engaged in collective bargaining with the school as well as filing a suit against them at the Osaka Prefectural Labor Commission.
ゼネラルユニオンは大阪府労働委員会に不当労働行為救済申し立てを行い、調査の過程で名古屋国際学園の多くの労働問題が明らかになりました。

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Help Kick Off our "NEW DEAL for ALTs" campaign

JET, ALT, AET, etc., etc.,
Parents, Students, Taxpayers...

ALL WELCOME to kick off our

NEW DEAL for ALTs campaign!
Monday, 27 June at 19:30 via zoom
sign up at: https://gu.generalunion.org/nda 

Speakers Include: Takatsuki City Councillor – Mr. Takagi, Union officials from across Japan, ALT/JET union members

Presentation Includes: Japan BoE ALT survey results, Campaign goals and objectives, Launch of National ALT Working Conditions Survey.

Let's make sure that ALTs have DECENT WORK and are given the tools to provide QUALITY EDUCATION while keeping public education public and free of private dispatch.

Download our campaign leaflet and
SHARE WITH ALL YOUR ALT FRIENDS ACROSS JAPAN!

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International Schools Organising Committee・ゼネラルユニオン・インタナーショナレスクール組織化実行委員会

The GU will soon begin a national survey of International Schools throughout Japan. We have found many problems in this sector, mainly around issues of harassment, but also around basic rights to insurance, paid holidays, contract renewals.
ゼネラルユニオンは近く、日本全国のインターナショナルスクールの調査を始めます。この分野では、主にハラスメント問題をはじめ、社会保険、有給休暇、契約更新などの基本的な権利についても多くの問題が見つかっています。

We want to make a better International Schools environment in Japan for both teachers and students, Japanese and foreign teachers and staff, and international and domestic hires.
私たちは、教師と生徒、日本人と外国人の教師とスタッフ、海外と国内の被用者にとって、日本のインターナショナルスクールの環境をより良くしたいと考えています。

Soon you'll be able to help us get the ball rolling by answering our survey. You tell us more about you and we'll let you know more about us.
もうすぐあなたにアンケートに答えて頂くことで、私たちの活動を後押しして頂けるようになります。私たちにあなたのことをもっと教えてください。私たちはあなたに私たちのことをもっと伝えたいと思います。

Spreading the union word at International Schools

On 5 December union and non-union members working at International kindergartens, elementary, and junior and senior high schools met to discuss issues facing workers at their schools. More importantly though, we met to discuss the possible solutions to these problems.

Using a case study for Nagoya International School (NIS) we looked at some of the main problems employees face:

  • General lack of knowledge about labour law in Japan almost as if they were covered by some kind of extraterritoriality agreement like Japan suffered under western colonial powers.
  • Failure to enrol in government mandated employment, health, and pension insurance.
  • Failure to take complaints of harassment seriously and deal with the harassment problem.
  • Presenting themselves as being progressive on gender, race, and labour issues while at the same time failing to deal with these problems in the workplace.

    Read more...

Union-led Progress at Nagoya International School

The General Union is currently in a dispute with Nagoya International School over a member who was non-renewed after filing a sexual harassment complaint and declaring union membership (read more). Since then, the Union has engaged in collective bargaining with the school as well as filing a suit against them at the Osaka Prefectural Labour Commission. This pressure has precipitated changes in the workplace.

Prior to the union's involvement, Nagoya International School had had many questionable labour practices in addition to the mishandling of the sexual harassment case, but after negotiations with the Union, workers at Nagoya International School have won the following:

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Working at a Private High School? .

2022 could be a dangerous year for you

Seminar & Survey

Download poster and send to a friend

The General Union represents many eikaiwas and university teachers, but many don’t know that we have a rather large contingent working at private elementary, and junior and senior high schools.

In 2022 there will be a major change in the national English curriculum guidelines. Simply put, “eikaiwa” or English Expression classes will be eliminated and replaced with a course called Logic Expression.

This could lead to a loss in work for foreign English teachers at private high schools. So far we have heard from members at two schools who have been able to give us rather concrete information.

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General Union vs Osaka Shoin - Trial begins – Osaka District Court

3 February 2020 13:10 

On 31 March 2018 a General Union member was dismissed by Osaka Shoin High School specifically to stop him from working past a year and gaining the right to apply for an unlimited-term contract. On 25 June 2018, the member, with the aid of the union, filed a case against the dismissal at the Osaka District Court claiming the dismissal to be invalid.

After months of document exchanges in court, the case is set to come to trial on 3 February from 1310 to 1600 and we need you in court to support your fellow member and to show that we will not accept the dismissal of union members and employers who flaunt the law to get out of their obligations. RSVP your attendance.

Both our member (in Japanese with English translation) and a witness from Osaka Shoin will be examined and cross examined on the day of the trial.

Unlimited-term contracts are the law of the land, but that means nothing if employers can just stop these new contracts by firing you before you can even apply. It’s up to us to defend this important new law and let all employers know that this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. RSVP your attendance at the Osaka District Court on 3 February (meetup place is Yodoyabashi Station Exit 1 at 12:20 or go directly to Osaka Court Room 809 by at least 13:00).

Learn more about this history of this dispute by clicking here.

Working at a board of education?

We will be holding an open meeting for all directly hired and dispatched teachers working at boards of education on Wednesday, 22 January from 1900 at the union office or via skype. Please RSVP if you plan to attend as seating is limited.

As you know, there are big changes taking place to the system for directly hired teachers starting in 2020 which may lead to jobs being outsourced or even cuts to wages. Dispatched teachers also face ever deteriorating working conditions which are often markedly worse than those working as directly hired teachers.

We don’t think that these two groups of workers should be fighting separately to improve their working conditions, but will have a better chance as dealing as one body especially in terms of how the General Union deals with ALT issues with the central government.

Read more...

Survey of Over 1,700 Boards of Education

Two weeks ago, the General Union (in cooperation with our national union headquarters and sister unions) sent out a report to every board of education (BOE) in the country in regards to Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs).

As of September 13th (2019), we have received over 600 responses -much higher than our usual average in more limited surveys.

The survey follows the types of employment contracts for ALTs, illegal/improper dispatching, and - most importantly - what BOEs plan to do in regards to direct hire ALTs in 2020 when changes to the Local Civil Servants Law come into effect.

Read more...

Directly Hired ALT? Ready For The 2020 Punch?

Are you an Assistant Language Teacher who is directly employed by a municipal board of education?

If you are, we'd suggest that you pay attention to this article and even consider consulting with the union.

As you may know, the General Union has had dealings with various boards of education acros Japan - both now and in the past.

Read more...

Takatsuki Mayor's "Written Oath to Prevent Recurrence” Delivered: Final Chapter in “Takatsuki AET Graduation Ceremony Incident"

As previously reported, on March 5 the Supreme Court rejected Takatsuki City’s appeal. The unusual case, in which Takatsuki City sued Osaka Prefecture, thus reached its ultimate conclusion, and the Osaka Prefectural Labor Commission’s order for relief from unfair labor practices became final.

After this outcome, on March 22, 2019, a representative of Takatsuki City visited the General Union office and handed a “Written Oath to Prevent Recurrence of Unfair Labor Practices” from Takatsuki mayor Takeshi Hamada, to General Union chair Dennis Tesolat. 

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Supreme Court Dismisses Takatsuki City’s Appeal

On March 7, 2019, a sealed letter from the Supreme Court arrived at the General Union’s office. When opened, it was found to contain a three-page document with plenty of white space.

It was a notification that the Supreme Court had on March 5, 2019, rejected Takatsuki City’s appeal of the Osaka Superior Court decision of September 7, 2018, stating that the Osaka Prefectural Labor Commission had been correct in judging Takatsuki City’s actions (forbidding General Union members, who worked at Takatsuki elementary schools as assistant English teachers, from attending their students’ graduation ceremonies in March of 2015, and slandering the General Union from the podium at a City Council plenary meeting) to be unfair labor practices.

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Union Sues Marist Brothers International School

sue o clock

On October 9th (2018), the General Union filed an application at the Osaka Prefectural Labour Commission suing Marist Brothers International School for their violation of the Trade Union Law.

The union had been trying unsuccessfully for a couple of months to get Marist Brothers to the collective bargaining table over their unfair contract non-renewal of a teacher who returned to work after taking maternity leave.

The union charges that Marist Brothers, not wanting to renew a contract which would have lead to a future unlimited term contract, unfairly ended the employment of the teacher - without any warnings - over what they claim to be the teachers "problems" at work.

Read more...

The Pursuit Of Union Representation At Deutsche Schule Kobe

deutsche schule kobeThe General Union has been in negotiations with the Deutsche Schule Kobe for over six months.

Teachers at the school joined the General Union after the school reduced their bonus to zero for the previous academic year after they had received only 50% of the usual bonus for the year before that.

The school have given their financial situation as the reason for not paying a bonus. 

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Takatsuki City to Appeal Yet Again After Osaka High Court Rules On "Takatsuki AET Graduation Incident"

this is fineOn March 19th, 2015, two General Union members who were employed by the Takatsuki City Board of Education to assist with English language activities at city elementary schools were refused permission by the Board of Education to attend their students' graduation ceremonies.

Over the three-and-a-half years since then, the fight over this surprising incident has moved from the Osaka Prefectural Labor Commission to the Osaka District Court, and then once again to the Osaka High Court.

On September 7th, 2018, the Osaka High Court handed down its ruling (PDF): 

Read more...

Osaka Shoin: Harassment By Camera?

Along with all the other issues that the General Union is currently dealing with, here's a quick recap to remind people of the story with Osaka Shoin Women's University up until now.

The government introduced a new law: if you've worked for five years, the school has to give you a contract with no end date. In response, Osaka Shoin freaks out and introduces a five-year employment limit just to avoid the law

This is illegal.

Read more...

Doshisha Checkoff Begins

The new school year has begun, and so has our new checkoff agreement at Doshisha Kori. From here on in Japanese and foreign members alike at Doshisha will be able to have their dues directly deducted from their salary. In the coming months we will be rolling the system out at other Doshisha schools.

Why is dues checkoff important?

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Mission Impossible - The New School Year [OP-ED]

If you choose to accept this mission you will teach six 1st grade JHS classes.

The mission is to find the five other people all teaching this course.

To make it that more difficult, we will not give you any of the names of the people you are working with. 

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"GU Helped Me Win Tenure"

We received a message this week. It's nice to hear kind words but better yet, it was good to hear that our education campaign about the "5 year rule" helped someone to better their work conditions.

***

Dear GU - Although I'm not a member (I live in Tokyo) I have been following your posts for a while. This is my sixth year of a one-year contract BUT I'm fortunate as my school has applied for a non-regular teaching license (教育職員特別免許) for me (awarded on Sep 1!) and plan to give me a tenured position from next year. I partially attribute this to your posts, which let me know what questions to ask as well as background knowledge on labor laws. Thanks a million. In the near future, I would like to make a small donation to show my support for what you do. Once things settle down, you could let me know how to do that. Keep up the heroic deeds!

 

Board of Education Illegally Denies Childcare Leave

Recently, the General Union received an e-mail from a worried JET at a Kanto area Board of Education. Married, the teacher is expecting her first child later in the year.

When she approached the Board of Education to ask about maternity and childcare leave, she was happy to learn that she could take maternity leave and that the Board of Education would help with documentation so that she could receive maternity leave allowance through shakai hoken (Employee Health and Pension Insurance; EHPI).

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Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before - Takatsuki BoE Update

So, a judge, the General Union, and the Takatsuki Board of Education walk into a court room (stop me if you think you've heard this one before). The judge turns to the Board of Education and says...

Well, actually, perhaps we need a bit of background information first.

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Are Public Schools Actually "Black Companies" In Disguise?

For all of the nobility of working as a teacher in public (or otherwise) schools, the reality of the situation is often entirely at odds with the otherwise romantic image that society paints of such an essential academic workforce. On April 28th, 2017, this couldn't have been made any clearer.

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Doshisha Retreats On Non-Renewal Threats (5 Year Issue)

Doshisha Retreats On Non-Renewal Threats (5 Year Issue)In the week beginning 6th of February 2017, part-time teachers (including General Union members) at Doshisha Iwakura Junior High School were summoned to individual meetings and informed that their contracts would not be renewed after next April (2018).

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Hokkaido International School Unionizes

Last year we were approached by teachers at Hokkaido International School looking to unionize. Given that the company is located in Sapporo, and we could not legally enforce collective bargaining in Osaka, we decided it was best to find a local union.

Sapporo General Union (unrelated to General Union) does not actively seek foreign members but when we approached them they decided to take up HIS. It helped that there were potential members fluent in Japanese.

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Doshisha: Final Warning Sent Over "Dues Checkoff" Demand

General Union members at Doshisha Kori Junior and Senior High School have been attempting to get their employer agree to a union "dues checkoff" system. This would allow union members to have their dues withdrawn directly from their monthly salaries.

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