Private Language Schools

ECC teachers demand job security, pay rises

Branch members at ECC have submitted demands for unlimited term contracts for those seeking more permanent type employment, contract completion bonuses for those who are on one year contracts and a 10% pay increase for all teachers.

Read more...

Does wearing a jacket make you a better teacher?

Some language schools, including AEON and Gaba, have policies that either require teachers to wear a jacket, or at least heavily encourages it. ECC even tried to link salary increases to wearing a jacket, however, through negotiations members were able to have "wearing a jacket" removed from their evaluations.

Read more...

Peppy Kids Club fires branch chair - union moves into action

After eight years of service, the chair of our newly formed union branch at Peppy English Kids Club has been fired for union activity. The company will claim it is a simple case of “contract non-renewal” for poor performance amongst other things, but after eight years and eight consecutive contracts, the union strongly believes it is an illegal firing under Japanese Trade Union Law.

Read more...

Ex-Nova language school founder Sahashi's two-year prison term finalized

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by the founder and former president of the language school chain Nova Corp. against his conviction for embezzling ¥320 million from employee benefit funds, effectively finalizing his two-year prison term.

Read more...

Berlitz demands submitted for collective bargaining

Union members at Berlitz sent seven new demands for collective bargaining to Berlitz Japan this week.

Demands include:

1. A courtesy call when lessons are cancelled late.
Teachers are now paid for these CTL (cancelled too late) classes, but because teachers don't always teach their lessons in a row, they may end up at school at 8AM just to find the class cancelled and their next class not until noon.

Read more...

Peppy Kids Club Confidentiality Agreement

iTTTi Japan recently asked Japanese teachers at Peppy Kids Club to sign a confidentiality clause that we believe to be invalid, with some clauses bearing little likelihood of being enforceable.

Read more...

ECC Union News October 2012

Halloween Costumes ECC has agreed to provide basic Halloween costumes at all schools. The union has asked ECC to explain what will be provided by October 20. ECC has sent all schools an email advising them that costumes should be available. If your schools are not providing a costume please contact the union.

Read more...

Berlitz teachers get ready for new demands!

Berlitz teachers in the Kansai and Tokai areas are continuing consultations with union members to gear up for a new round of demands and negotiations.

At this point most of the demands focus around workplace issues that make teachers' working lives a little easier.

Read more...

Panasonic teachers keep their eye on the ball

After an important round of bargaining in July of this year where some important promises were made by the employer to the union, members are undeterred to still improve their economic situation.

Read more...

Gaba Union Branch Demands

Our demands are simple: Improve our working conditions

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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?

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Support your Japanese coworkers

As many of you know, working conditions at Peppy Kids Club are much worse for JTs than they are for NTs. Their salaries are much lower, they work longer hours, they don't even get unemployment insurance. And from October, things are getting worse.

Read more...

Small but important issues solved at Peppy Kids Club

It is often the small things that make our working lives difficult. That was the case for teachers in some areas at PKC. After the first round of negotiations, we are happy to announce that two issues have been solved.

Read more...

Members Demand Peppy Obey Article 106 of the Labor Standards Law

So what is Article 106?

The law basically states that companies must have a set of working rules (Shugyo Kisoku). These rules must be registered with the Labor Standards Office, and they must be available for workers to peruse in their workplace. These rules are usually more in-depth than the rules written into your contract or guidelines the company give you. They include things such as how to apply for vacation or special leave, and rules for the punishment, fining, or dismissal of employees.

Read more...

Report on negotiations at Peppy Kids

In July, when the union applied for the first round of negotiations, we were a little taken aback when a response came from the company’s lawyer. While they accepted collective bargaining on the company’s behalf, it is unusual for companies to bring in lawyers so quickly. Generally, companies want to get a feel for the union and what members want before they bring lawyers along for legal advice.

Read more...

Coolbiz: A Health Hazard?

Most workers welcome the introduction of Coolbiz, and the relaxed summer dress codes. It was a buzz work for work efficiency and economic stimulus during Junichiro Koizumi’s reign as Prime Minister. However, times have now changed and the majority of businesses have implemented Coolbiz as part of setsuden, (energy saving measures), and offices are no longer cool.

Read more...

Osaka Information Meeting - Peppy Kids

More and more people, Japanese and native teachers alike, are contacting us about the union. We will be holding a series of open meetings so people can hear more about the union and what our aims are. It will also be a chance for you ask questions and give input about how you would like to see working conditions at PKC improve.

Read more...

Nagoya Information Meeting - Peppy Kids

More and more people, Japanese and native teachers alike, are contacting us about the union. We will be holding a series of open meetings so people can hear more about the union and what our aims are. It will also be a chance for you ask questions and give input about how you would like to see working conditions at PKC improve. Contact us if you would like a meeting in your area.

Read more...

Union launched at Peppy Kids Club

While Peppy Kids Club doesn’t have the national profile of some other players in the language industry, they have been on the union’s radar for quite a few years. They are an expanding chain with over 400 native English-speaking teachers and more than 1600 Japanese teachers. They have classrooms all across Japan and almost 100,000 students.

Read more...

ECC teachers demand permanent contracts

Read more...

ECC typhoon: Not safe for students, but safe for staff?

Workplace health and safety is a General Union priority. While most workplace accidents at language schools are minor, we as workers must not become complacent. We have the right to expect that our employers will do their utmost to protect our safety at work and while traveling to and from work.

Read more...

Letter from America about Peppy Kids

I am no longer an employee of Peppy Kids. However, it warms my heart that there is such action being taken to create a worker's union. I am an American citizen back in America now, but I still very much love Japan. I left Peppy Kids club, but I strongly feel that if there was a union in place, me and other people that I know would still be actively employed with Peppy Kids. As an American, I know that many Americans take for granted the progresses that were made as a result of union interventions in the U.S. workplace throughout history.

Read more...

August 19, Okayama Meeting For Peppy Kids Teachers

More and more people, Japanese and native teachers alike, are contacting us about the union. We will be holding a series of open meetings so people can hear more about the union and what our aims are. It will also be a chance for you ask questions and give input about how you would like to see working conditions at PKC improve.

Read more...

Branch declared, demands submitted, negotiations August 6

The union has officially declared our new branch to management at Peppy Kids Club. Our members include both Japanese and foreign teachers alike, and we seek to improve the working conditions of all employees at Peppy.

The first round of negotiations will take place in Nagoya on August 6. Mr Katsuji Yamahara will represent the union, along with teachers working at PKC. If you are a member and would like to attend, please contact us for further information.

Read more...

ECC Union History - 1996 ALP Win

February 26, 1996 General Union ECC Branch declared. The first demands were:

Read more...

Take the ECC Typhoon Survey

The union is far from impressed with ECC's latest decision to keep teachers and staff at schools as Typhoon Guchol approached the Japanese coastline. Out of concerns for student safety, all classes in the Kinki district were cancelled. However, employee safety does not seem to be a priority for ECC, with all full-time teachers and staff ordered to stay at schools despite classes having been cancelled.

Read more...

Panasonic Excel teachers demand job security and pay increases

General Union members working at Panasonic Excel have submitted new demands for collective bargaining and hope to begin negotiations in July. Teachers joined the union in 2002 when they had unilaterally been moved from one employer to another inside the then Matsushita group and suffering a massive pay cut.

Read more...

Working at Peppy Kids Club?

Teachers at Peppy Kids Club are getting ready to launch a union. We want your input. The union is open to both foreign and Japanese staff alike. We believe that if both groups work together conditions can be improved. Please encourage your JTs to take the survey too. 働き方アンケート

Read more...

Additional information