Private Language Schools

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.

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Union wins Special Leave at ECC

The General Union has negotiated the introduction of Special Leave for full-time instructors. You can now take the following unpaid special leave on application to personnel.

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Workers' rights to strike upheld Court denies all of Berlitz Japan's claims against union

During 2008’s shunto spring labour offensive, Berlitz General Union Tokyo (Begunto) demanded the first base pay increase in 16 years and began a long-term surgical strike campaign. 

Berlitz management, however, claimed the strike’s purpose was to hurt the company rather than realize the demands, and sued the parent union, National Union of General Workers Tokyo Nambu; Begunto; Nambu President;  Deputy General Secretary; and five Begunto executives for alleged damages of 110 million yen.

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ECC School Director Evaluation Changes - Take the online survey

ECC is proposing changes to the contents of school director evaluations. The union believes that the consensus of all employees at ECC is necessary to implement the changes.

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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.

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ECC Shunto "Spring" Negotiations Update

The first round of the shunto "spring" negotiations were held on Feb 28. ECC has agreed to the majority of the union's 2012 demands.

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Annual Leave at ECC- How many days do you get?

Note:This information is a guide only. Contact your union rep for further advice before consulting ECC.

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Shunto negotiation demands submitted to ECC

The ECC branch has voted to submit demands for negotiations later this month. Talks will center around job security and the introduction of special leave.

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OTC – Teachers decide negotiation points for 2012

Spring is the traditional time for Japanese unions to negotiate improvements in working conditions. Called “shunto” in Japanese, it translates as Spring Labor Offensive. Right across Japan unions, big and small, are now deciding what demands they will be submitting to employers. Here in Osaka, teachers at OTC have been discussing teacher development.

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Negotiation deadlock broken at ECC

The union's strategy of applying for mediation with the Osaka Labour Relations Commission has achieved its purpose- breaking the negotiation deadlock with ECC.

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Nova conditions down

Conditions at NOVA continue to spiral downwards. From November, NOVA has started cutting teachers’ base salaries and allowances.

NOVA has once again taken advantage of contract workers by unfairly targeting teachers whose contracts are up for renewal. Members have been contacting the union in dismay.

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Shane English School ordered to conduct health checks

The health and well-being of teachers at Shane English schools doesn't appear to be a top priority for management. Teachers don't have shakai hoken (health insurance and pension). Teachers weren't even being provided with the medical checks stipulated under the Industrial Health & Safety Law.

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November Union-Management Talks

The union met with ECC on Friday, November 18th, to discuss the emergency personnel number, evaluations and SD meetings.

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Halloween Costumes - Don't pay for one!

As Halloween takes off in Japan, it is also becoming a popular autumn sales theme. At ECC, Halloween is no longer simply a KEW cultural lesson.

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Halloween Costumes - Take the online survey

Halloween event lessons have become a new sales promotion at ECC. Teachers are now under even more pressure to wear Halloween costumes. The union believes that ECC should provide some kind of allowance to cover expenses related to Halloween.

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ECC refuses mediation!

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Union protests "NO WAGES" for part-timers!

Only a week ago ECC told the union that the working conditions for native instructors were great and that they couldn't understand the union's demands for permanent employment. This week part-time native instructors got a nasty surprise.

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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

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ECC recognizes union's SIC demands

ECC has taken the union’s grievance over summer intensive courses (SIC) seriously and has promised to make major improvements.

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ECC SIC Survey Results- 65% of teachers unhappy!

Nationwide, ECC union reps have been hearing concerns about summer intensive courses. Teachers have raised issues about the lack of notice and access to teaching materials.

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ECC Summer Intensive Courses- Online Survey!

ECC union reps have been hearing concerns about summer intensive courses (SIC) from teachers across Japan.

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Union members win back allowances at NOVA

While embassies were urging their citizens to evacuate from the Kanto region, NOVA was bullying "other language" instructors to transfer to Tokyo or have their allowances cut.

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ECC - Paid "Influenza" Leave

Company Policy on influenza recently changed. This is another union success.

Union members were concerned that teachers with legitimate illnesses were disadvantaged by ECC’s evaluation system. Another major concern was that teachers who followed their doctor’s orders and company policy were placed in a disadvantageous position.

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Evaluations - One teacher's opinion

ECC's annual evaluation process for native English instructors is broken.

Typically, an employee evaluation creates standards and goals. While native teachers are given an employee handbook and work code, ECC does not give its instructors goals, or at least, does not give them realistic ones that can be achieved.

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ECC - Open meeting for members & friends

We are holding 2 open meetings. One in Nagoya and one in Osaka. They are open to members and non-members alike.

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Are you safe at work?

Workplace health and safety awareness in language schools nationwide is quite low. Each spring the General Union ECC branch submits demands to make ECC a safer place to work.

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Training Pay Doubled- Thanks to the Union

It wasn't so long ago that training outside of your usual shift was paid at a flat 1000 yen per hour. Thanks to the concerted efforts of our members, the union was successful in winning its demands to have training paid at your regular teaching rate. That means a minimum of 2030 yen per hour!

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First Aid Kits - small but important!

Workplace health and safety is a high priority for the ECC Branch. The union continues to push for better safety in schools.

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General Union celebrates 15 years at ECC

In recognition of the 15 year anniversary of the General Union ECC Branch, we are making it easier to join than ever. Pay 1000 yen to cover your first 2 months of membership. After that, have your dues automatically deducted from your salary.

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ECC School Evaluations - Take the survey

ECC Evaluates Teachers. The criteria are often unclear, arbitrary and subjective. The union continues to push for improvements in the system.

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