Schools and Colleges

Osaka C-NETs: A two tier system!

 

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Osaka C-NETs seek to improve working conditions

After months of preparation, we are happy to announce the formation of our new union branch at Osaka City Board of Education. Known as Osaka C-NETs, the branch consists of Native English Teachers (NETS) who teach alongside Japanese English teachers.

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Osaka C-NET Demands

Here is a list of the demands that have been submitted to the Osaka City Board of Education. We expect we first negotiations to be in the coming month.

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C-NETs Executive Committee

Will L. (Chair)

I'm William from the East Midlands in England, and I've been working as an Osaka C-NET since August 2013. I was born and raised in the UK trade union system and I've been with the General Union since July 2014.

 

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Kansai International School forced to pay

Kansai International School/Sakura International School is notorious for its paid holiday system. Now someone has finally done something about it.

After consulting the union, one teacher applied to use her remaining paid holidays when resigning from the company. This is your right. Rather than being intimidated by the company’s refusal to pay and stopping there, the teacher took action.

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March scramble for classes

A large number of university and high school teachers are part-time workers. And as you know, the annual ritual of waiting around to hear about new schedules can be a nerve racking time. Will you receive the same number of classes? Will the school try to change your working days? What will you be teaching? Will the schedule from School A be available in time to arrange your schedule at School B?

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Third strike at Osaka Gaigo leads to mediation application

How do you deal with an employer that is like a deer frozen in your headlights in the middle of a highway? Welcome to Osaka Gaigo Senmon Gakko.

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Osaka Gaigo: Strike 2

Standard - gaigo strikeOn October the 10th eleven members of the General Union and Naniwa union working at Osaka Gaigo Senmon Gakko staged a half day strike for a 5% pay increase and a bonus payment of at least one months wages twice yearly. The strike united Japanese and foreign workers, office workers and teachers and workers on temporary and permanent contracts.

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Kansai Gaidai - 15 out leafleting!

The past year has seen enormous growth in our branch at Kansai Gadai but members are keen to see numbers increase even more - there is strength in unity.

This morning, fifteen people were out spreading news of the union to non-members at the entrance to the university. Twelve Kansai Gaidai teachers were supported by three members of the General Union Executive Committee.

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11 July. Strike at Osaka Gaigo.

While Japanese and foreign members at Osaka Gaigo extended last week's strike deadline in hopes of a better offer from their employer by 9 July, management's weak offer will lead to a Thursday, 11 July strike.

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No Borders International School

 Having asked their employer to enroll them in health & pension (shakai hoken) and unemployment insurance, teachers became frustrated when No Borders insisted that teachers pay ridiculously high premiums. The premiums were so inflated that we suspect No Borders was attempting to have teachers pay the company's part of the premiums.

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It’s a matter of dignity – Opinion Piece

I work at one of the "better" high schools. It is that is basically a feeder school to a few universities in the Kansai region. As a part-timer, or hijokin in Japanese, I am treated well enough. I'm even enrolled in health and pension insurance.

All that changed this week as I attempted to prepare for the new semester. With a rebuilding program almost completed, we moved into new classrooms and offices.

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Working in an elementary, junior, senior high school?

For many years the General Union has organised workers at private elementary, junior and senior high schools. In the recent period the situation in many of these workplaces has become dire and we have had many consultations and requests for help from teachers. While as a union we have been able to win individual victories and defend conditions for groups of our members, working conditions have continued to deteriorate for teachers across the sector.

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Taking back our rights! Open meeting for school teachers

For many years the General Union has had members at Elementary, Junior High and High Schools. More recently, the situation has become dire with a large number of consultations from private schools in particular. The falling number of school age students has led to a savage competition between schools, in particular private schools. School administrations have attempted to compete by-and-large by asking for longer hours and more commitment from teachers, while at the same time often worsening pay and conditions.

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General Union members gear up for third annual 'hands off our koma' campaign

Now is the time of the year that the major private universities are planning changes in curricula and classes for the 2013 academic year. For the last couple of years the General Union has been declaring part-time members at these universities and submitting demands for no-reduction in the number of koma or worsening of working conditions for General Union members.

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Strike vote first, then negotiate

Last week the union had a great round of negotiations at one of the workplaces we represent. We can't put out all the details yet, but we can tell you a little.

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Ashiya Gakuen teachers organize to protect their rights

In October of last year a number of full-time English teachers at Ashiya Gakuen High School joined the General Union and formed a union branch at their school. Teachers had read in the school's recruitment literature for next year that for certain courses the school planned to have native English speakers as homeroom teachers.

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Union membership pays off at Polaris Kindergarten

Ever wondered what being a union member can do for you?

When a member at Polaris Kindergarten recently quit their job with 1-month notice as stated in their contract, the company objected and refused to pay the outstanding salary. After just a few letters and phone calls, we are happy to report that the member has now received their outstanding monies.

GU won the absence allowance for cancellation of part-time classes after the term started, for low enrollment

GU won the absence allowance for cancellation of part-time classes after the term started, for low enrollment, etc. as “reasons attributable to the employer” (according to Article 26 of the Labour Standards Law)

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New union branches at Ashiya Gakuen High & Kansai Gaidai

New branches of the General Union have been formed at Ashiya Gakuen High-School where teachers are fighting to prevent a worsening of their working conditions and Kansai Gaidai where full-time contract teachers have issues regarding contract renewals.

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Kobe Shoin Women's University

As well as reducing the number of classes taught by some long-standing teachers, the University is attempting to let go all four of the teachers who were freshly hired last year.

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Osaka U: Massive cuts to come for part-timers

Part-time teachers at Osaka Univeristy (Handai) got a shock in October when the university administration unveiled plans at an information meeting to cut the number of part-time teachers in their faculty to zero in three years.

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Tezukayama U and sudden class cancellations

As we have reported previously Nara Labour Standard's Office ordered Tezukayama University to pay a General Union 60% of their wages for a class the university had cancelled due to the low student enrolment in the class.

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Good news at Kinki University

Over the last few years the Education Ministry (MEXT) has exerted pressure on universities to guarantee a minimum 15 classes in each semester, excluding examinations. This has lead to a number of problems for teachers such as being forced to work on national holidays and a lengthening of the semester with no increase in compensation.

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Insurance at Clover International School

Months of stalling tactics by Clover International School forced the General Union to lodge a kakunin seikyu (individual claim) with the pension agency for shakai hoken, after the school’s  harassment caused our member to take stress leave.

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Union gears up to protect university jobs in 2012

For the second straight year General Union members working at universities are not waiting around in fear of losing classes in the next academic year. Our members are taking a proactive approach and are having the union submit demands for no reduction in koma or worsening of working conditions in the 2012 academic year.

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Losing koma after contract signed due to enrollment?

Is it in your employment contract that your second semester class (and your pay) could be cancelled? The General Union has found this cropping up more and more and is intent on stopping this practice, and recently we did.

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Koma cuts. Don't wait for it to happen

For part-timers in particular, working at universities and private schools, a lack of job security is a very big problem. For years the General Union has been advocating a proactive approach to members in fighting against koma cuts and worsening working conditions.

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Tezukayama University: Mid-year koma cuts unfair

How many of you would agree to the following contract? 1. Keep a full year free to work for us. 2. If there’s work, we’ll pay you. 3. If there’s no work, we’ll pay you one month and then nothing more. Unfortunately, many university teachers are having to sign such contracts.

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Seibo Jogakuin: Pre-consultation system

Are you worried about possible changes to your working conditions in the following year? Are you even more worried that these changes will occur with little or no notice? General Union members at Seibo now have a little less to worry about.

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