News

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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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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W5 signs labor agreement with union

The General Union and W5 Staff Services (ALT Dispatcher), have recently signed a collective agreement* covering the following.

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Okayama City Board of Education forced to apologize

Many Boards of Education recognize the legal obligation to negotiate with the General Union some out there try to escape their legal duty. Okayama City BoE is one of those.

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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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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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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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A win at Shinobu Foods

In 2009 the General Union began organizing at Shinobu Food when a dispatch worker came to us with a Worker's Compensation Insurance claim. The union was able to help the worker in having their injury recognized under the insurance and to protect her job.

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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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Shakai Hoken @ Altia Central

In a bid to save costs, Altia Central have been known to arbitrarily change teachers' contracts and remove them from Shakai Hoken (health & pension). The union has won continued enrollment in shakai hoken for a group of ALTs who were dis-enrolled when they renewed their contracts in April, 2011. The union applied for collective bargaining and Altia quickly agreed to the continued enrollment of our members.

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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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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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General Union to accept donations for Tohoku Earthquake

In view of the recent disaster, the General Union has cancelled this year's Hanami party and will instead accept donations in its place.

The union will make an overall contribution on behalf of members, but we are still asking for individual donations. The General Union donations drive is part of a national campaign by our union federation, Zenrokyo, with the donations then being sent to Tohoku Zenrokyo for disbursement.

You can make a donation of any size by visiting http://www.generalunion.org/donate

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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Additional information