News

GU wins Shakai Hoken at ECC

After a hard fought fight, the General Union and ECC have signed a historic collective agreement over Shakai Hoken (Health and Pension) on 28th July 2006.

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HAPPY 25th ANNIVERSARY, NICHIBEI EIGO GAKUIN!

We, the union members at Nichibei Eigo Gakuin, would like to congratulate President Tamotsu Kanehisa and Vice-president Noriko Kuroda on 25 years of healthy profit-making.

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Osaka Gaigo and GU settle case in Labour Commission

On 12 July 2006, a mediated settlement agreement was signed at Osaka Prefectural Labour Commission between the General Union and Osaka Gaigo Semmon Gakko whereby the college expressed regret for certain statements made by one of its officials on 25th and 26th May 2006, a financial settlement was paid by the college in the non-renewal cases of two part-time union members, and both sides promised to make efforts to improve the labour-management relationship.

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Stabilizing employment in the university sector.GU wins Jizen Kyogi (JK) Agreements

Demand that schools consult with your union regarding any changes to your employment by winning a prior consultation agreement

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A Tale of Bad Faith and Slander

Nichibei Eigo Gakuin appeals to Tokyo Central Labour Commission against Osaka Labour Commission's ruling of Unfair Labour Practices Nichibei has appealed to Tokyo Central Labour Commission against the very clear ruling of Osaka Labour Commission.

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Nichibei Eigo Gakuin judged guilty of Unfair Labour Practices

On 7 June 2006, Nichibei Eigo Gakuin (Head Office Kita-ku, Osaka, President Mr Tamotsu Kanehisa) was found guilty by Osaka Prefectural Labour Commission of violations of Trade Union Law

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Osaka Gaigo branch holds half-day strike

On May 25th 2006 some of the members of the Osaka Gaigo branch held a half-day strike. We were joined by supporters from other branches and other unions, and had a very good turnout. Spirits were high. We appreciate the support of everyone who turned out. It seems that Gaigo was quite taken by surprise by the strike, despite being warned in advance. They have said "no" to us many times with few consequences, but this time our people are really upset and the result was our first ever strike.

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Part-timers Left Uninsured In Cases Of Job Loss

Recently, the GU has been holding negotiations with a high school over the contract non-renewal of a union member. Though the teacher is only in her second year of employment (employed on one year contracts) the union decided to raise demands for the teacher’s re-employment since her school didn’t inform her of the non-renewal until the end of January, too late for her to find more high school work for the upcoming school year.

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ECC Union Dues Chart

ECC members are required, except in special circumstances, to pay their union dues through a checkoff arrangment the union has with ECC. After filling out the required form, your union dues will be withdrawn from your monthly salary and remitted to the union. 

Click here to download the checkoff form.

 

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Sub-shifts- Are they legal?

More and more teachers are asking questions about ECC's sub-shift system.

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Not Everyone Is An English Teacher

While the General Union is predominantly a union of language teachers, we also accept members in other walks of life. We were established to be a home for workers without a union at their workplace or who, being part-time or on fixed-term contracts, are traditionally not organised by workplace unions representing full-time permanent staff.

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Strikes Averted at Matsushita-Excel

Teachers at Matsushita were all set to begin a series of rolling strikes from January 31st but last minute talks have resulted in teachers agreeing to put them on hold ・ for the moment at least.

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Best School Survey - Congratulations!

The survey results have been tallied and you've voted on the best ECC School out there. The winner by far is Nishinomiya. Teachers working there are impressed by the preparation done by the support staff at the school. In the Tokai region, the winner was Kanayama Honko.

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SAC Branch Survey Results

Many respondents were interested in shakai hoken for part-timers. In this regard, Japanese law does not differentiate between full- and part-time workers. It simply states that all workers must be enrolled. In practice, however, the shakai hoken office follows internal ordinances that says those working 3/4 of a full-timer's schedule must be enrolled. Companies are left to decide for themselves if they want to offer shakai hoken to workers who do not meet this condition.

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SAC Branch Survey Results

Many respondents were interested in shakai hoken for part-timers. In this regard, Japanese law does not differentiate between full- and part-time workers.

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Court rules English language school Nova billed student illegally

KYOTO -- English language conversation school operator Nova Co. illegally billed a student when it refused to refund her the full price she had paid for classes she didn't take, the Kyoto District Court ruled.

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WARNING - Money Stolen at Umeda School

This past week has seen another wallet stolen at Umeda school. This is the third incident in a little over six months.

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University in Kyoto settles hiring muddle

One member had an interview at a university in Kyoto, and was offered the job, but the offer was later withdrawn as it was realised that he did not have the necessary qualifications (even though he had explicitly pointed this out in his resume).

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Nichibei Eigo Gakuin to pay up for overtime

Last November the company notified the employees of a workers representative election, and school managers started arranging it, making ballot sheets and asking for candidates.

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Non-socialization Policy - another nail in the coffin

While Nova will never admit it, the "non-socialization policy" is dead.

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Is something changing at NOVA?

Collective bargaining at NOVA has always had a predictable trend: the union submits demands, the company agrees to meet, we meet, and NOVA says NO in a loud and clear voice.

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Nova to pay teacher over demotion

Nova Co. has agreed out of court to pay 400,000 yen to a former employee who sued the major chain of language schools after his allowance was cut due to his association with a female student, informed sources said Saturday.

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Nichibei abolishes Special Holidays

Under the old working rules (demanded by the union in 1997) Nichibei employees were entitled to:

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Nova to pay teacher over demotion 2

OSAKA (Kyodo) Nova Co. has agreed out of court to pay 400,000 yen to a former employee who sued the major chain of language schools after his allowance was cut due to his association with a female student, informed sources said Saturday.

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Nichibei Eigo Gakuin case closed

he Unfair Labour Practices Case, filed in December 2003, finally closed on 25 October, with the submissions of the final statements from both sides.

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Chris English Masters Kyoto

We often report on the larger schools but here is a report from a smaller school. A long time member recently heard that there were mistakes in pay checks. After reviewing his records, he realised there were errors dating back as far as 5 years.

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Shakai Hoken @ Epion Mabuchi

Shakai Hoken has been a hot topic within the union for quite a while now. It became a problem at Epion when a member received a demand from the ward office for two years back payments of Kokumin Kenko Hoken.

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Working conditions in free fall at Osaka Gaigo.

Two rounds of negotiations and numerous informal meetings have been held with OGSG since May, but have proved fruitless. In the past year incomes have been cut and class-loads for contract full-timers have been increased. The second semester saw part-time teachers losing an average of two-classes per week without prior notice.

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Berlitz Newsletters

Check here regularly for our latest Berlitz newsletters. Feel free to download them & distribute them in your workplace. We also have posting rights for all schools so let us know if you would like to pin them up on the school bulletin board.

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Small Schools Matter Too

Even though the General Union has won many well noted changes in the big eikaiwa chains, we are less well known for dealing with problems at small schools. If you are a union member working at a small school, these following news items should be of interest to you, and help you think of ways that you too can improve your working conditions.

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