Tokai Gakuen High School

This establishment decided to make its long-serving native speaker English teachers redundant, in order to replace them with dispatch company staff.

The advantage for the school: minimal, as far as we can discern. The outcome for the teachers: a serious diminution of their living standards. Had they been hired by the dispatch company to continue working at the school, they would have been expected to do the same job for little more than half their previous salary while working about double the time.

The General Union was not prepared to see professional educators treated in this fashion, and therefore summoned the school management to a bargaining session. Unfortunately, the school could not cancel its contract with the dispatch company, but nonetheless agreed to pay one year’s salary to each teacher. While this cannot be considered a full victory, as jobs that still exist were subcontracted at very poor rates, this is a warning to employers that they cannot just do as they please.

Attempts by dispatch companies to control the supply of native speaker English teachers to high schools are a major threat to the living standards of teachers and to the quality of English language education in this country. The Union will continue to resist the encroachments of dispatch companies into the labour market for education staff.


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