National Union Voice Online


Summer 2012
IN THIS EDITION

PDF Version is HERE

Scandalous! GU sues gov't over health and pension insurance non-enrollment

「労働時間を理由とした社会保険加入拒否は違法」と、ユニオンの非正規講師が、厚労省を地裁に訴え

Taking back our rights! Open meeting for school teachers

ペッピーキッズクラブでユニオン結成

Union launched at Peppy Kids Club

来年度のコマ数が心配?ユニオンに連絡を!

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

Strike vote FIRST. THEN negotiate

Panasonic Excel members demand job security and pay increases

Kansai Gaidai teachers form new union

ECC teachers demand permanent contracts

Health and Pension Insurance. So who can't be enrolled?

ECC typhoon: Not safe for students but safe for staff?

Letter from America about Peppy Kids

 

 

 

Scandalous! GU sues gov't over health & pension non-enrollment
“Scandalous” is the only word that comes to mind. At a time when the government has raised the consumption tax to deal with future social security needs, millions of workers across the country are denied the right to be enrolled in shakai hoken (health and pension insurance) by the very government that foresees future shortfalls.

We can understand that private companies don’t want to enroll, but why doesn’t the government follow its own rules and force enrollment? To this end, the General Union has now sued the government for failure to enforce its own laws and allow part time workers to finally be enrolled in shakai hoken.
 Story continues

「労働時間を理由とした社会保険加入拒否は違法」と、ユニオンの非正規講師が、厚労省を地裁に訴え
ゼネラルユニオンは結成以来、非正規労働者の健保・年金加入の権利を要求し、対行政交渉や、加入確認請求を続け、多くの企業での加入拡大を実現してきた。そして「社会保険加入要件緩和?」の法案が、消費税と抱合せで衆議院を通過した。だがこの自民・公明・民主の法案では、週20時間以上とした上で、企業規模や年収の条件まで追加されており、これでは、公的な強制加入保険とはいえない。続き

Taking back our rights! Open meeting for private 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. Story continues

ペッピーキッズクラブでユニオン結成
ペッピーキッズクラブは、他の語学業界の全国チェーンほどの知名度はないが、ここ数年、ユニオンのレーダーには引っかかってきていた。400名以上のネイティブ講師、1600名以上の日本人講師を抱え、拡大中の全国チェーンで、全国に教室があり、生徒数は10万人近い。

何年もの間、同社での様々な問題ある行為が、ユニオンの耳に届いていたが、残念ながら、これまでユニオンに連絡してきた数多くの講師は、同社にとどまって状況を改善するより、やめて別のところに行くことを選んだ。続き

 

Union launched at Peppy Kids Club
While Peppy Kids Club doesn’t have the national profile of some other players in the language industry, they have been on the union’s radar for quite a few years. They are an expanding chain with over 400 native English-speaking teachers and more than 1600 Japanese teachers. They have classrooms all across Japan and almost 100,000 students. Story continues...

来年度のコマ数が心配?ユニオンに連絡を!
主要私立大学が2013年度のカリキュラムや授業の変更を検討するのは、今頃の時期です。ここ2年、ゼネラルユニオンはこれらの大学で非常勤講師の組合員名を通告し、ゼネラルユニオン組合員について、コマ数削減や労働条件改悪を行わないよう要求書を提出してきました。続き



General Union members gear up for third annual 'hands off our koma' campaign
Now is the time of the year when 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. Story continues...



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. One member was stuck in a situation where the employer was unfairly trying to reduce his pay by 20% and put him on a part time contract because he had reached 60 years old.
Story continues



Panasonic Excel members demand job security and pay increases
General Union working at Panasonic Excel have submitted new demands for collective bargaining and hope to begin negotiations in July. Teachers joined the union in 2002 when they had unilaterally been moved from one employer to another inside the then Matsushita group and suffering a massive paycut. The new union branch was able to win back some of the cut wages for a short period but we have never been able to win back the cuts have never been beat and a wage freeze has been in place since.Story continues



Kansai Gaidai teachers form new union
Can you imagine having to reapply for your own job after having completed five years, and when you reapply, you cannot even mention that you are a current employee?

Can you imagine being rehired after five years just to have your pay cut back to first year conditions? Story continues



ECC teachers demand permanent contracts
The importance of the teacher is often overlooked by language school operators. Teachers are viewed as short-term employees, with an unlimited supply. Companies forget that teachers are their main resource.

Whether working as independent contractors at Gaba, or on yearly employment contracts at ECC, or part-time lecturing at universities, teachers industry-wide share similar concerns -- the lack of job security. Story continues



Health and Pension Insurance. So who can't be enrolled?
In the General Union’s opinion, if you are not in one of the below categories, you must be enrolled.

  • sailors 

  • those employed less than two months 

  • those employed at workplaces without fixed addresses 

  • Story continues



ECC typhoon: Not safe for students, but safe for staff?
Classes in the Kinki and Chubu districts were cancelled due to safety concerns for students. However, the safety of staff and teachers in the Kinki district was overlooked. Kinki district teachers and staff were ordered to work as usual, while Chubu district teachers were instructed to stay at home out of concern for their safety.

Union members were far from impressed and decided to survey their co-workers. The survey found that two-thirds of ECC teachers thought that ECC did not care about their safety. Other feedback from teachers and staff was extremely critical of management. Story continues



Letter from America about Peppy Kids
I am no longer an employee of Peppy Kids.  However, it warms my heart that there is such action being taken to create a worker's union. I am an American citizen back in America now, but I still very much love Japan.  I left Peppy Kids club, but I strongly feel that if there was a union in place, me and other people that I know would still be actively employed with Peppy Kids.  As an American, I know that many Americans take for granted the progresses that were made as a result of union interventions in the U.S. workplace throughout history.  Story continues