With the outcome looking bad for Takatsuki City, the Osaka Labor Relations Commission had proposed to Takatsuki City that they settle our Unfair Labor Practices case by agreeing with the union’s proposal to start talks with Toowoomba City to restart the AET program in line with Japanese employment laws.
Yesterday though, on June 17th, 2016, Takatsuki City told the Commission that they were refusing this proposal and that they are ready to wait for the ruling of Osaka Labor Relations Commission. Ridiculous enough, they also told Osaka Labor Relations Commission, “The friendship activities between two cities are going well EXCEPT the AET Ambassador Exchange Program.”
We recently received this email from an ALT with Heart Corporation:
"My manager told me that I must sit and eat with students during their lunch period. I don’t mind as it is part of my job responsibilities but the manager said I have to eat the school lunch. Worse than that, when I checked the company manual, it said that I am not allowed to eat any outside food at all, even in the teachers’ room. Is this legal?"
• Article 6.9 - "Aside from approved ALT-brought lunches, it is not acceptable to chew gum or eat outside food in the school at any time, including the teacher’s room."
On March 17th, 2016, at the District Court in Tokyo, an employee of Berlitz, won a case against the Japan Pension Service for their decision (in 2008) to allow Berlitz to "kick [the employee] off" the Shakai Hoken system after his working hours dropped below thirty hours a week.
Berlitz had used the infamous "29.5 Hour Rule" as justification for their unethical practice, claiming that as the employee fell below the "30 Hour Threshold", he was no longer eligible for Shakai Hoken enrolment.
However, the "30 Hour Threshold" (and any claims that it is "the law") is nothing more than a myth - and the General Union recently proved this in court, once and for all, thus paving the way for cases like this one to finally be considered seriously.
Interested in knowing more about what the General Union is involved in?
Since 2015, we have been producing a report of our main yearly activity. It’s interesting to see the number of workplaces - both big AND small - that we deal with, and the number of people impacted by our work. This current report covers General Union work from June 2015 to May 2016.
In March of this year (2016), sixteen part-time teachers at the Osaka City University (OCU) - located in Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, received new contracts to sign which had, unbeknownst to them, been changed from previous contracts to include a clause stating that THIS contract would be their final employment contract with the university.
Many teachers signed the contract - which was only given to them in Japanese - without realizing that the contract (which was, for all intents and purposes, otherwise identical to previous contracts) had been altered to include the new "final contract" clause.
In addition, the university abstained from verbally informing the teachers of the additional clause, perhaps hoping that they would not notice its inclusion...
November 13, Sunday – Autumn General Meeting
As our union continues to grow steadily, more and more members are unable to attend our general meetings and exercise their voting rights.
Union executive officers in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya met to discuss a resumption of strike action at ECC. It was decided that if no clear offer is made, members will take strike action on 25 June and 2 July.
Following our strike at ECC over a 100 yen per hour pay raise (in which, on April 23rd, 124 strikers in three regions picketed company headquarters), we had a strong reason to believe that ECC management was intending to move towards resolving the dispute.
This is an update which has been sent to all of the Altia Central teachers with whom we are in contact. For the sake of informing as many people as possible (for example, people with Altia Central who may be out of the loop, or others who are considering Altia Cental as an employment option), we think it would be prudent to share this information to the public, too.
Here is what has been happening, and what will likely happen in the coming weeks:
Here is the translation of an official warning sent by the General Union to Sapporo Board of Education over the recent ALT disaster. Please note that this is a rough translation. For a more accurate understanding read the original Japanese here.
In a major victory at Doshisha International Academy, the General Union has been able to overturn five-year contract limits for our members.
As of last April (2016), all of our members received contracts that had no limit on renewals. This had been a major demand of our union.
Seeking motivated individuals to take part in a LGBTQIA+ focus group!
This group will spear head a LGBT resource guide as well as consider further actions the General Union can take to address sexual and gender identity inequality in the workplace!
Why do LGBT protections and support matter?