A friend came across this "worksheet" floating around on the on the Internet, followed by praise for how "amazing" the worksheet was, and claims about its effectiveness at teaching certain concepts.
At first, we had a good old incredulous laugh about it - but then I started thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know).
Now, I don't want to embarrass the creator of the worksheet publicly, so I'm not going to link to the original site that it came from.
The person is working in Japan as a teacher in some capacity, and they obviously care enough about the job as their website has been designed for students to review class work and for out-of-school practice.
This worksheet, though...
As you might imagine, the General Union tends to receive a lot of email enquiries from members and non-members alike.
As many of the replies that we give contain information that's useful for everyone, we thought you might be interested in this e-mail about shakai hoken enrolment, as well as our reply.
Dear General Union,
I'm a teacher in Osaka who is currently enrolled in the Kokumin Kenko Hoken system. I'm interested in getting Shakai Hoken because I've just got married and my wife earns less than one million yen per year.
My question is this...
This bulletin contains information on law changes that have either passed, or are being discussed, in parliament, court decisions, and other labor issues in Japan.
We hope that some of this information will also be of interest to activists, supporters of the General Union, and those who want to know more about labor issues in Japan.
Are RENGO And The Japanese Government Sending More People To Their Death With New Overtime Law Proposals?
At first glance, the title of this article may seem sensationalist; but when you look at the new overtime law proposals that have been cooked up between the government, the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), and RENGO (Japan’s most pro-company union federation) you have to wonder if such a claim is really all that hyperbolic.
Like so many laws that aim to “improve” things for workers, these proposals would codify levels of overtime that are already known to cause serious health problems and - in many cases - death.
Current overtime rules state that overtime must be limited to:
- 5 hours per day
- 45 hours per month
- 360 hours per year
Last year we were approached by teachers at Hokkaido International School looking to unionize. Given that the company is located in Sapporo, and we could not legally enforce collective bargaining in Osaka, we decided it was best to find a local union.
Sapporo General Union (unrelated to General Union) does not actively seek foreign members but when we approached them they decided to take up HIS. It helped that there were potential members fluent in Japanese.
Our current union campaign is “Let’s PARiTY” and we're working on making sure all one year contract employees, staff and teachers, Japanese and foreign, have equal rights at ECC.
Joining lets you be involved in spreading fairness at ECC, and making sure that no one is cheated in their work.
PARiTY also means that we want the same rights to holidays, bonuses, and employment security that other “non-one-year-contract” workers at ECC enjoy.
As you probably know, General Union members are suing Nova over the issue of Independent Contracts. These contracts rob instructors of paid leave, unemployment insurance, health & pension, and even workers accident compensation, amongst other things.
Previously, we had submitted evidence of how Nova controls Independent Contractors despite the company claiming that they do not have any control.
Included in a long list of evidence was the case of Nova transferring one teacher to another school without his consent. In another situation, one teacher had finished his shift and was leaving the school when a staff member came running and grabbing him, insisting that he teach another video lesson.
In many companies and industries across Japan, contracts with wording such as "expires with fiscal year 2017” are quickly being penned with the aim of denying limited-term workers the chance to switch to unlimited-term employment in the spring of 2018.
What our long experience with these matters has taught is that more than a few employers will happily ignore even the law - let alone ethics or common sense - in order to secure and expand their own profits.
This is why, by depending simply on the "good faith" of management, it is extremely difficult for workers to get even what is guaranteed by law.
As you might have heard, there has recently been a reduction in eligibility requirements for shakai hoken (Employee Health and Pension Insurance; EHPI) and shigaku kyosai (private school health and pension insurance). Now, in workplaces with over 500 enrollees, you can be enrolled with just twenty hours of work per week with one employer.
While many part-timers are pleased with this change, some part-timers who, for many years, had to make alternate arrangements are wondering whether this change really benefits them.
Unexpectedly, this has gotten to the point where we are now getting questions about ways to reduce working hours in order to avoid being enrolled...
Some people may still be unaware, but in April of 2013 the Labor Contract Law changed so that “when, under repeated limited-term contracts, the total period of employment exceeds five years, the limited-term contract can be converted to an unlimited one upon the worker’s request”. In other words, workers who have been employed under multiple limited-term contracts for a total period of over five years as of April 1, 2018, will become unlimited-term employees if they make a request to their company. (Please note this increases to ten years for some university positions that involve research.)
Over the years, the General Union has played host to a handful of "OP-ED" articles written by members and non-members alike. For example, one of our most recent opinion articles - "The Myth of Low Cost Dispatching" - garnered quite a lot of attention on both Facebook and our website.