Many people have been following our Berlitz story with great interest. The main part of the story is the union's ongoing struggle to make sure that ALL work time, not just teaching time is paid. After many years Berlitz has now made an attempt to cover payment for work between lessons by offering a tiny rate increase while making many clawbacks especially to those on per lesson contracts.
Teachers in many schools face a very similar problem to Berlitz teachers in that they are only paid to teach and receive nothing for preparation and extra bits of important student care, so we know there is a lot of interest in making sure that we are successful at Berlitz.
After our last collective bargaining session on 17 December, Berlitz had still failed to meet the union's demands to pay for all work done and negotiate a new plan with the union as opposed to their current unilateral plan. Berlitz still says that on 18 March all teachers, regardless of their current signed contracts, will be forced to accept new working conditions. They say that they are doing this in consultation with workers and the union, but how can you have honest consultation and negotiation when the company has made a plan, set a date, and will force teachers to change.
Berlitz membership is growing rapidly and members are set to take a strike vote on 4 January to make sure the company knows we're serious.
Our new branch leaders are excited about the recent growth in membership and hope that this along with and a positive strike vote will force Berlitz to negotiate with the union in good faith.
Joe M. (Chair)
As a long term employee at Berlitz I take great interest in the direction of the company and the well being of my colleagues. Being branch chair allows me to represent our members and ensure our voice is heard on an even footing.
Jools C. (Secretary-Treasurer)
I joined the General Union in 2002 and have witnessed some fundamental improvements in working conditions due to persistent union activity. Our union brings change that goes far beyond the workplace and has a direct impact on society. This keeps me focused on our overall long term goals.
Learn how you can join the union at Berlitz, fight for your rights, and protect working conditions of all teachers in the industry by going to www.berlitzunion.generalunion.org.