A Christmas for Everyone

Christmas is for everyone. It may seem a little early to write about Christmas now, but at this time in 2013 Gaba Corporation were planning last year’s company Christmas party. Unfortunately instructors were not invited, which the union officially protested in negotiations with the company. Consequently, in June the union asked the company to invite instructors this time.


Instructors, managers and counselors work together every day, and in the past it had been the custom to invite instructors. However, for the first company-wide Christmas party since Nichii Gakkan purchased Gaba, this did not happen.

On the day of last year’s Christmas party the last lessons of the day were closed off without the consent or knowledge of instructors. Some instructors even went in to work on the day expecting to work until the regular closing time. Their managers had not informed them otherwise, so they expected Gaba to be open until 8:25pm, so they lost money by turning down other work.

The reason for the early closure was not clearly communicated to instructors. When asked about it, a number of Gaba staff were evasive and acted embarrassed, or even ashamed, by what the company had done. Some staff said that it was wrong not to invite instructors. The union agrees. It was wrong to discriminate against instructors in this way. It was also wrong to not be open about their actions.

Some instructors found out about the party from other instructors, some from the union, some from Gaba Learning Studio staff. Unfortunately, adding insult to injury, it appeared that the company was actually trying to hide the fact that they were even holding a party for staff at all.

The union organised a party for the same date last year, but if Gaba Corporation is going to hold a party this year, we would like them to be open about it and invite everyone who works for Gaba. In June the company replied stating that they have not yet decided if they will hold a Christmas party, and if they decide to do so they will also consider the attendees.

We have also asked that in future if Gaba is going to unilaterally change LS operating hours for a party or for another reason, that they inform instructors of this by the 10th of the previous month. The company has stated that it will “make as much effort as possible” to do so. We sincerely hope that they do.

At the most recent negotiations on Wednesday July 23rd, the GU raised the issue of the company Christmas party. During negotiations Gaba representatives said that while the decision has not been officially made, there most likely will be a party this year.

The union repeated the request that instructors should be invited. Also, regardless of whether the company invites instructors, it should not hide the event from instructors and have the common courtesy to tell us that it is happening. The company representatives agreed and said that it was under discussion at the moment. The union hopes that the company agrees that instructors, managers and other staff should be treated equally, and that Christmas should be a time for everyone.

August 20, 2014

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