Some kindergartens are better than others, and there are definitely good ones out there. However, in our experience, many kindergartens in the Kansai & Nagoya areas have problems of some sort or another. Wouldn't you like to be part of improving things?
These are some of the problems we have dealt with at some kindergartens. How does your workplace compare?
- Unjustified firings
- Unwillingness to enroll employees in unemployment insurance
- Unwilling to enroll in , or illegally cut salaries to, Shakai hoken (health & pension as mandated by law)
- Threats of reduced salary when asking to be enrolled in shakai hoken
- Forced or unpaid overtime
- Lack of real breaks
- Lack of preparation time
- Inability to use paid leave as you want (guaranteed by law)
- Half of employee's paid leave being set by the employer (usually illegally)
- Illegal salary deductions for taking sick days
- Money being withheld illegally when resigning
For months now, the General Union has been reporting about the situation at Rainbow International regarding cases of unpaid overtime and paid annual leave.
We last reported that the Labor Standards Office (LSO) was trying to close the case despite Rainbow failing to follow the LSO's order to pay compensation. In fact, for the last three months, the LSO officer in question has been calling our office as much as three times per day to get permission to close the case. Each time we responded with a strong refusal.
The problem was how to get the LSO to actually do their job...
Back in August (2016), we reported that - because of union action - there had been an excellent ruling by the Chuo (Osaka) Labor Standards Office against Rainbow International School over its culture of unpaid overtime. Unfortunately, we may have pressed that "upload to website button" a little too quickly...
The General Union has, in the past, locked horns with Rainbow International School over their culture of unpaid overtime. Indeed, as we wrote in our 2015-2016 union activity report:
"We have dealt with unpaid overtime here in the past and won payment. We are taking up the issue again this year but the person has left Japan and the company may not be so ready to settle. If not, it will be a good opportunity to use the Labor Standards Office and have an official order made.
While many may be aware of the Latin term of "caveat emptor" (meaning "buyer beware"), there is another term that you might not be aware of that is very apt in the context of reading contracts: Caveat Subscriptor - Signer Beware.
Although Japanese business owners are known to treat worker rights with some degree of contempt, it is often the case that foreign owners are even worse. Be it due to ignorance of labor laws, a lack of understanding of the culture, or just a general feeling that they are above the law due to not being Japanese, many of the worse problems that foreign employees face come from other foreigners.
This is one of those cases: beware of World Kinder International School, Takasaki.
Here in the General Union office, we have a short (but often accurate) adage that states: "Beware of any school that has the word "International" anywhere in its name".
Given what we know of Kansai International Academy (inclusive of Kansai International School and Sakura International School), it would appear that our precept is accurate once more. If nothing else, they certainly seem to have a reputation that would qualify them for such a dubious honour.
The GENERAL UNION has received news that an outbreak of "Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease" (HFMD) - a highly contagious intestinal virus that children in particular are at risk from - has been reported at a notable "international school".
Kansai International School/Sakura International School is notorious for its paid holiday system. Now someone has finally done something about it.
After consulting the union, one teacher applied to use her remaining paid holidays when resigning from the company. This is your right. Rather than being intimidated by the company’s refusal to pay and stopping there, the teacher took action.
Having asked their employer to enroll them in health & pension (shakai hoken) and unemployment insurance, teachers became frustrated when No Borders insisted that teachers pay ridiculously high premiums. The premiums were so inflated that we suspect No Borders was attempting to have teachers pay the company's part of the premiums.
Ever wondered what being a union member can do for you?
When a member at Polaris Kindergarten recently quit their job with 1-month notice as stated in their contract, the company objected and refused to pay the outstanding salary. After just a few letters and phone calls, we are happy to report that the member has now received their outstanding monies.