February 26, marked the 15th anniversary of the declaration of the General Union ECC branch. Over the years, the General Union has played a major role in workplace im-provements at ECC. Initial demands in 1996 centered about basic workers’ rights, such as obeying the Labour Standards Law, and the Trade Union Law. For job security, the union demanded a pre-consultation agreement over changes to members’ working conditions. All union members benefit from this pre-consultation agreement. ECC must consult the General Union over major changes to working conditions. The union and ECC also have a grievance procedure. This gives members an avenue for solving individual workplace problems. The union continues to nego-tiate with ECC on a regular basis. Collective bargaining concentrates on overall work-ing conditions and is typically held at least 4 times a year. The union and ECC also have a forum where management and union members discuss a range of ideas to improve ECC. These include things such as lesson preparation, lesson content and even student care. 15 years of union activity has seen continued improvements: the introduction of flexible paid annual leave, unem-ployment insurance, shakai hoken, a toll-free number for sub-teachers and English pay slips. These are just a few examples. The union continues to push for a teacher evaluation sys-tem that is clear and fair, and provides feedback to teachers. Teachers need job security. One year contracts do not provide this. We are currently negotiating for open-ended contracts, and also the chance to become permanent employees.