Why on draft? Gaba – Coming after your pay, coming after your job

Feb 1, 2010

In addition to the large amount of unbucklings (threats of a pay cut) and debeltings (actual pay cuts) over the last year, Bruce Anderson, Executive Officer, announced that Gaba has introduced caps on the Belt C and D groups. Across the whole company, which employs over 800 instructors, Gaba announced on their intranet that they will limit D1 and D2 instructors to 15 each. They also included information that as of January 10th 2010, there were 20 D2 instructors and 19 D1 instructors. For C1 and C2 instructors the caps will be 30 each. The numbers as of January 10th were 38 for both. It would seem obvious that further debeltings are inevitable, and any realistic expectations of people being belted are now gone. Any sort of security that gaining a belt once had is now also gone. Gaba will introduce a new “A2” cap belt from May this year, which will pay 1600 yen per peak-lesson. It is to be hoped that as many instructors as possible get this, but it seems to be funded by limiting the upper belts, and preventing the vast majority of instructors from ever gaining a desirable rate of pay. In addition, Gaba has announced that it will be doing an overseas recruiting session in Melbourne, Australia. It is to be expected that any instructors hired there will be A-belt instructors, paid the lowest per lesson rate of 1500 yen. Given the changes that have been made to the belting system, they will find it quite difficult to ever earn significantly more than that. It goes without saying that instructors on the A belt are cheaper than those on higher belts. Hiring people offshore, who are not familiar with the situation in Japan, to replace the older and more expensive staff would seem to be a good move from Gaba’s point of view. For instructors, however, it is a very different matter.