not published – Bringing change for ALTs

Feb 12, 2010

The General Union has believed this since 19xx when we first began lobbying the government for direct more direct hire positions.

Lobbying and negotiations has began to show direct results. In 2009 the Ministry of Education sought guidance from the Ministry of Labor. Given the nature of ALT duties, the Ministry of Labor advised that it was illegal for ALTs to be employed under the “gyomu itaku” system. Then in September, 2009 the Ministry of Education issued a directive to all Boards of Education to cease “gyomu itaku” and that direct hire was the best option.

Why “gyomu itaku” is illegal.

Education Law states that the school curriculum must be under the control of the principal. It is also important that the Japanese teacher be involved in discipline, lesson planning and translating where necessary.

“Gyomu itaku” sends the ALT to the school but to be in compliance with the workers law the teacher must remain under the control of the sending company (ex Interac) at all times. The Japanese teacher or principal is not allowed to give any direction to the ALT at all. They cannot say what text book to use, or tell the ALT a lesson is too difficult or easy, or tell the ALT that a class is suddenly, or even more ridiculously, to even stop hitting a student.


While compliance with the Ministry’s directive is slow, we are seeing a number of BoEs moving to direct from the 2010 academic year. Talks continue with the government to see the law enforced, and we are also targetting specific Boards of Education.

Please contact the union to discuss how we can win direct hire at your Booard of Education.

Boards changing to direct hire

April 2007 Kurashiki, Okayama BoE already had a direct hire program in place but had hired 6 teachers under illegal gyomu itaku. With union action we were able to win the direct employment of members and stop gyomu itaku.
April 2010 Toyohashi, Aichi Illegally dispatched teachers are taken on directly after the union submits demands, following the issue of the Ministry of Education directive to stop gyomu itaku.
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