Demands submitted to Nova for Collective Bargaining

Nov 19, 2014


Short term:

  • Adequate staff areas and computers for instructor use
  • An end to the requirement of commuting receipts
  • Paid leave for typhoon closures, New Years, Golden Week, and Obon
  • An end to ‘Independent Contractor’ contracts
  • Clear working regulations for everyone to see
  • Established guidelines and support for cases of harassment

Long term:

  • Livable wages
  • Enrollment option for all employees in Social Insurance (health & pension)
  • Compensation for time between lessons
  • Adequate training, support, and career development

The General Union Nova Branch aims to achieve a number of goals on behalf of all instructors at Nova.

Instructor areas at many school are abysmal, offering little to no privacy, and for keeping records instructors are forced to share a small number of computers that are often not in working order. We want to make sure everyone has access to adequate facilities.

The requirement that all employees must submit receipts for train and bus fare is onerous and betrays a lack of basic trust on the part of the company.

If schools are closed, instructors must be given paid leave. It is unfair to force employees to use personal paid holidays for scheduling decisions made by management.

The ‘Independent Contractor’ agreements being fielded in certain areas are a deception designed to reduce company payroll expenses and take away all basic protections and job security.

All employees deserve access to the legally registered company working regulations.

No one should be forced to bear threatening or uncomfortable situations. We plan to make sure the company quickly and adequately responds to incidents of stalking or sexual harassment, and makes clear the resources available for dealing with them.

Living expenses continue to rise while salaries and working hours are reduced. We aim to push back against this trend and make sure everyone earns enough to live. In addition, the company seems to take the view that Social Insurance is a privilege reserved for a chosen few, leaving the vast majority of us to shoulder the prohibitive costs of National Health Insurance and Pension out of our own pockets. Everyone deserves health coverage and pension, and should not be forced to choose between paying for them or making the rent.

With regards to pay and benefits, the contract stipulation that 6-8 minutes between lessons is outside of working time is an obvious trick to keep instructors out of Social Insurance eligibility, as it is impractical. Instructors have to fill out records, prepare for lessons, give feedback about students to staff, do demo lessons and student evaluations. Everyone deserves to be paid for that. 

A lot of money is spent to slick-looking textbooks and marketing materials, but training for instructors is vague, patchwork, and done primarily in 40-minute sessions over the company’s videoconferencing system. All employees have careers that they want to develop, and the company should make honestly invest in them.