The union entered our September 11th collective bargaining session with a positive attitude: NOVA, after a summer of strikes, had told us that they wanted to build a positive relationship with the union.
However, our hope for reaching an agreement on a number of issues (especially those regarding the pandemic) was deflated almost as soon as the talks began.
We had hoped that NOVA, like other employers in the language industry, would agree to a system to help prevent incidents of coronavirus infection by establishing an information sharing system with the union.
At other language school employers, the union sends a weekly list of issues in the schools which are potentially hazardous in regards to coronavirus prevention.
Basically, the union uses the many eyes of union members to make sure the schools are doing as much as possible to keep teachers, staff, and students, safe.
ECC commented that they were, “not only happy that the union initiated this system, but thankful for the union’s full cooperation.”
Keep reading and see if you can spot the difference between ECC and NOVA’s response to our offer of help…
While collective bargaining and most document exchanges between the union and employers is in Japanese, for this safety check system to be quick and effective, all employers accept the reports sent by their employees through the union in English and this greatly speeds up the system.
Of course, the union accepts the responses in Japanese and passes the information on to members English.
NOVA, in their usual uncooperative manner, stated that it will not accept their own employees’ reports of potential dangers in English if it comes through the union.
However, they will accept it in English if it is direct from the employee!
What in the hell is the difference?
Union members do not go through the employer’s own reporting system because their experience is that the system is unsatisfactory in resolving health and safety issues.
NOVA’s uncooperative attitude was met by one union negotiator with the following rebuttal:
“Next time there is a strike, and you wonder why NOVA is the only language school dealing with strikes during the pandemic, just remember today’s negotiations and your terrible attitude towards your employees and you’ll have your answer.”
While there was some big progress in terms of paid holiday use, NOVA’s attitude in dealing with the pandemic is at best uncooperative and at worst dangerous to the health of employees and students.
We demand that NOVA use the resources offered by the union to help prevent the spread of coronavirus in their schools.
This issue demands the full cooperation of all and NOVA’s uncooperative response to the union leads us to question NOVA’s attitude toward safety.