The General Union has been dealing with consultations and grievances from union and non-union members at many different boards of education regarding pay cuts since the new “KAIKEI NENDO NINYO SHOKUIN” system went into place for direct-hire ALTs.
As part of the new system, bonuses are allowed (but not mandated), so many boards of education have started to pay bonuses in June and December. Great!
Unfortunately, even with bonuses, many people have seen their salaries stay the same as they were before the “KAIKEI NENDO NINYO SHOKUIN” system took effect, and some have even seen their salary reduced…
HOW WOULD A BONUS LEAD TO A PAY CUT?
While some boards of education have given a bonus on top of the yearly salary (thereby increasing wages), others – like Hirakata and Okazaki – decided to simply divide the yearly salary by 14.6 months.
In doing so, people have seen their monthly salary cut, only to have what was cut then later given back to them as a “bonus” of 1.3 month’s worth of salary. In effect, such people have been paying for their own bonuses. The reduction in the gross monthly salary leads to a massive burden on who rely on their salaries to cover their month-to-month living expenses.
ISN’T THE ANNUAL SALARY THE SAME, THOUGH?
Some of our members are actually taking a big cut in pay because they don’t receive the full 1.3 months bonus in June.
As we were told by their board of education, “[members] received their old salaries from January to March, so the June bonus is reduced”. This makes no sense as ALTs are hired from April to March of the following year, and city budgets run from April to March of the following year.
NO BONUS, NO PROBLEM… RIGHT?
That’s what the union has been saying since the start – but the boards of education have an answer to that too.
We were told that bonuses USED TO be paid to non-regular civil servants (including ALTs) in the past, but it was stopped nationally in 2004. Now that it is allowed again, they just reverted to the past system.
That still doesn’t sound like much of a reason, but it gets worse:
Upon further questioning (we asked for the city council minutes discussing when the old system was cancelled) it became clear that, in the past, ALTs never received a bonus at the boards of education that are using this “logic” as an excuse – it was other kinds of non-regular workers who did.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
The union is currently preparing a campaign geared towards city councillors with the hope that if they have this information about ALT pay now, they will have a chance to reconsider their position when it comes time to prepare the 2021 budget.
We want to make this part of a “NEW DEAL FOR ALTS” campaign to win better and fairer working conditions in the hope of improving the lives of union members, and thus improving the quality of education at across the country.
If you’re someone who has been affected by similar salary cuts and flawed logic, feel free to contact the union and tell us about it by submitting a consultation request.