The General Union recently concluded negotiations over payment for training, winning a teacher JPY80,000. A Nagano eikaiwa required a teacher to travel from Nagano all the way to Tokyo for multiple days of work training – all without pay!
As you may know, training is work, even if it is not the same as your day-to-day work. It needs to be paid at least according to minimum wage (the Tokyo minimum wage since the training is physically in Tokyo), but can be paid at a higher rate too. In fact, many language schools pay the regular contracted rate during training.
Workers often feel helpless to get their fair pay for work or training, but with a labor union carrying their message with them, things like this tend to get simple, fast. After we contacted the school, they backed down and promised fair pay immediately.
Funnily enough, the school did try to insist they would pay only about half the owed wages a couple weeks later, but a simple word from the union put an end to this second attempt to treat their workers like ignorant volunteers.
Many people think of the union as only dealing with large language schools like NOVA and ECC, but in fact we deal with many smaller schools. Regardless of the size of your workplace, organising a union amongst your coworkers is always a good idea.
If you have questions about training or normal wages, please feel free to request a consultation.