Are Fukuoka City ALTs Disposable?

Mar 7, 2024 ,

On 5 March, the General Union in Fukuoka submitted a “petition” directly to the Fukuoka City Board of Education urging them to employ ALTs directly.

In Fukuoka City, ALTs, are dispatched by staffing agencies to serve as foreign English instructors in Fukuoka City’s elementary and junior high schools. Currently, there are 98 individuals working as dispatched ALTs.

These 98 individuals have been working in Fukuoka City’s elementary and junior high schools for the past three years. They have become accustomed to their roles, formed bonds with the children, and witnessed their growth. However, after April, all 98 of them face the possibility of losing their jobs as English instructors.

Fukuoka City selects which staffing agency will dispatch ALTs through a bidding process known as the “Proposal Competition for Dispatching Native Speakers (Foreign English Instruction Teachers),” conducted every three years.

This year marks the end of the three year period and the beginning of new bidding. It was announced on February 6th, and the application deadline was 5 March and the results will be disclosed on 22 March.

In essence, depending on the outcome of the bidding process, the current dispatched ALTs face the possibility of being notified on 22 March that they will have no work starting 1 Needless to say, losing a job one week before 1 April makes finding new employment extremely challenging.

We cannot ignore the current plight of ALTs, who are living in uncertainty, and having their desire to continue working undermined by the bidding system.

Unfortunately, the situation faced by ALTs in Fukuoka City is largely unknown. The General Union aims to raise awareness of this reality. Secondly, we seek to protest against Fukuoka City’s approach of treating ALTs not as “people” but as mere commodities. Most importantly, we aspire to stand by ALTs, listen to their voices, and together, build a harmonious society standing side by side.

For further details, please see the petition we delivered to the Fukuoka City Board of Education.