English on the Cheap

Dispatch companies employ teachers, so while they have an employer-employee relationship, the BOE (school) holds no legal relationship with the teacher. And while all workers in a school must be under the authority of the principal, in this situation, they are not. Also, if your company designates a method of teaching, but your team teacher tells you to do it another way, you could be in a position where you have to act against orders. This scenario has lead to dismissals through no real fault of the teacher. The Ministry of Education has sent a directive to all local governments telling them to stop this sub-contracting.

http://www.fukuoka-now.com/features/article_display.php?fn_code=442452

Right side of the law

I am an Assistant Language Teacher at a middle school outside of Tokyo. My employer is a large dispatch company, but I’m not sure if it has a dispatch license.

My manager told me the company has a “gyomu-itaku” or “entrusted service contract” with the local school board. One thing confusing me is whether I am under the authority of my employer, the middle school or both.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fl20041214zg.htm

Foreign English teachers call for fair treatment

About 40 foreign English teachers urged the government Friday to take steps to eradicate the serious problems they face on the job, including low wages and sudden dismissal.

Kazuo Inoue, one of the three DPJ lawmakers present, said Japan needs to immediately improve foreigners’ working conditions and protect their rights.

Louis Carlet, a deputy secretary general of the National Union of General Workers, Tokyo South, said in the meeting that the economic slowdown in recent years has adversely affected working conditions for non-Japanese English teachers at private language schools, public schools and universities.

“Job security for foreign teachers is virtually nonexistent today in Japan,” he said, noting that some people had been denied membership in their employers’ social security programs and had been fired for trivial reasons.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20041204a5.htm

Class action

What would you do if you were sacked for “clicking your pen too much in class,” or for “talking to yourself during your break” . . . or how about for “only eating the topping on your rice during lunch?”
These are all actual reasons given for showing English teachers the door, says Louis Carlet, who works for a union representing several hundred language teachers in the Tokyo area.

“The biggest problem for foreign teachers is arbitrary dismissal . . . complete disregard for and flagrant violation of the labor laws.”

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fl20041123zg.htm

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Japan mulls multicultural dawn

Mr Nakatani is worried because Japanese are living longer, yet having fewer children. The result is a shrinking workforce which threatens economic growth.

In recognition, the government is thinking of loosening its restrictive immigration policy.

But any changes may come as a shock to a nation where registered foreigners make up just over 1% of its population.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3708098.stm

‘No sex please, you’re teachers’

According to the language school chain’s instructor contract, foreign employees are forbidden to “participate in any interaction with the clients of the employer outside the place of employment.” In theory, insist Nova instructors, they are under threat of the sack for so much as a chance encounter with any of the company’s 450,000 students.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fl20040601zg.htm

McEnglish for the masses

“The largest eikaiwa school has a staff turnover of 70 percent a year,” says Dennis Tesolat, vice-chair of the General Union, which represents hundreds of teachers in Japan.

“They have guys whose job is it to go to the airports just to pick up new teachers. And that’s because the teachers have a grueling schedule of eight lessons a day, with a 10-minute break between each. It’s worse than a factory.”

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fl20040224zg.htm

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