Foreign Teachers’ Concerns Voiced at Diet Hearings

On Friday 15 April, foreign teachers, members of NUGW Tokyo Nambu branch unions, assembled in a boisterous demonstration opposite the Diet building in Tokyo. Union members from Fukuoka, Iwate, Kobe, and Nagoya, as well as over 30 participants from Kanto, were present. “Being here really does make a difference,” said Louis Carlet, Nambu Deputy Secretary-General. … Read more

English schools face huge insurance probe

Bob Tench, president of the Nova Union, says that Nova’s failure to enroll its teachers while offering JMA insurance is irresponsible. “This JMA insurance is only designed to ‘patch you up and ship you home,’ ” he says. “JMA is travel insurance and should not be used for everyday health care. “The government and the … Read more

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 … Read more

Public Hearing at Nagatacho

Foreign University Lecturers and Four Unions Meet Ministry Officials and Lawmakers What was expected to be another lackluster negotiating sessions with junior officials of the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Ministry of Labor and Welfare (MoL/W) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) concerning the problems of foreign university teachers turned out to be the real … Read more

Bic Camera hit for overtime nonpayment

“Bic Camera allegedly failed to pay overtime allowances totaling 127 million yen to some 110 employees at its outlets in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro and Shinjuku districts between December 2003 and last November. Failure to pay overtime is a violation of the Labor Standards Law.” http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20050226a9.htm

Workplace worries

Seven of us who teach at a university in Tokyo would like to start a labor union, but many of us are afraid the university will refuse to renew the contracts of members of the union next April. What should we do? http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fl20041221zg.htm

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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, … Read more