Tokyo Board of Education snubs Tozen ALTs

We don’t need to respond to you.

The Tokyo Board of Education told Tozen Union they will not meet its ALT union for collective bargaining (CB). They also refused to respond in writing to the union’s request to negotiate.

Tozen Union previously enjoyed productive relationship with the school board, including talks last year. Today, the union dropped by on routine business, filing a request for bargaining and informing management of two new union members.

Two board representatives said they wouldn’t take the document because a change in the law had stripped direct-hire ALTs of their trade union rights. They refused even to put their refusal in writing and tried to force the union to take the documents back.

“We knew about changes in the law but also understood that boards of education across the country still negotiate and sign agreements with labor unions,” said ALT organizer Gerome Rothman. “We were surprised a school board would hide behind an unconstitutional law and treat their employees like strangers.”

The union refused to take the documents back and demanded an official written response by 5pm, next Thursday August 6.

   “Our union has demands to protect the safety of ALTs working at schools during this pandemic. Board officials interrupted me when I explained the demands, saying ‘we don’t have to talk to you.’”

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