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Inside the “Voice”  W5 Agreement  Shane English School  Tezukayama University  New Union Branches in SAC  W i n t e r News

from

the

General

Union

Part-time teachers at Osaka Univeristy (Handai) got a shock in October when the university administration unveiled plans at an information meeting to cut the number of part-time teachers in their faculty to zero in three years. The plan would have reduced the number of classes (koma) taught by part-time teachers next year from 915 to 610. It provoked outrage not only from unions representing part-time teachers, but also tenured teachers who saw it as an attempt to gut the foreign language faculty which was originally part of the old Osaka University of Foreign Studies. This was seen to be a breach of the merger agreement between the two universities. Even diet members were involved in questioning the plan. While the plan has since been withdrawn, the administration succeeded in getting the number of koma reduced from 915 to 836 next year and plan to cut further in the next few years. Representatives of the Hijiokin Kumiai (Part-time Teachers' Union) have told the

NUGW Tokyo Nambu Tel: 03-3434-0669 Fax: 03-3433-0334 nugw_ts@jca.apc.org www.nugwnambu.org

(Kansai

&

Tokai),

NUGW

Tokyo

General Union that they believe the University was never serious about the original plan, but were using it as a tactic to railroad the faculty into supporting substantial cuts in the part-time teachers' budget. The General Union submitted demands for no reduction in the number of koma for its members in July. This year none of our members have faced a reduction. We plan to work together with other unions to oppose cuts in the future. Non-union teachers at Handai should seriously consider joining the General Union. The General Union and W5 Staff Services (ALT Dispatcher), have Even though many acollective boards of recently signed education covering (BoE) recognize their agreement* the following. legal obligation to negotiate with the Unionsystem some try escape i)General Grievance – Atosystem their legal duty. Okayama BoE which helps membersCitysolve is one suchproblems place. individual that they may The facing. union submitted demands towill the be The company BoE on three occasions the investigate grievances filed but by the board and continually to accept union report refused back within a negotiations. In theThe course of has our two week period. union investigations it turned with out that the this type of agreement many BoE had underhandedly employers and we findchanged that it the is teachers’ fromway directto hire the most status efficient helpto independent The BoE members withcontractors. their problems. had changed the teachers’ contracts and Insurance tricked them signing ii) - Theintocompany something its obligation they had no confirmed to enroll understandingonof. Tohealth/pension make matters teachers worse, the (shakai new contracts obscured insurance hoken) and the employment status in language unemployment insurance. W5 teachers not currently enrolled General Union – Kansai & Tokaiin unemployment insurance or Tel: 06-6352-9619 Fax: 06-6352-9630 ShakaiTokai Hoken should contact the Tel/Fax: 052-561-8555 union@generalunion.org union for more information. www.generalunion.org

The union looks forward to a

South,

Fukuoka

2 0 1 1

General

Union

The General Union and W5 Staff Services (ALT dispatcher), have recently signed a collective agreement covering the following. Grievance system – A system which helps members solve individual problems that they may be facing. The company will investigate grievances filed by the union and report back within a two week period. The union has this type of agreement with many employers and we find that it is the most efficient (see ‘W5 agreement’ pg. 3) so vague that even native Japanese speakers could not determine the teachers’ status. Fed up with the Board’s attitude, the union decided to lodge an unfair labor practice case with the Osaka Labor Commission. After examining the duties of the teachers, the commission sided with the union and recommended mediation on the basis that in refusing to negotiate, Okayama City BoE would be breaking the Trade Union Law. As part of a settlement brokered by the commission, a labor agreement was signed and the Okayama City BofE issued a formal apology to the union. We hope that this will send a message to other boards of education – fulfill your legal obligations and come to the negotiation table. Fukuoka General Union Tel/Fax: 092-473-1222 fukuoka@generalunion.org www.fukuoka.generalunion.org

N a t i o n a l U n ibetter o n o flabor-management General Workers relationship with W5 and expects e r s w w w . g e n e r a l u n i o n . o r g


National Union Voice National Union Voice

Women's universities have been hit hardest by the fall in the school age population and Kobe Shoin is no exception to this trend. Problems have been made worse by changes in the syllabus by some faculties reducing the number of English classes. Part-time English teachers at the university are facing a major reduction in the number of classes available for next year. As well as reducing the number of classes taught by some long-standing teachers, the University is attempting to let go all four of the teachers who were freshly hired last year. The General Union is not satisfied that the university did in fact need to carry through these kinds of cuts or that the basis on which teachers have been cut is fair and transparent. We are presently negotiating with the university over the cuts.

New branches of the General Union have been formed at Ashiya Gakuen High-School where teachers are fighting to prevent a worsening of their working conditions and Kansai Gaidai were full-time contract teachers have issues regarding contract renewals.

Despite receiving the order from the Labour Standards Office about last year's classes the university has still not amended its contracts and work rules to ensure that teachers are paid at least 60% of their wages for these classes, in line with the Labour Standard's Law. However, the University did agree to pay another General Union member who subsequently has lost a class this year. Teachers at Tezukayama University need to get organised to protect their legal rights.

Over the last few years the Education Ministry (MEXT) has exerted pressure on universities to guarantee a minimum 15 classes in each semester, excluding examinations. This has lead to a number of problems for teachers such as being forced to work on national holidays and a lengthening of the semester with no increase in compensation. In particular this has caused resentment amongst foreign teachers, as the this can mean they have to pay a lot more in air fare to visit their own countries. Kinki University has just informed the General Union that from next year, if teachers are scheduled to supervise an exam as well as teaching the fifteen classes required by the ministry they will now be paid an extra ÂĽ10000 for doing so.

As we have reported previously Nara Labour Standard's Office ordered Tezukayama University to pay a General Union 60% of their wages for a class the university had cancelled due to the low student enrolment in the class. Teachers commit to these classes often months in advance while universities defend their right to cancel the class often paying the teacher only one or two months wages.

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Winter 2011

Conditions at NOVA continue to spiral downwards. From November, NOVA has started cutting teachers’ base salaries and allowances. NOVA has once again taken advantage of contract workers by unfairly targeting teachers whose contracts are up for renewal. Members have been contacting the union in dismay. While the members recognize that business is not booming at Nova, they are not happy. Since the takeover, teachers have been non-renewed, re-hired, removed from shakai hoken, had lessons cut by 25%. Many teachers have left but non-English teachers are left with few options, and semi full-time provides job security for a year at least. NOVA was quick to accept collective bargaining and eager to explain the urgency of the cuts. While NOVA expressed that they were seeking everyone's co-operation, members were quick to point out that the company continues to hire part-timers and give other teachers more lessons. With this in mind, our members could not agree to the cuts. NOVA finally agreed to reassess the situations of the members involved. The members were able to gain some lessons and win back some of their allowance cuts. One thing is very clear, now more than ever NOVA teachers need to organize to protect their conditions. If you’re concerned, contact us at changenova@generalunion.org.


National Union Voice National Union Voice In language schools, high schools, universities – the number of foreign nationals employed in a permanent, or tenured capacity is a small percentage of those working in the education industry. While some do go on to become tenured, or rise to low level management status most, are locked into dead-end limited-term positions, without security, proper benefits or the opportunity to establish a career path. Language Schools, or eikaiwa, are designed not to reward the experienced or trained teacher. There is little encouragement, or incentive, to become qualified or to improve skills. If anything, higher management likes to keep teachers easy to dispose of. Within the university and high school systems, some teachers do go on to establish positions where they are able to enjoy some professional satisfaction, and have the time and funds to involve themselves in professional development. Despite this the majority of positions are not tenured, with many posts being limited to a maximum of three or four years. There is also an underclass of part-timers, hijokin, who must cobble together hours here and there to make a decent salary. Most are left without proper insurances or any security. With a growing number of foreign nationals remaining longer in Japan, establishing families and community links, there is more need than ever for us to demand better working conditions. As the income generator for these companies and schools, we have the right to expect secure jobs, better futures. ECC Foreign Language Institute – a microcosm Union members at ECC have taken up the issue, demanding that ECC

provide opportunities for foreign nationals to access the permanent employment track that Japanese nationals can avail. Negotiations have been going on for a long time. Rather than continuing to pay lip service to the idea of equality, expectations are high that ECC will implement a policy that assures job security, and career development for foreign nationals. Read an opinion piece by one ECC teacher at our website. ECC – call for change. 的な調整、更には瓦解せず団結を 維持した組合の存在を無視出来な くなり、シノブフーズは 2 回目以降 のあっせんで譲歩の姿勢を見せる ようになった。2011 年 10 月、「賃金 額、未払い賃金については、今後、 労使の誠実な交渉により解決を図 る」、「団交は時間内に行う」、「事 前協議制度は施行に向け、労使で 継続協議」、「チェックオフは来年度 早期に実施する」との内容のあっせ ん案に労使双方が合意するに至っ た。 賃金額などについては今後の交渉 に委ねられたが、時間内団交やチ ェックオフなどについて具体的な成 果を得ることができ、合意されたあ っせん案は意義あるものと評価で きる。そして、地道ではあっても団 結を続けることが成果へと結びつ いたことは、組合員を大いに励まし た。これら組合が得た成果は、今後 の組織化の助けになることは間違 いない。 2010 年は先が見えず苦難は大き かったが、2011 年の私たちは違う。 何故なら、「継続は力なり」と実践を もって学んだからだ。私たちは、職 場内での団結を更に強く大きくし、 賃金額などの要求に関して、これ からもシ ノブフー ズと交渉を 続け る。

Winter 2011

way to help members with their problems. Insurance The company confirmed its obligation to enroll teachers on health/pension insurance (shakai hoken) and unemployment insurance. W5 teachers not currently enrolled in unemployment insurance or Shakai Hoken should contact the union for more information. The union looks forward to a better labor-management relationship with W5 and expects that this agreement will lead to problems being solved in a more timely manner. What is a collective agreement? A collective agreement is an agreement between employers and a union which regulates the terms and conditions of union members in a given workplace. Collective agreements supersede individual employment contracts and company working regulations.

The health and well-being of teachers at Shane English schools doesn't appear to be a top priority for management. Teachers don't have shakai hoken (health insurance and pension). Teachers weren't even being provided with the medical checks stipulated under the Industrial Health & Safety Law. Members and the union have taken a stand over their health and their family's well-being by reporting Shane to the Labour Standards Office and the Pension Agency (ongoing). The Kita-Osaka Labour Standards Office has issued Shane with an administrative order to conduct yearly health checks as stipulated in the Industrial Health and Safety Law. Furthermore, when Shane tried to only reimburse up to ¥2000 for the cost of the check-ups the Labour Standards Office took action once more. Union members get advice and support when needed. Isn't it time Page 3 you joined?


冬 2 0 1 1 ・ 1 2 号 ゼ ネ ラ ル ユ ニ オ ン ( 関 西 ・ 東 海 ) 、 全 国 一 般 東 京 南 部 、 福 岡 ゼ ネ ラ ル ユ ニ オ ン

おにぎりをはじめとする食品の製造 するシノブフーズでは、多くの外国 人労働者(フィリピン、ブラジル、ペ ルー、中国など)が派遣で働いてい た。2010 年 3 月 1 日にシノブフーズ は外国人派遣労働者を直接雇用し たが、派遣時代より時給が下がっ た。「直接雇用になったのに時給が 下がるのは不合理だ」との思いか ら、多くのフィリピン人労働者がゼ ネラルユニオンに加入した。 組合は「下がった時給を派遣時代 に戻せ」とシノブフーズに要求した が、同社は組合の要求を 全面拒 絶、交渉はこ う着状態に陥った。 「交渉だけでは要求は実現しない。 要求実現のためにはストライキだ」 との情勢判断で、組合員一人ひとり に「ストライキの意義、権利そして 目的」を説明。組合員多数の賛同

を得てスト権を確立し、ストライキを 背景に、組合はシノブフーズと賃金 額について交渉を続けた。シノブフ ーズは「ストライキは回避して欲し い」と言いつつも、組合の要求に対 し て は 極 め て 低額 の 回 答 しか せ ず、交渉は決裂した。そこで、組合 はストライキに突入しようとしたが、 組合員に動揺が走りストライキを打 つのが困難となった。「ストライキを 背景に交渉した以上、交渉決裂時 には予告通りストライキを決行すべ きだ」との意見もあったが、無理に ストライキを決行することにより組 織の弱体化や今後の組織化への 悪影響を回避すべきと思い至り、組 合はストライキを延期しシノブフー ズとは交渉を続けることとした。 シノブフーズは組合との交渉は打 ち切らなかったが、交渉は進展しな

語学派遣大手「W5」社も、法順守 でゼネラルユニオンと労働協約。 業務委託によらず直接雇用化。社 会雇用保険加入。労使苦情処理制 開始東海を中心に各教委にALT講 師を派遣している全国大手のW5 【ダブリュファイブ・スタッフサービ ス】は、派遣法や労使ルールの問 題でゼネラルユニオンと合意に達し、6 月5日に労働協約を締結した。 合意内容は、「業務委託等には関 与せず、派遣法。職安法を遵守す

る」「派遣期間の上限や直接雇用 義務の徹底」「社会保険・雇用保険 加入の再確認」「ゼネラルユニオンとの 事前協議制」などとなっている。 中央労働委員会の和解勧告によっ て、最大手のインタラック社とも、 「社会保険加入」などの和解合意が できたこともあり、今回のW5社とあ わせて、ゼネラルユニオンと業界全体と の、ALT労働条件基準アップにつ ながると期待されている。

かった。そして、組合を脱退する組 合員が現れ組合員数は漸減し、職 場で組合の影響力を増やせなかっ た。こうして、組合が具体的な成果 を 勝ち取るこ とが出来ないまま 、 2010 年は暮れていった。 組合活動は長い逆境期にあった が、踏みとどまった組合員は職場 内で地道に活動を続け、新規加入 者を迎えるなど団結を維持した。賃 金額の交渉は 1 年を超えたが進展 しなかったが、苦難にあっても団結 を維持した組合員の奮闘を無にし ない為、情勢の打開は不可欠であ った。そこで、2011 年 6 月に組合は 「賃金額、未払い賃金、労働契約の 更新にかかる事前協議制度、チェ ックオフ、そして時間内団交」など 合計 9 項目に及ぶ調整事項のあっ せんを、大阪府労委へ申請した。 府労委事務局は多岐にわたる調整 事項に苦労したようだが、彼らの努 力もあり、シノブフーズはあっせん に応じると回答し、交渉の舞台は府 労委へと移された。 当初、シノブフーズはあっせんの場 でも強硬な姿勢であった。しかしな がら、あっせん員や事務局の精力

全 国 一 般 全 国 協 議 会 w w w . g e n e r a l u n i o n . o r g


2011 03 (winter)