The Interac Union – Zenkoku Ippan Tokyo General Union Tozen ALTs


August 31, 2009

Stop Illegal Dispatching in Tokyo/Kanto!

Recently in the news, an NihonTerebi (Channel 4 in the Tokyo area) story focused on trials that a lot of ALTs face, focusing on the fact that not only are these creating a less than optimal working enviornment for foreign teachers but also that many of the contracts are Illegal.
Illegal Contracts

The reporters that researched the story surveyed the greater Tokyo/Kanto area to see which Boards of Education (BOEs) were using dispatch contracts that are considered legal, and which BOEs were using illegal contracts. A graphic supplied during the report showed that a large swath of the Tokyo area was highlighted in red, the color used to indicate a BOE that is currently using an illegal contract.

Continue reading to see the videos:

What does this mean?
There are a few ways to hire ALTs in public schools, the main differences among the methods are the amount of responsibility that BOEs have to accept for their ALTs.
1) Direct Hire (直接雇用-ちょくせつこよう)
Legal to use in public schools.
This is fairly self explanatory. The BOE hires you, and makes sure that you have a full array of insurances (unemployment insurance [失業保険 しつぎょうほけん], National Health and Pension [社会保険 しゃかいほけん]), year round employment, guaranteed paid sickdays/年金 ねんきん.

2) Dispatch (派遣-はけん)
Legal to use in public schools.
Your are employed by the dispatch company but you receive your orders from your BOE and the teachers that you collaborate with.  You have more rights under the law, but not as many as would be afforded to you if you were directly employed.

3) Gyomu Itaku (業務委託  - ぎょうむいたく) or Ukeoi (請負  -(うけおい)
Illegal to use in public schools.
The dispatch company is your boss, and  you are not allowed to receive orders from the school in which you teach; you are only allowed to receive orders from the dispatch company.  Not only is this illegal, it is impractical. All ALTs know that it is impossible to teach in a class with Japanese teachers and not be guided by their wishes when collaborating with them.
This is most often used by BOEs that want to abdicate responsibilty of the ALTs to outside sources. Dispatch companies also use this to avoid paying into the insurance system, and giving you nenkyuu both of which a normal employee would be afforded under the law.

How does this affect me?
Given the fact that such a large number of BOEs are abusing the system, there is a large chance that the contract you are working under is illegal and therefore, by law, invalid. If you want to take control of your own employment situation, this fact alone can give you a lot of leverage.

If you would like to help change Interac and the education system for the better, please join our struggle, not only for the current ALTs in Japan, but for the future ALTs as well.

Here are copies of the video for you to watch for  yourself.  If you would like an English translated version, Japan Probe did a great job of translating here.


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