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November 26, 2004

More Teachers Turning to Unions

In his latest Japan Times article on ELT in Japan, Tony Nichol writes about teachers' involvement with unions. He begins with the question: 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 some of the arbitrary reasons given by schools when firing teachers, according to the National Union of General Workers. The union represents several hundred teachers in and around Tokyo and receives 20 or so e-mails from teachers every day. A recent protest took place outside the main Nova school in Shinjuku, after the school let 5 experienced teachers go, allegedly because of their union activities. But according to an official of a union in the Kansai region, following recent court victories it is the small schools that cause the most problems.
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