Japan’s largest language school chain, Nova, the largest company employing foreigners, now has more than 4,000 engrish teachers that are unpaid and begging for a new job.
Teachers left jobless as Nova folds
The Guardian by Justin McCurry, Sunday, Oct 28, 2007
…unable to pay thousands of its teachers, some of whom also face eviction because Nova failed to pay their rent, which is deducted from their salaries…
Katsuji Yamahara, chairman of the General Union, which represents many Nova employees
Nova’s 2,000 Japanese staff have not been paid since July and about 4,000 foreign instructors have not been paid since September….
The smartest thing if you are screwed by NOVA, is leave Japan now, the sooner the better.
It seems that getting unpaid salaries from the Japanese bankruptcy courts can take, “six months or more” according the chairman of the General Union.
So if you are thinking of coming to Japan to teach English, DON’T.
For the next year, teaching in Japan is going to be a mess so it is NOT the time to come to Japan looking for your first job. From what I hear for my friends who own English schools, ex-NOVA teachers are swamping the other schools with job applications. In typically slimy fashion for Japan’s super sleazy engrish industry, the other big chains have begun laying off their teachers and replacing them with ex-Nova teachers at much lower salaries (which were some of the lowest already). Read Dead NOVA bunny.
ANYWAY…here are bunch of useful contacts offered by the British Embassy of Tokyo.
Try the General Union of Japan, a labor union that has a website for screwed NOVA employees atwww.generalunion.org/nova .
Read the sage advice at keepingpaceinjapan.com’s, NOVA: How it had to End as well as the overview of what-to-do from the Japan Times, Sept. 25, 2007.
In addition, if you’re from Tokyo, you might try crying at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Consultation Service for Foreigners on 03-5320-7744 –Advice in English Monday to Friday, 9:30am – 12:00 noon and 1:30pm – 5pm.
For employment and advice for job problems, try the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Labor Advisory Service Center for Foreigners: 03-5211-2346 –Advice in English from 2:00pm to 4:00pm Monday to Friday.
In the Osaka and Kobe areas consult the following services offered in English.
Osaka Labor Bureau, Consulting Corner for Foreign Laborers
Osaka Godo Chosha Nigokan Inspection Division of Labor Standard Dept.
4-1067 Otemae, Chuo Ku, Osaka. Tel. (06) 6949-6490
Consultation in English 9.00-17.00 Monday and Wednesday
Kobe Labor Standards Bureau, Consulting Corner for Foreign Laborers
Tel. (078) 367-9151
Consultation in English 10.00-16.00 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
Osaka General Union, Telephone Labor Clinic
Tel. (06) 4793-0633
Consultation in English Daily 10.00-18.00
Many city offices across Japan have foreign residents’ consultation services so check to see what services they have available.
Foreigners in Japan sometimes can be eligible for unemployment benefits–especially if you have worked full-time at a job for more than one year. It’s all very complex and depends on the type of employment insurance the employee holds, as well as how long they have been working, and under what circumstances they ended their employment. You can check whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits by consulting your local so-called “Hello Work Office” — cheerful name for the Unemployment Bureau, ain’t it?
For Hello Work Offices offering foreign language assistance, try here.
Aussie teachers stranded |
The Australian, 27 Oct—About 4000 foreign instructors, mostly young graduates hired in Australia, Britain and New Zealand, face an anxious wait of six months or more before they can get financial protection from unemployment insurance and Japanese government compensation.
“Basically, there’s no welfare services for people in Japan and especially not for foreigners,” said Tristan Sime, an Australian former Nova teacher who chairs the Nova branch of the General Union.
“People are going to have to rely upon the kindness of strangers for any support and helping each other — it’s going to be awful for some.”
Some teachers are in debt to Japanese finance companies and many are living in Nova-leased apartments on which the company has failed to keep up rent payments.
Even those with money to get home will struggle. Economy-class seats to Australia in November are tight and there are almost none left in December.
Qantas has offered Australian Nova employees discounted one-way fares for a limited time.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade last night said “traveller emergency loans” could be extended to some teachers, depending on circumstances.
Mr Sime said the Australian embassy in Tokyo had offered support of $150 each: “It’s something but it’s not going to be enough for everybody.”