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Not being paid for overtime - need help

 
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think_balance



Joined: 02 Jul 2008
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:05 pm    Post subject: Not being paid for overtime - need help Reply with quote

I work at a university in the Chugoku region. I've been made to work hundreds of hours of overtime. I am rarely compensated for it. If I am, it is usually a fraction of what I am owed. For instance, in February, I worked over 100 hours of overtime but was only given four days off and 10000 yen in compensation. Most of the time we are simply required to stay late or work weekends with no additional compensation.

Further our course load is unbearable. We teach 12 90-minute classes a week - some teach as many as 16 classes. And our class sizes are often 40 or more students.

When I spoke to my department head about this, he literally told me I had "no [email protected] right to complain".

I've reached out to General Union, but it's been three weeks and I haven't heard a response. I also reached out to whomever runs the university blacklist site but he or she never replied.

What are my options? Is there a Union in my region?
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1477
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The union closest to you is in Osaka or Fukuoka. Which one do you belong to?
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think_balance



Joined: 02 Jul 2008
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neither.

I reached out to the General Union in Osaka and asked what my rights were but no one replied. Their site specifically said not to join until speaking with the about one's situation.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1477
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No need to be coy. Where are you?
Go to the Labor Standards Office in your prefecture.
Bring a Japanese to translate, if needed.

Look at www.generalunion.org/contact

Choose either Fukuoka or Osaka, send the e-mail to set up the contact.
I think you need to be interviewed before joining.

Before I joined the union in Tokyo, I had the interview in person.

Thing is, the union doesn't like it when non-members seek help, but they would like you to join.
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The Transformer



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew teachers at a school several years ago who had a similar problem and went to the Labor Standards Office about it (in Tokyo). The LSO told them that any work you do over and above what is laid out in your contract HAS to be remunerated, by law. They advised them to write down any additional work they did beyond what the contract required (by the half-hour IIRC) and claim for it from the employer at the end of each month.

The teachers then told the CEO of the school what kind of duties they would claim extra for each month, that weren't laid out in the contract: things like marking, counselling students, setting tests, writing end-of-session reports and gradings (the contract only set out teaching hours). The CEO was then forced to draw up a system of additional payments for these duties.

Try contacting your nearest LSO about it. The one in Tokyo is good, but I've heard that they're not so good in other regions. If other teachers are in the same predicament, discuss it with them and consider doing en masse what the teachers above did. I'd advise discussing it with the LSO first though, to be absolutely sure of what you're doing. Some of my information may be wrong or out-of-date.
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 1997
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP- do you actually sign in at the school digitally? If not, how do you prove you are doing all this work?

The OPs job sounds like an absolutely normal university contract instructor position- the type of thing that doesn't require publication output (usually requires a related MA plus three publications to get, maybe not even the publications). "Stay late" or "work on the weekends" sounds like the OP isn't actually teaching class or doing official PR types of things, but is marking or doing prep for classes (if it is: come up with ways of working smarter, not harder). Not getting overtime for that type of thing is completely normal. Over 100 hours during February sounds to me like "was asked to make up a course". Again, totally normal.

Sorry, but it doesn't really sound abnormal... at all. I guess that doesn't really make it right, though. But if the OP went to another university, they would likely find a very similar type of thing. And if universities were forced to to pay for that type of thing, they'd probably just start filling the position with part-timers to save money.
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Maitoshi



Joined: 04 May 2014
Posts: 712
Location: 何処でも

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 100 hours got the OP some extra compensation, though, right? So it was likely writing exams as part of the exam committee, no? Most don't get extra for course creation, as far as I'm aware. If so, I'm due some serious remuneration!
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Maitoshi



Joined: 04 May 2014
Posts: 712
Location: 何処でも

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that said 100,000 yen. 10,000 seems low for exam work. What was that for?
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1477
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It happens. I talked to a Kanagawa university teacher today.
He said that he had eight koma but the committee work kept him busy.
Only Saturday is a free day.
Lesson planning and the academic writing and TOEFL class keep him busy.

Schools are trying to save money so they burn out the full-timers.
If they quit they are replaced.

I had thought of moving to full-time work but 13 koma a week seems like a lot.
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The Transformer



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is 12 90-minute koma a week really a lot for a university job?

I did ALT work and junior high school teachers were working around 20 or more 50-minute classes a week, elementary school teachers even more than that, and that was excluding things like homeroom and club activities. Some teachers would stay in school well into the evening.

A friend of mine works at a private uni, and he works 9 2-hour classes a week IIRC, plus they have to be available for a conversation lounge one afternoon a week.

18 hours of teaching time a week seems fairly standard, with other duties on top.
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 782

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

12 koma for a full-timer is acceptable. 16 is high but he said some teachers are doing that and it might be to fill a hole. The contract should say what the maximum teaching load is supposed to be.

We need to establish what overtime actually means. Did the OP go in and teach classes at night or at the weekend? Was he just marking and doing prep for his classes? Meetings are part of your job as a full-timer as is setting up a resource centre or library - whatever your department wants you to do basically.

In my mind, if you are teaching 12 koma and it is the maximum teaching load then any other classes that you teach can be classed as overtime. Going in at the weekend or in the evenings for meetings, admin, or prep wouldn't be classed as overtime for me.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1477
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a lot. When I had 11 koma I got paid extra.
Where I work now, 11 was the most teachers had, and it was in the spring. For the fall it was nine. Now 12 to 13 is normal at no extra pay. That work used to be done by part-timers.
The university just cares about money.

I know teachers who only have 8 koma but the other work adds up. That means their committee or any other duties. That is the really onerous work.
Some meetings can go into the evening.
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kzjohn



Joined: 30 Apr 2014
Posts: 232

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:00 am    Post subject: Re: Not being paid for overtime - need help Reply with quote

think_balance wrote:
...
We teach 12 90-minute classes a week - some teach as many as 16 classes.
...


I'm not sure how anyone can do that, more than a term or two anyway.

I'm still counting my blessings: six a week. My wife at a different school sometimes has less. (Mine usually 90min, but if in the pharmacy dept it was 70--still counted as one koma.)
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