Gaba employment system changing?

November 26, 2011 at 3:56 pm 10 comments

In August I wrote about the take over bid for Gaba from Nichii Gakkan. The TOB has happened and Gaba has been sold by Daiwa to Nichii Gakkan. Kenji Kamiyama, the cost-cutting CEO has done his work and is leaving. Bruce Anderson is taking over from him. In the booth at Gaba everything seems the same.

Or is it? A lot of people have been emailing the jobs advertised on gaijinpot and daijob recently. They are under the Nichii Gakkan name, but they look like they are for Gaba.

First, the Gaijinpot ad, from November 17 2011:

It offers a “negotiable” salary of 265,000 per month, and a contract of one year. Nothing about Gaba’s flexible schedule or a per lesson rate. It offers various locations in Kanto. Duty #1 is “Teaching lesson effectively and offering attractive lesson for the students to come regularly”. This sounds like the Gaba system to me. Duty #5 is “Being loyal and cooperative to the employer.” That is interesting because everything Gaba does usually avoids the word employer and employee, because in their world, instructors are independent contractors with no rights.

Unlike the usual Gaba gyomu itaku (subcontractor) contract, the gaijinpot job listing offers some benefits:

– Transportation fee provided – Health insurance – Contract completion bonus

Work hours: Between 7am and 10pm (total 35 hours a week )

The working hours seem to match Gaba’s opening hours, although Gaba also has a 10pm-10:40 lesson. I wonder why they finish at 10pm? Well, according to the website of the General Union (currently involved in a fight with Gaba that has been going on for years and years) work after 10pm has to be paid at a rate of 135%. Perhaps Nichii Gakkan doesn’t want to pay this rate, so will not offer lessons at that time?

Okay, next is the daijob ad from November 15 2011:

This is for a “Japanese English Instructor”, so it lists a TOEIC score requirement (800 or above), and lists a 40 hour work week. The base salary is 205,000 yen per month. More hours for less money compared to the gaijinpot job listing for foreigners doesn’t seem fair. It lists the employer as Nichii Gakkan, but says the instructor will be a secondee for a subsidiary language company, and lists the recruiting areas as Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama, all areas where Gaba has learning studios.

That all sounds like Gaba, and if that wasn’t enough, there is a picture on the job ad that shows a Japanese woman and white man inside what looks like a Gaba booth. It seems these jobs are advertising for Gaba positions.

So, what does this mean for Gaba instructors? Will we all get recognized as employees now? Will we get to chose between being an itaku with flexibility or a salaried employee with none? Will red lessons get taken from Gaba itaku instructors and given to these direct Nichii Gakkan hires? The company has long refused to pay any kinds of benefits to instructors, claiming that we are contractors, but can they continue that when there are direct hires doing exactly the same job yet classified as employees with benefits?

I don’t know, but Gaijinpot job lists the work start date as January 2012, so I guess we will find out soon enough.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. John  |  November 27, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Gaba’s still advertising for instructors with their own name, so I dunno why this new owner would advertise too.

  • 2. Just another instructor  |  November 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Maybe these jobs are for another of the new owner’s schools? Or maybe for the offsite corporate lessons Gaba does?

    • 3. gabateachersjapan  |  November 28, 2011 at 6:06 am

      It is possible it is for another school I guess but on the daijob site Nichii Gakkan is also advertising for:

      * Native English Instructor

      * Area Manager

      * Counselors

      All of these show the same picture of the Gaba booth, and I think counselor is a Gaba only term. The instructor and counselor jobs both list the Kanto areas that Gaba is in – Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa.

      The only thing that is a bit strange is that the area manager job lists the areas:
      Recruiting areas: Sapporo, Morioka, Sendai, Nagano, Omiya, Funabashi, Yokohama, Shizuoka, Nagoya, Kanazawa, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Kumamoto.

  • 4. Just another instructor  |  November 29, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Maybe they will pay more for the area manager jobs but will expect the person to relocate to a place where Gaba is. Or they are planning to expand?

    • 5. bubbleboy  |  November 29, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      Gaba posted another ad on gaijinpot today for instructors, tey still seem to be hiring.

      • 6. Julie  |  November 29, 2011 at 9:40 pm

        Hard to see what they’re planning but looks like GABA. What are they planning?

        Wonder what they plan for us already working there? I need Shakai hoken. Costing me a fortune through the city.

  • 7. Anonymous  |  November 30, 2011 at 6:53 am

    I heard that the new owner was setting up another school like Gaba but a separate company and the ads are for that.

    • 8. gabateachersjapan  |  December 1, 2011 at 2:06 am

      Interesting. If that is correct I wonder why they are doing that? Wouldn’t that mean they are creating an internal competitor for Gaba, which they just borrowed a huge amount of money to buy?

  • 9. Anonymous  |  December 1, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    I heard the new company will go group lessons, not private lessons.

    • 10. gabateachersjapan  |  December 6, 2011 at 3:36 am

      That makes sense. I really want to get my transportation paid, and hopefully the fact they are paying it for the group lesson Gaba copy means that those of us at Gaba will get it too.


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