As all English teachers know, BE 5-8 can be extremely difficult to teach, and sometimes next to impossible if you don’t happen to have an MBA , MEd, or both. In spite of this, management has so far been allowing teachers in some LC’s to go into classrooms with no chance of looking over the material beforehand, with the result that students, instead of receiving a well-prepared, professional lesson, get to sit by while the teacher basically trains himself/herself to use the material.
The union brought this to the attention of management, and demanded that teachers be paid for the time necessary to prepare for lessons. Management at first expressed reluctance, claiming that Berlitz has traditionally paid prep time only for actual physical preparation – making photocopies for TOEIC classes, or collecting cards for kids’ classes, etc. – and that preparation such as reading the manual was considered “familiarization” with the text, and had never been paid. The union doesn’t particularly care what it is called – preparation, familiarization, whatever – but, if it means that the employee is spending time looking at a BE text instead of relaxing with a cup of coffee/having a smoke/reading the latest union update, it is WORK and must be paid. Management conceded that the matter of preparation needed to be reconsidered, and has promised a response this week. We look forward to a solution to this problem which has already gone on too long.