Have a question? Check our FAQ
If you can’t find an answer here, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
A union represents the workers and puts their needs and rights first. Although a company often tries to keep its employees happy, the top priority is to shareholders. The union helps to ensure that employees aren't treated unfairly when these interests conflict with each other.
Begunto is an acronym for Berlitz General Union Tokyo. We represent our members in over 40 Language Centers within the Tokyo region.
Before Begunto was established in 1993, instructors in the Tokyo region had no representation in discussions of policy changes and operations at Berlitz. When new policies were created that took advantage of employees, individual instructors had no way to demand changes. So Begunto was created to give instructors a voice in shaping the future of Berlitz.
We give our members a voice; a way to share their opinions with the decision makers at Berlitz. But it doesn't stop there. Begunto also helps share information that often gets locked in a single Langage Center or Unit. We strive to keep our members informed on upcoming changes and news throughout the region. In cases of unfair treatment, Begunto represents members when dealing with management. These are only a few of the many things that we do for our members.
We provide you guidance and advice, then at the appropriate point, if we determine you are being treated unfairly, we step in...
Absolutely! Feel free to ask your shop steward for advice. If you don't know your shop steward or you're Language Center doesn't have one, contact us directly and someone will be sure to respond.
No, you don't. Once you've decided on your contract time with you MI, you never have to move (float) it. If you are worried about confronting your IM about this, ask him/her to email you explaining why your contract is obligated to float and contact us.
You can join the union from your first day of work. You can request an application here.
All members dues are based on their lesson count. For instructors teaching 100 or more lessons a month, the rate is ¥2,500/month. For instructors teaching under 100 lessons a month, the rate is ¥1,500.
Your basic obligation is to pay dues and attend the quarterly meetings (if you can), but of course a union is only as strong as its members' involvement & support of fellow members. Unity is strength. In addition, you may have to put up union postings on the Union board, update the union on conditions at your LC, and talk to non-union members if they need help regarding work rules etc.
If members vote for a mandatory striking, then yes. However, this has never happened in the history of the union. To date, participation in strikes has been optional.
Yes, the next one will cover work done in breaks for the period of February 2015 to August 2016(19 months).
No, you will not get targeted by management for being in the union. Former union members have gone on to hold management positions. If anything, joining the union empowers you, and you become more aware of your rights.
So far that hasn't been a problem for Union members. We have many members who regularly attend CB (collective bargaining ) sessions with management at HQ, and they re-sign their contracts with Berlitz every year.
Joining the union does not cause any detriment to your career at at Berlitz. Several former members have gone on to become MIs or to work at head office.
LMA stands for Labor Management Agreement. It is an agreement reached between the company and Begunto and takes precedence over work rules. The union has signed more than 20 LMAs with management guaranteeing things like CTLs, Happy Mondays, paid LC meetings, grievance policy for union members, and so on.
No, you don’t. You don’t have to sign anything the company gives you if you don’t agree with it. Many members refuse to sign these because they don’t want to lend credence to a system of evaluation which they don’t believe in.
No. Teachers are generally not transferred to other schools unless they request it. The exception is when a LC closes down. Teachers will be transferred to other schools in that case.
Yes, you will have to travel to other schools & to company classes. How often will depend on your base LC location & your contract type. Traveling is generally compensated.
Absolutely. You have complete control over your PL availability & can open it, or block it as you please. The Head of HR is on record saying this in several CB (Collective Bargaining) sessions with the union.
Generally speaking, yes. However, if you work at some central Tokyo schools which have no kids classes (eg. Otemachi, Nihombashi, Yurakucho, Hamammatsucho, etc) then you will not have to teach kids.
Nambu is our Japanese parent union. It refers to the National Union of General Workers Tokyo South. Most of the dues you pay goes to Nambu. In return we get advice, support, access to their lawyers, & use of their facilities, etc.