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GEOS FAQ

In response to its customers not getting enough information about their lessons in the aftermath of GEOS' bankruptcy, GEOS has posted a brief FAQ [PDF] dated April 24 in an attempt to explain things. Here's a quick summary.

Will I still be able to take lessons?

Yes, but they will be provided by G.education. Students affected by school closures will be able to take lessons at a Nova school nearest you, but note that under Nova's system, you may be subject to extra fees. If your school is not on the list of schools to be closed, you can continue taking your lessons as usual at no extra charge.

What do I have to do in order to take lessons at g.education?

Fill out and submit the paperwork at any GEOS school (not slated for closure). If you intend on studying at g.education, g.education will ask that you sign a waiver regarding refunds. We understand that individuals who decide not to continue taking lessons may find it unfair that those who continue may receive refunds (see the following question for more details).

What happens to the lesson fees that I haven't used yet? Can I get a refund if I don't want to continue taking lessons?

If you do not intend to continue taking lessons at g.education, you will have to fill out a claim for a refund, but at this point in time it is unclear whether refunds will be forthcoming or not. Individuals who do not intend to continue taking lessons at g.education do have a claim to refunds for the unused portion of lesson fees already paid. However, as GEOS has started the bankruptcy process, it is not clear whether refunds will be forthcoming or if they are, when they will be available.

I want to know which schools will stay open and which will be closed.

  • A list of schools that will remain open can be found here [PDF].
  • A list of schools that will be closed can be found here [PDF].

When will lessons re-start?

You will be able to take lessons from Friday, April 24. Please see this file [PDF] to check if there are any changes at your school.

Comments

If you do not intend to continue taking lessons at g.education, "Fuck you"

Yup, the pre-paid monies have definately got up and gone. Chances of a student getting a refund from GEOS? Just about Buckley's.

Yep, another Eikaiwa bites the dust.

These companies have failed their customers, failed their workers and generally failed to create a real industry of professionals.

By constantly sticking to the "permatemp" model for hiring teachers, these companies have stripped themselves of cultivating real employees who have any stake in their company beyond work visas and basic survival.
So there is no stream of added value or innovation coming from the people who have the closest contact with customers.
Sure, some teachers may have ideas at first, but once they realise what a waste it is to care, they turn into cynical teaching units...

No innovation = death

If other industries did this, the economy would fall to pieces...

Oh, yeah, that's what happening...

I'm not an Eikawa teacher however I can see that the way both Nova and GEOS have behaved is shocking cynical and unethical. Frankly they look like a kind of pyramid scheme rather than simple bad management.

Where did all the money go?

*Anything written in italics is not verified.
*Grey sentences are unanswered questions.
Housing
• You will not lose your housing.
• You cannot be evicted from your house without a court order.
• The contract is with GEOS, not you. Your landlord must take up payment disputes with
GEOS.
• Keep your pay stubs as proof that you've paid the company the required rent.
• I've heard from several teachers that G-Communication will pick up your housing contract
and continue payment on your apartment.
Closing Schools
• Teachers at closing schools will be offered positions in other schools if they are available.
• Several relocations have taken place, but there are more teachers than available positions.
• Will positions in different schools only become available if teachers decide not to continue
employment under G-Communication?
• What will happen to teachers who have not signed the new “Notice of Working Conditions”
and are leaving for their golden week vacations early?
New Contracts
• New contracts started being sent out to schools on Saturday night.
• The “Notice of Working Conditions” is only part of our contract.
• All policies from the previous GEOS contract still hold with the exception of those stated in
the new “Notice of Working Conditions.”
• The new “Notice of Working Conditions” agreement details are almost identical to the
previous “Notice of Working Conditions” agreement sent out on Friday. The exceptions are:
“Name” “Employment Period” and “Work Place” These fields have been filled out by the
company.
• The term of employment is from April 16th to July 31st.
• The company is requesting all signed agreements to be faxed to the personnel department by
Tuesday, April 27th 15:00. (FAX 06-7711-0641)
• You must inform Madoka (iijima@geos.co.jp) or Melanie (melanie@geos.co.jp) if you are
part of East Japan and Kazuyo (k-yoshida@geos.co.jp) or Stephen (k-yoshida@geos.co.jp) if
you are part of West Japan.
• Are transfers within the next three months still possible if one commits to the three month
contract?
July
• Will contracts be offered to all employees of GEOS who decide to continue working until the
final date specified in the “Notice of Working Conditions”?
• What are the criteria by which G-Communication will issue new contracts in July?
• Will previously planned transfers be carried out? (transfers negotiated with GEOS before the
bankruptcy)
Visa Renewal
• The company is requesting information (name, application number, current visa expiration
date, immigration office location) from teachers whose visa renewal application was
submitted but who haven't received their new visa from immigration.
• The company is requesting information (name, school, current visa expiration date) from
teachers who have not yet applied for a new visa and whose visa will expire between now and
June 30th.
• This information must be sent to Chad Lafferty in the Human Resources Department. (TEL
81-3-5468-6591, FAX 81-3-3797-1687, EMAIL )
• If you do not fit into either of these categories, your current visa is valid.
April Salary
• Your April salary is partially recoverable.
• You have two years to claim your unpaid salary.
• You will be sent the necessary documentation to reclaim your wages.
◦The documents will be sent by GEOS, G-Communication or a court-ordered “trustee.”
• Bonuses are not covered by the government insurance scheme.
• It is possible to have your money sent overseas.
• Upon publication of this help sheet, it is not possible for teachers to begin the unpaid wage
replacement process.
• If you intend on leaving your current residence, you must inform GEOS.
Next Pay Date
• This paycheck will include the days from April 16th to April 30th.
• The Golden Week holiday will be treated as a paid vacation.
• According to the new contract the next pay date will be May 15th.
Unemployment Insurance
• If your employment at GEOS exceeds six months you will be eligible for unemployment
insurance.
• If your combined working months (at GEOS and another company in Japan) exceed six
months and have occurred within the past year, you will be eligible for unemployment
insurance.
• Your application may be processed in as quickly as one week.
• Even though your application is processed, you will most likely not receive payment for
about one month.
• The process is as follows:
◦Go to Hello Work with your pay stubs or the koyouhoken hihokensya rishokuhyou (雇用
保険被保険者離職票)(you will get this from the company).
◦Submit this document and you will receive the koyohoken hihoken syoumeisho(雇用保
険非被保険証明書).
◦You are now eligible to collect unemployment insurance.
• The required documentations are:
◦ koyohoken hihoken shoumeisho (雇用保険非被保険証明書)
▪ You will receive this from Hello Work.
◦ koyouh oken hihokensha rishokuhyou (雇用保険被保険者離職票)
▪ If you can't get this from the company, you can have this drawn up at Hello Work if you
bring your pay stubs.
◦photo identification (passport, Japanese driver's license, alien registration card)
◦your bank passbook
◦your hanko (if you have one)
◦3cm x 2.5cm photo (if you'd like them to help you find a new job)
Health Insurance
• Teachers insured under the [Employee's] Health Insurance (健康保険) scheme are not
currently covered.
• Teachers insured under the National Health Insurance (国民健康保険) are covered.
◦This is an agreement directly between you and the city government.
◦To obtain this insurance you must go to the local city office and apply for it. You can do
this by yourself, at any time (during city office hours), with only your alien registration
card.
• Human resources is working to remedy the situation but this could take between 4-6 weeks.
• Is it possible to apply for temporary health insurance? If so, how?
• Are those covered under the private Mitsui Sumitomo insurance scheme still covered?
Pay Advance
• You can receive a pay advance of ¥50,000 from G-Communication.
• The application form will be sent out on the evening of April 26th.
• After you fill out the form, you must fax it to the Shibuya office. (FAX 03-3797-1687)
◦For teachers in East Japan, include a cover letter addressed to 飯島次長 (Iijima Jicyou)
◦For teachers in West Japan, include a cover letter addressed to 吉田係長 (Yoshida
Kakaricho)
• The borrowed money will be automatically deducted from your June salary.
*For more information, see the “General Union GEOS FAQ” page which was setup for GEOS teachers.
*There is a detailed write up found at the Japan Labour Health and Welfare Organization regarding applying for unpaid wages.

While I do feel concern for the situation that GEOS teachers and staff are now facing, I think they can all be thankful that they haven't ended up running a piss fart, piss poor NGO, trying to eradicate the stain of eikaiwa from their consciences by dishing out charity to chipmunks in Africa, and conning themselves into thinking that they're now "above" GEOS and NOVA teachers. At least GEOS teachers still have their jobs and incomes, as opposed to the do-gooding charity merchants now staring into the abyss.

Of the 124,000, foreigners accounted for 47,000, marking the first decline in 15 years linked to social factors.

The officials attributed the decline in the foreign population to the recession triggered by the collapse of trading house Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2008.

Many foreigners lost their jobs and returned to their home countries as the financial crisis unfolded, the officials said.

And the fact that Japan's economy has been stagnant for, oh, 20 years now...No growth.

Wow, ya'll will still be working under Melanie. The same lady who assured you all that everything was fine. The one who lied about the financial situation of the company. The same one who encouraged everyone to lie tot he students about the financial state of the company. The same snitch who outed and fired people who posted here. The same mouthpiece of kaicho and his twisted policies. Sounds like a load of fun. Good luck with that.

Well, Melanie sounds like Uri in GEOS North America. The are one in the same, typical GEOS scum. Both have tried to out people on this board; too bad the Uri one couldn't figure out which one of his own workers has been on here posting...There are more than one, but that's all I will say. ;-)

Good luck with Melanie.

I worked for both old-Nova and G. Communication. First off, GEOS teachers are in a harsh position. G. Com is a company that is dark and opaque, and make false promises. Some of you might remember when old-Nova went under and G. Com stepped in and promised to hire ALL of the old-NOVA teachers back in November 2007 and offered all old-Nova teachers option A and B (search the archives or google for more information about option A and B), but started to rescind offers of employment on December 24th and 25th 2007 telling teachers they were no longer needed...almost 50% got cut and had offers of employment yanked without any warning at all. When I heard G. Com. would hire all GEOS teachers...that reminded me of the bait and switch and BS that G. Com pulled on old-Nova teachers. They are making all these promises to GEOS teachers so they dont run off and G. Com has to hire and train new GEOS teachers...a system they dont know anything about yet. They are just containing the mess right now...but once the picture is more clear...expect alot of GEOS teachers to get axed in the near future.

With G. Com. taking over GEOS and promising to keep the GEOS name and such...I can gaurantee you that G. Com will be making some major changes to the system you GEOS teachers were used too. GOES will probably retain the books and teaching methods that are unique to GEOS, but the management style and teacher schedules and such will mirror that of NOVA schools. GEOS was badly run and highly inefficient and G. Com is really good at making a profit at the expense of its staff, teachers and students...and they will cut costs to the bone and maximize efficiency (the japanese style efficiency). The days of sitting around at a GEOS school all afternoon waiting until 5pm to start a class is over. Your schedules will be tight and compact as possible and no room for free time. If your students dont show up for class or cancel a class...you will be given two choices...take an unpaid break or do some office work or work the school manager gives you to do. G. Com LOVES tissues...so you will be folding paper advertisements and stuffing them into tissue packs and passing them out at the station or on the corner. The JET teachers at GEOS will be history...eventually...at NOVA native teachers teach all levels of classes and G. Com wont need JETS.

I gaurantee you that the majority of GEOS schools will be franchised out to local owners, and the days of having Sunday off and national holidays off are OVER for GEOS teachers....thats the same for NOVA teachers as G. Com wants to maximize its profits and students are off on Sunday and off during holidays and they will come to school on those days..so the teachers have to be there...no exceptions...EVER. The majority of G. Com NOVA schools are franchised out to local owners....if you work for a franchise, your working conditions will vary greatly. I worked for both...a G. Com owned NOVA school and a franchised NOVA...and the working conditions and pay were different. I have heard horror stories and I have heard a few success stories from NOVA franchises...Im sorry I dont want to write about the differences right now to save space and time.

GEOS teachers be prepared to have a very very HARD time using your vacation days....its G. Com policy not to be involved in your vacation requests. YOU the teacher will be responsible for getting other teachers to cover your vacation days...company managment will NOT get involved with it...YOU will have to do ALL the leg work. The problem is...at almost all NOVA schools...teachers usually have just Tuesday and Wednesday off...or Wednesday and Thursday off...so good luck in finding anybody to cover your vacation days beyond 4 days at one time...unless you want to take unpaid holidays. Most teachers I knew got their vacation days on the week before they quit or during the New Year break...so save at least 4 or 5 days of your vacation days to cover December 27th to Jan. 4th (will vary), because you will NOT be paid for these days, as the company will be closed. The company is closed for a week...but you will have your regular two days off, so you need about 5 days of vacation to cover your salary during this time. Also...you will never get a raise or a bonus either.

GEOS teachers be prepared to do alot of traveling, because you will be sent out on help shifts to cover other schools....you will get a help shift schedule every month...dont be surpirsed if you have to travel 1 hour or even 90 minutes one-way to a school...you will be reimbursed for the train fare, but not paid for your time. You ask, "Why do I have to do alot of traveling?"...good question...the answer is simple. G. Com will maximize teacher efficency...and schools that do not turn a big enough profit (or enough students) to pay for a teacher, a manager, and rent will not have a permanent teacher stationed at said school and the school will have a rotation of teachers teaching the classes. Example: I worked at a G. Com NOVA school in Mie prefecture ....we had 5 teachers in February 2008...in February 2009 there were only 2...February 2010 there were ZERO teachers working at this school...why?? Very simple, the school does not make enough money to keep a permanent teacher. The school is still open, but all teachers come from Nagoya or Gifu 5 days a week (the school is closed 2 days a week). If G. Com decides to reduce the number of teachers in a school, they will offer the teacher a position at a different school....most likely in a different prefecture on short notice. Its a take-it or leave-it situation....take the position or dont have a job. I have known some teachers with a family to support to be forced to relocate or be fired. So, GEOS teachers with families...G. Com is NOT family friendly and could care less if relocating causes hardship for you or not. There is a long line of people looking for work and they can easily find someone else.

G. Communication will require you to have insurance...either J-government insurance or travel insurance..no exceptions.

Be prepared to sign the same contracts as NOVA teachers and you will find that you will receive a "regularity bonus" of 25,000yen if you dont miss any days during a pay period...its actually part of your monthly salary, its not a bonus at all...if you miss a day of work...you will be penalized and your regularity bonus is forfeited and a day of wages deducted from your salary...you could easily lose 40,000 yen for one day....so NEVER miss a day of work!! If you are late...you forfeit your regularity pay and a prorated deduction for the time you were late. ITS ILLEGAL and the labor ministry and labor union have both said this activity is illegal, but G. Com has brushed it off.
You will NEVER feel comfortable working under G. Com...I gaurantee it. You will feel a dark and heavy cloud above you and the feeling you could be screwed over at a moments notice. G. Com has no problem breaking its contracts with its teachers and students...this company will lie its ass off to make a dollar. I could go on and on about G. Com, but I think I covered the main points that are waiting for GEOS teachers....some points may vary...but not by much.

I also want to note....G. Com`s core business is food and restaurants and they have a long history of taking over troubled businesses(usually restaurant chains), rehabilitating them and reselling them as franchises. We are seeing this played out with GEOS at the moment.

Just remember this...G. Com lies and lies and lies...dont believe a f-ing thing they say. Just do your job and cover your ass

Wow. If you thought GEOS was ramming it up your ass, G-Com is going to give you a "nato" enema. Phew. Talk about Draconian!

Just remember this...G. Com lies and lies and lies...dont believe a f-ing thing they say. Just do your job and cover your ass

Sounds $h!tty! To anyone considering making the move to G.COMM, is this what you really had in mind when you decided to come to Japan? Think about it, is it worth it? Can't you do better? If you allow them treat you like this, you're simply enabling a crooked company to treat you poorly.

Luke

just another useless head office mouthpiece at GEOS. She never tried to help any NETs I know of..just spouted the same pro-company crap. Seems like most people who were willing to move up to trainer or beyond were able to lock away their scruples while working and repeat lies and bs like it was gospel. I don't know honestly how many of them were honestly duped THEMSELVES or were 'in on it' but its hard to believe you could sit so close to the truth and never figure any of it out. But I do KNOW those HO people were treated even WORSE than any teachers. Insane overtime, abuse, and bs. Was the extra pay worth it? I think if you calculate the overtime some of those suckers worked I would say NO. Not to mention the rude abusive shit Kaicho used to say to them.

The overseas holidays (sorry, 'training'), bonuses and constant free nights out more than made up for it mate. The smart ones got out long ago as soon as these perks started to drop off.

Let's try to put this in a nutshell. The Eikaiwa industry is fraught with draconian types. To implement their strategy the industry hires cookie cutter, plug-in "teachers" who are largely unqualified to teach ESL, but can filibuster for at least an hour in a classroom. These plug-ins re usually just right out of college at first, just smart enough to follow instructions and babble English, but not smart enough to demand any meaningful salaries or changes in curriculum. Should there be any complaints, any malcontents, no problem, just reach into the marketplace and pull in another plug-in teacher.

The same is true for the managers. The strategy is to get them while they are young. They will be all-starry-eyed then. Mold them into subservient, toe-the line types. Do this by conducting boot camps called Professional Development Management (PDM) and verbally abusing them if they should fall out of line or not meet their monthly quotas. If these low level managers get too old or resistant, fire them and then plug in another cookie-cutter manager.

You cannot resist. You must allow them to abuse you. The eikaiwa industry has hand picked you for this. They know that you are not qualified to fall back onto a real job. That's the way it works, boys and girls.

Now that the inevitable has happened, how are GEOS employees reacting? How many teachers at schools that re-opened decided to stay? How many at the schools that closed have decided to hang tight and wait to be contacted by G.communication about a transfer, and how many have decided to just quit and move on?

Judging by the silence in here, it appears that most have decided to move on.

What you've described is how the Eikaiwa industry has ended up becoming over the last 10 years or so. However, when you look at it, the things you mentioned are precisely why companies like Geos and Nova have fallen from grace. Companies that have no interest in the long term professional development of their employees cannot possibly hope to go on.
We can only hope that the government will see how abusive this industry is to staff and students alike. Hopefully, it will warrant the introduction of more restrictive measures such as requiring all ESL teachers to obtain at least some certification. Unfortunately, change is something which doesn't readily take place in Japan. Anyone who's lived here for any length of time knows this. It will probably take another company crashing in order to finally alert the proper people into finally doing something. Who will it be? ECC? Aeon?? G.comm?? All eyes are on G.comm now, and the mass media is thirsty for information about its plans. This is precisely why we recieved an internal memo cautioning teachers and staff about speaking the media.
There is utter chaos at G.com's personnel office. They've requested all continuing teachers and staff to fax a bunch of things, and so we've got nearly 1000 people trying to fax these documents by an arbitrarily set deadline of 3:00pm yesterday. They expect us to send all these things to ONE fax line. G.com was trying to be swift with this takeover, but they've shown themselves to be very poor at judging how much time things will take. The deadlines they've been barking out are impossible to meet considering how poorly equipped they are for handling the sheer volume of questions and documents flooding into their offices.
It's almost laugable how they have such a poor concept of how much time things will take. They seem completely unaware of their incapacity to handle the outcome of their demands.

8:32 Not really.

1) People are scrambling in Japan right now to see if they are still teaching...

2) GEOS NA employees were rumoured to be warned about posting on here...At least employees from two schools which I have contacts.

3) GEOS Canada employees are a little busy trying to drum up

4) Same goes for GEOS Canadian managers, who are doing plenty of unpaid overtime trying to drum up business in order to survive. The "new" desperate discounts/ promotions and multiple Kijiji and Craigslist postings...

When GEOS North America falls, this board will be abuzz with new postings from disgruntled teachers and staff...Would love to have some students chime in at that point too.

"When GEOS North America falls, this board will be abuzz with new postings from disgruntled teachers and staff...Would love to have some students chime in at that point too.
"

fook GEOS NA... what five locations??... seven teachers??? they can all lick my left one!

12 locations...

I could care less, too. Except for a few good people (few) still working there, most are idiots or transients who abuse the system too. The Canadian managers are pretty dumb for the most part. With a couple being outright evil.

The greater story will the loss in Japanese student perception regarding any North America closure. A lot of Japanese still go overseas to study, even if only for a month. And there are many ex-pat Japanese staff here and there. Can't say they will say anything nice to their families and friends in Japan.

09:45

What you are saying may be true. At least in regard to hiring and management practice. But, it isn't as if most people are not qualified for a decent job. This bankruptcy is a blessing for me. It has forced me to search for new employment. It appears that there are a few people that think my experience here will add to their company. That experience involves the teaching I have done and all of the outside learning that takes place as one lives in a foreign country. Obviously most people aren't in Japan because the conversation industry is where they want to be. You make the best of it and eventually you get out. I am looking at a hefty pay hike once I return to my native country. This wouldn't have happened if GEOS didn't cave in. I'm just waiting for Golden Week to pass.

At the very least people can use their experience here in another ESL job. That prospect gives me chills. But, if I have to I'll keep on keeping on keeping on.

There is something I was thinking recently: Could people who taught a small amount of lessons and who watched their school never meeting its targets expect to stay employed forever? If your school wasn't profitable, it probably wasn't the smartest place to be. That is the sad truth. I worked at a busy school. I knew that my school was always doing well regardless of the overall state of the company and I took pride in it. I also didn't try to sell my students anything they didn't need. I feel bad for a lot of people. I don't think anyone saw this happening this week (although the timing couldn't be any better for the new company). But, the truth is, a lot of this downsizing should have happened sooner. In the end though, it was too little too late. More people are laughing than crying.

People should just try to take the lessons that they learned from this to their next job. Because this job was garbage.

A little birdie told me that RITA CHEN, GEOS North America Regional Marketing Coordinator in Montreal, is gone...And her name is still be used by the moronic GEOS Montreal school manager/ VP, URI CARNAT, for official GEOS letters, statements etc. How you can identify these forged letters is by looking at the first sentence; it will start "Warm Greetings" because supposedly the manager has a bit of an OCD complex and "has" to use that introductory phrase.

So why is the VP/ School Manager of Montreal using an old employees name to write letters promising the world? Afraid of putting his name to false promises?

What is this infatuation with Rita Chen all about? I cannot tell if it is just one anonymous commenter who keeps bringing up this name, or a few of you, but, really who gives a damn now?

Well, I only brought up here name once...Can't say I have seen anything else on here because of work.

Why would you think it was one person writing about her? She is pretty well known probably given her position/ end position. So do you have any info that only one person has some "infatuation" with her? Love to know your source.

I would like to know why 11:48 is so defensive? Anything personal we should know about? Can't see why a person would lash out on here if they never knew Rita. There have been a lot of people on here throwing names around. Just part of the blog world, and tends to happen when people have been screwed over. Maybe Rita touched a nerve somewhere. But I think the poster you were commenting on actually was not really talking about her per se; more about the Uri guy some talk about on here.

@11:50 Yes, I meant "her" not "here" in my posting. Sorry for the lapse in writing skills today.

I want to mention to the GEOS teachers....the days of having your own private apartment are over. G. Com takes a page from old-NOVA and houses teachers in shared apartments to save costs...usually up to 3 teachers to a mansion apartment. The exception is when a teacher is positioned at a school in a small town and lives alone in a Leo Palace OR if the teacher is the odd teacher out...for example..in a larger city where there are 10 teachers (usually from different schools) and three shared apartments are full with 3 teachers a piece...then the odd teacher out will get their own Leo Palace.

I would expect most GEOS teachers will be moving to shared apartments in the near future. Expect to be screwed over for it....for example: if the rent is 140,000 yen a month, G. Com will bill you around 60,000 month for each teacher in rent and pocket the difference. G. Com will NEVER take a loss on housing if they can avoid it, and they will make a major effort to avoid that situation. If you live in a shared apartment, the utilities are included in the rent, so you wont have to bother with paying that....BUT there is NO internet service at all...you will have to pay for that yourself with your roommates..and you might have to purchase your own appliances and televisions...but this will vary. G. Com still rents some of the same old mansion apartments that old-NOVA used, there should be the old appliances in the mansion apartments left over from previous teachers.

DO NOT bother getting your own apartment...unless its a month to month or its flexible, because if you are forced to relocate...you could be left holding the bag on your private apartment.

I also want to mention about the vacation...I forgot to mention from my earlier post "The new rules for GEOS teachers at G. Com".....when you have a teacher to cover your classes while you are on vacation...make damn sure they are trust worthy...because if that teacher who is covering your shift fails to show up or comes in late...guess what happens?? YOU will get F-ed! YOU will have the "regularity bonus" and salary deducted from YOUR salary!! The teacher who was to cover your shift and didnt show up or came in late will not have any penalty or face any consequences for it from the company. You will also have to pay the train fare out of your own pocket to the teacher(s) who cover your shift...G. Com wont do it. Dont worry to much about getting a vacation, because you probably wont get one...its a MAJOR f-ing hassle to go through.

Try and call G. Com head office in Osaka and you will be talking to english speaking Chinese nationals whose english is not clear at all....so be prepared for that as well. You will find G. Com to be an extremely cheap ass company and will go out of its way to save a buck at your expense.

When I worked at G. Com they would NOT accept any bank accounts from Japan Post....but that might have changed recently...as GEOS teachers were required to have Japan Post accounts. Please, look into this.

Im not surprised about the pay issue and the 50,000 yen loan....thats real shitty. Best of Luck to you GEOS teachers, you guys certainly got the very short end of the stick and you are in for a major change.

Almost everyone would have been a lot better off in the long run if Gcom had never stepped in to take over those failed schools. Should have let them die as quickly as possible. At least that way more students and teachers would be at less crappy schools now.

Put those rabid dogs down!! Trying to save them only prolongs the agony.

Now, they will be dragging down wages and standards even faster.

I'm out!

It's not just Rita Chen. Someone keeps bringing up the name "Uri Carnat"... which is an annoyingly bizzare name in itself, without being repeated over and over and over and over again. I think the guy behind it is the simple minded idiot obsessed with calling everyone a "Geos stooge", whether or not their comments are pro-Geos. Kind of pathetic and annoying. He's like a stuck record.

I think I might have to report this person to the Internet authorities, for repeating 2 of the most irritating and annoying names, over and over and over and over and over and over again. We cannot be having this sort of stalking on an Internet forum. It's a downright disgrace.

Seriously, 16:12, why did you assume it was one male making all those posts? Do you have some sort of inside info? And why bring it up again, because all you do is stoke the fires for whomever is posting. You make me think you are Uri himself given the "passionate" defense of someone you claim not to know.

Well, here is something for everyone. I know at least three GEOS Canada staffers/ teachers/ ex-staffers on here. And I know they particularly do not like Mr. Uri Carnat and with him taking over the VP/ Director responsibilities for GEOS NA when M left in New York City he is probably a big target. Judging from the comments made about him (and others) before the GEOS Japan fall on this board, it seems his reputation is rather infamous at GEOS Canada. I know someone mentioned Mr. Carnat was instrumental in getting a really good manager at GEOS Vancouver to quit because he was power hungry, although I am not privy to direct knowledge about this situation. I have also heard he doesn't make other GEOS Canada managers "happy" in how he treats them. I guess this Mr. Carnat guy is very authoritarian and a bit of a micro-manager.

So my take is it is probably not just one poster in regards to the Uri Carnat guy (it is an odd name) given what I have heard, and also what has been said on this board multiple times. You have to remember, GEOS Japan is down, but GEOS Canada employees are walking on egg shells right now and do not know their futures. The crisis is at a peak in Canada. That can usually bring out a lot emotion from people. And if Mr. Carnat is a micro manager (or worse judging by some of the comments), like some have asserted here, then he is fair game on these boards.

Ms. Rita Chen, I have absolutely no idea what she does. But if she works under Uri Carnat, then she is probably just getting called out because of her association. She is probably just a "Yes Man" GEOS staffer, like most in HO. Can't believe she matters that much though.

Read this article that just appeared today on Japan Times.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/rss/nn20100429a2.html

At Nova schools, the teacher-to-student ratio is 1-to-3.5, which is "just right", he said. He will aim to acheive tha for Geos schools, whose current ratio is 1-to2.6, he said.

This little blurb from the near the bottom of the article sums up the G. Com way perfectly. At G. Com NOVA 5 students per class (old-Nova was 4) was the max, and schools had to meet a certain ratio in order to keep teachers in the school. When I worked for them, something like 4.2 students per class (in one month) would allow 3 or 4 permanent teachers at the school...as the ratio fell, the number of teachers permanently stationed at the school would fall. Thats exactly what happened at my school in Mie...the ratio began to fall and the teachers were slowly bled away by resignation or transfers. If I remember, if the ratio feel below 1-to-2.2 ratio for 60 days, there would be no teachers permanently stationed in the school and the school would be served by a rotation of teachers from neighboring schools. The manager at your school was 100% responsible for getting students to come to school by calling them constantly to come in and use their points. If the school had a lazy manager, that will have a big impact on that ratio. If you work for a franchised school...then the ratio will not be such a big problem, as the franchise owner is responsible for your salary. BUT if the franchise owner is lazy and incompetent and is not running the numbers G. Com wants...then G. Com will buy the franchise back...thats what happened in my school. The manager at my school was extremely LAZY when it was run by the franchise owner, but when G. Com took over...the ratio thing came into play and we were under the gun big time to turn it around...we didnt turn it around in time and the school ended up with no teachers in less 4 months after the buy back. Last I heard my old school in Mie has under 50 paying students...a stark difference from over 270 in early 2008. The majority of G. Com students are old-NOVA students..rarely did we ever get "new" students who were never old-NOVA students. G. Com students complained ALL the time about the lack of professionalism/neglect from management and the quality of classroom instruction was much lower than in old-NOVA days, as well as the dumpy school conditions. Many students never bothered to renew or never came back even if they had a bundle of unused tickets. G. Com is not good for the students....G. Com has just a faction of the students of what old-NOVA had.

I also want to mention G. Com started a policy to cancel ALL "Lucky" man-to-man lessons...which means the student would just use one point for the class and have a lesson by themselves...the new policy was the class had to have a minimium of 2 students per class UNLESS the student uses 5 points for a man-to-man class...which is well over 10,000yen for a private 40 minute lesson. Not many students want to do that. The school manager would be in a frenzy calling students to fill out the classes as fast as possible to raise the classroom ratio. G. Com is not good for the students....G. Com has just a faction of the students of what old-NOVA had. If the class is canceled be prepared to spend 40 minutes or more folding advertisements and stuffing them into tissue packs or passing out tissues.

I do not understand how the president of G. Com can say they are experiencing a manpower shortage...thats a f*cking lie. I seriously doubt G. Com has a manpower shortage...they know how to get blood from a stone and will grind their teachers into the ground before they will hire new teachers. They always pull crap like this. I remember reading some time ago how a teacher was hired by G. Com and had his visa sponsered....but as soon as his visa was approved...G. Com pulled their offer of employment siting unexpected business circumstances...the teacher had a visa...but NO job. G. Com is FULL of liars and assholes. Dont ever trust them.

Look at the numbers at the bottom of the article a significant drop.

According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the monthly number of students enrolled at foreign-language conversation schools plunged from 826,858 in February 2006 to 335,604 in February this year. The corresponding monthly sales figures for the industry over the same period fell from ¥17.2 billion to ¥5.7 billion.

Japan is dead as far as the english teaching market is concerned. But Im sure G. Com can squeeze a few yen out of its teachers and students and turn a small profit. Cheap ass, rock bottom, bargain basement prices, poverty wages is the future of eikaiwa in Japan. I remember the days of making of 4,000yen an hour for privates just a couple of years ago...but now I see advertisements for privates for as low as 1,000 yen an hour. Im sure the eikaiwa and english teaching market will claw its way back to 2006 levels....but it will be like decade from now, if ever.

With old-NOVA gone and GEOS out of the picture...who is next??

Maybe Uri Carnat will go back to his master Special K and fix everything all up in Japan. No worries, things are perfect!!!

popular teachers get to teach more hours and are paid more

my understanding is that nova teachers do almost 29.5 hours teaching for the basic salary (ie only teaching time is counted as work, so as to avoid health insurance payments). a system that actually rewarded teaching ability (rather than dumb obedience and ass-kissing) would be revolutionary in japan, so seems too good to be true. how does it work? does it work? comments please, nova people.

my understanding is that nova teachers do almost 29.5 hours teaching for the basic salary (ie only teaching time is counted as work, so as to avoid health insurance payments). a system that actually rewarded teaching ability (rather than dumb obedience and ass-kissing) would be revolutionary in japan, so seems too good to be true. how does it work? does it work? comments please, nova people.

The NOVA system has been working for a while. Teachers actually work 29.5 hours a week...no tricks. You work 4 days a week with 8 classes each day at 40 minutes per class from 1:20pm to 9pm.....and one half-day where you teach 5 classes, usually from 5pm to 9pm.

In the afternoons, you have 15 minute breaks between each class until the 5:40pm class and after that its 10 minutes break between each class. Sunday is the exceptions...you have 10 minutes breaks between each class all day.

Schedule Break down:

You get a one hour break usually after 4:05pm

1:20pm to 2pm (class)
15 minute break
2:15pm to 2:55pm (class)
15 minutes break
3:10pm to 3:50pm (class)
15 minute break
4:05pm to 4:45pm (class)
15 minute break
5:00pm to 5:40pm (class)
10 minute break
5:50pm to 6:30pm (class)
10 minute break
6:40pm to 7:20pm (class)
10 minute break
7:30pm to 8:10pm (class)
10 minute break
8:20pm to 9pm (class)
school closes at 9pm

how does the more pay for popular teachers bit work?

how does the more pay for popular teachers bit work?

There is no extra pay for popular teachers...everyone gets paid the same regardless if they are attractive or ugly...or popular or hated. There no raises or bonuses either.

I'm not so sure G.com will change the Geos class system to be like Nova's. Geos had a unique class system, and all the students have become used to that system. If G.com decides to change that, it will lead to a lot of dissatisfaction among the students, and most of them will probably walk once they've taken as many of their unused lessons as possible. If I was a student, I wouldn't stick around if my 60 minute group lesson was changed to a 40 minute one with the same number of students remaining. I think it's been said before, but people at G.com are bungling fools. They were asking over 1000 Geos people to send a handful of documents to ONE fax line with an impossible deadline. They have no idea that they're incapable of handling the consequences of their own demands.

i don't think g-com know what they'll do with the geos system yet.

their staff are not going to have much of a golden week, that's for sure. right now they are dealing with a logistical nightmare as they try to assign teachers to schools. i think quite a few long term staff, having lost hefty bonuses, are quitting so they will at least have healthy unemployment entitlements. shorter term staff are quitting because they didn't like geos anyway, and they'd sooner get the unemployment straight away. i'd love to know the figures, but i guess that even with the glut of teachers from closing schools they will struggle to staff the remaining schools.

added to that, there are people like me from closing schools who have signed the new contracts, and are ready to walk if the new offer is not to their liking. i've seen this coming, i have savings and privates to tide me over if i have to wait for my unemployment benefit, and i will only accept the job if it suits me. i don't think i'm alone, so post golden week they will have another mad scramble to fill the posts they thought were filled but aren't.

it is only after they have dealt with the immediate crisis that they will think about the long term plans. that is why they have given themselves 3 months' breathing space. i don't think teacher satisfaction will be top of their priority list, but who knows? what is pretty certain is that they don't have any cast-iron plans right now.

perhaps we should hold back from speculating the worst here - we might just be giving them (bad) ideas.

there are people like me from closing schools who have signed the new contracts, and are ready to walk if the new offer is not to their liking. i've seen this coming, i have savings and privates to tide me over if i have to wait for my unemployment benefit

That's nice and all but did you make sure if you decide to walk that you will be able to collect unemployment benefits? From what I was told, If you sign a contract and then decide to leave afterwards, you wouldn't be collecting unemployment because you left on your own accord. Maybe you heard differently, or perhaps I am incorrect.

i was surprised myself when i heard, but apparently it is so. quitting slows the process down a couple of months, but you still get the money. i've heard this from someone who went into hello work, and think i read it somewhere too online. bedtime, so i'm not gonna search it down now.

not 100% sure, but pretty confident. i'm sure someone more knowledgable will set us straight if i am wrong, now that you have brought the point up.

I depends where you are, but if you quit on your own accord, it can take up to 3 months in some areas to collect unemployment. The only way you can truly be sure is to go into your local Hello Work branch and ask them.

The labor standards law and all laws governing work are the same everywhere in Japan. If you sign a contract, that means that you have agreed to work for G-Comm. If you decide you don't like the working conditions, you have actually quit and you are not entitled to collect benefits for 90 days. So if you are leaning towards collecting unemployment, DON'T SIGN ANYTHING. There is also that little issue of your contract starting on April 16th, when you were actually dismissed by GEOS on April 21st.

By the way, when you go to Hello Work, you need to make sure you are going to the department that specifically deals with processing unemployment insurance, not the department that helps you to find work.

I don't know if this is doable, but if I were you, I would have waited until I got my rishokuhyoushou and an idea of the schedule I was walking into first, before making a decision.

I will commend this round of teachers, though. They rolled out of there far faster than the Nova teachers did.

it's absolutely not doable. right next to the work place box on the contract it states "transfer between branches is possible". then at the bottom it says "the details of the working conditions may change as the result of a transfer". my first instinct was to refuse to sign anything until i knew exactly what i was agreeing to. however, i gradually realised that they are in no position to give anybody concrete info at this stage and that by refusing to sign i would eliminate any chance of being offered an acceptable position. i also figure that at this stage they are not going to try to piss anyone off too much, so there is a reasonable chance it'll work out ok. things will change at the 3 month mark, but i'll be in a far better situation by then anyway.

i can afford to wait 90 days for the unemployment, so it's not a huge gamble. it would be a different story if it resulted in the total loss of unemployment, or if it meant sacrificing entitlement to a longer period on benefits (as is the case for longer serving staff). neither case applies to me, so i figured i had more to lose than gain by not signing.

So you mean to tell me that you were signing a contract and you didn't know what school you were signing it for? Huh? Am I missing something? Unless other teachers are experiencing something different, I know that in my case, the transfer meant that I was going from a closed school to an open school, and thus my work duties would change accordingly. Surely it doesn't mean they are going to transfer you half-way through your contract...and even then I am sure you could get some kind of a solid answer on that.

Instead of "refusing to sign," how about the third option: asking them if you can have more information before you sign.

You are figuring wrong about them not trying to piss off anyone too much. The simple fact is, they don't care.

And I am sure we all know they are in no position to give anyone any concrete information; hence the bullshit contract where they pretty much emphasize they can fire you for any reason. Obviously whoever put that together is hoping most teachers who sign it won't know the first thing about labor law.

Shit, on second thought, I say sign it. Hope to god they fire you without giving proper notice, so you can tack on more money to what GEOS already owes plus unemployment.

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