Hi Blog. Got a request from the editor of the Japan Times Community Page, Ben Stubbings, who would like information for the next column (draft due this weekend) re the NOVA eikaiwa school situation. Anyone out there who has some info they’d like to see hit a national audience? Let Ben know. Some questions from him follow.
With even Trans Pacific Radio for weeks now urging listeners who might be NOVA employees to get out of NOVA while the going is good, help out if you can. Another article germane to this situation enclosed below in the comments section below. Arudou Debito
I’m writing an article for The Japan Times Community Page on the current plight of Nova, focusing on what the chances are of the firm going under, considering the recent government penalties and late payments of teachers’ salaries and rent. In particular, I’m going to consider what would happen to teachers in terms of their salaries, visas and apartments if Nova goes bankrupt. Following are a list of questions I’m looking into for the article.
Also just got a mail from a teacher who knew someone who got a threat of eviction that showed the rent Nova was paying for the apartment was considerably less than the amount he was forking out every month out for the flat! That’s almost another story in itself, but I would be interested to know if anyone else has had a similar experience.
Here are the questions: 1) In exactly how bad shape is Nova financially, and what are the chances of it going bankrupt?
2) What are the chances of a bail-out by other firms or the government?
3) How are Nova’s chances if it survives the 6-month penalty period?
4) What is the extent of the nonpayment of rents and threats of evictions this month – how many have been threatened with eviction and has anyone actually been evicted?
5) How many schools have closed recently and how many teachers and staff made redundant?
6) What is the situation regarding redundancy pay and unemployment benefits for sacked staff – particularly what would be the situation if the company went under?
7) What would be the consequences for teachers in terms of accommodation if the company went bankrupt?
8) Likewise, the situation for thousands of teachers with valid visas – would there be a roundup and cancellations of visas?
9) If thousands of staff were suddenly to find themselves out of a job, what are the chances of them finding another job here? Need school facts and figs for this.
10) Are Nova union members any more protected than non-members?
I hope you can help. This is an issue that affects a great number of people – teachers, Japanese staff and students – who deserve to know what’s going on and what to be prepared for, just in case the worst comes to the worst.
Ben Stubbings Community Editor The Japan Times
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