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eliciel
February 21st, 2007, 03:07
A friend of mine who is a current JET (in the Osaka area) wrote this in a different online community:

I believe that the JET program is on it's way out. It won't happen for a couple years, but the beginnings of this are already evident in my city. JETs are hired by the national government, but then contracted out to local cities. Thus, the Board of Education (BOE) for each city pays our salary, which is determined by the national government. It is roughly 25K, in US dollars, before taxes.
In recent years, however, private companies have popped up which effectively do the same thing as the JET program: they provide native English speakers who can be contracted out to local BOEs. However, unlike the government contracts, the private company salary for these teachers is much lower. It is about 18-20K per year. Furthermore, these poor folk do not get paid time off, health insurance, or subsidized housing. In other words, it is much cheaper for the city government BOEs to hire teachers from the private companies. Like in America, the education budget is tight in Japan too.
This is exactly what my city is doing next year. They are not firing any of the current JETs. However, those JETs who do not renew their contract are not being replaced next year. So, there are 17 JETs in Sakai this year, but next year there will only be 9, because 8 of us are going home. To replace the 8 JETs who are not recontracting, the city will be hiring people from private companies.
There are some private company teachers around already. I have met a few of these folks, and they have it really rough. I am quite comfortable on my JET salary, but would not be without the subsidized housing, the paid vacations or if my salary was much lower. It is difficult to live in Japan on that kind of salary. It would be better to work for NOVA than one of the companies that contracts out to BOEs.
quoted with permission
As someone applying to JET in this 2007 round, what are the chances that there will be a position open for me to fill? What do you current ALTs (and CIRs for that matter) think about phasing out JET?

Solarian
February 21st, 2007, 03:55
Hmmm.... I'm kinda scared now haha. I was going to accept an offer through Interac, since it seemed pretty good to me. They were offering 250K yen a month, but accomodation was kinda pricey, and I do believe you had to pay for health insurance too, but it wasn't a big amount. I dunno, what's the JET monthly salary and benefits?

Stakhanov
February 21st, 2007, 05:06
You dont know the salary and benefits?

Generally...Tax free income (or after tax of 300 000/month) with deductions primarily being for health insurance and pension, and you can get some of the pension back...

Other than that it really is ESID, however, cheaper subsidized housing seems to be the norm. Also, generally more nenkyu, sometimes study "vacations" (forget the term) are also allowed.

Also, the "support" system of CLAIR etc is a bit of a bonus, however, it seems to be touch-and-go on how useful it actually is.

*edit* also, a huge bonus being return airfare, which as far as I know, is extremely rare outside of JET (the major companies such as interac etc dont cover this)

Solarian
February 21st, 2007, 06:35
Hmm.. then other than the return airfare, I don't see how I'm getting screwed that major. I mean, sure the extra 50K yen would definitely come in handy, but it's not like I'm teaching English to get rich and pay off the loans :)

dombay
February 21st, 2007, 06:49
JET probably is on the way out but BOEs may just be scraping the bottom of the barrel with interac.

JETs stay longer and have a more stringent hiring process. In my opinion BOEs are likely to get better value from a JET. It makes sense. If you pay people shit and treat them like shit you are more likely to get people who are just desperate to live in Japan, or backpackers, no real interest in Japan, looking for something to do for 6 months after uni before starting their unrelated career, etc, than a JET who I reckon is more likely to be more dedicated, interested in Japan or like me, starting their career in a related industry.

Of course there's some really shitty JETs too and obviously not all interac people are like those I stated above but I think that's a general trend that BOEs are encouraging.

Solarian
February 21st, 2007, 07:13
Not necessarily, because at the interviews, Interac gave us the idea that we'll be living comfortably, not scraping by and starving in the streets. I didn't really apply there out of desperation, etc..

dombay
February 21st, 2007, 07:15
Not necessarily, because at the interviews, Interac gave us the idea that we'll be living comfortably, not scraping by and starving in the streets. I didn't really apply there out of desperation, etc..

Yea of course, not everyone is going to be the same like i said, but basic economics prevails, pay less get less.

There's obviously going to be exceptions like anything you pay for.

Stakhanov
February 21st, 2007, 07:18
Not sure, but I think with interac you have to pay taxes as well, so it isnt just 50k/month of a disparity. Add into that the fact JET generally gives you subsidized housing, and the after expense/tax income can be quite different.

I mean, if you dont have a lot of loans etc back home im sure anyone can live comfortably on an interac salary. It isnt like you are going to be homeless or anything. Perhaps someone who actually works/has worked for interac could pipe in here. I know some people working with interac, and they arent starving or ready to kill themselves or anything.

just when one starts to add up the little benefits JET gives you over Interac and the like, it at least seems on the surface, that JETs generally have a much better deal on most fronts. Not saying Interac is a ripoff or anything though.

Solarian
February 21st, 2007, 08:12
Aah, well, I knew that you guys get a sweeter deal, but my school shafted me by giving me my transcripts too late, and I wasn't about to wait another year. Especialy since I'm graduating now, and I wouldn't know what to do with myself for a year.

547
February 21st, 2007, 08:49
I'd do a google search and read the various opinions that are out their about INTERAC before you get on the plane over. I'd also make sure that when your here you keep enough cash handy that you can just take off if you want to...

Omega037
February 21st, 2007, 08:59
I thought I remembered hearing that public schools hiring private companies like Interac is against Japanese Law.

I think that the death of rural Japan is starting to hurt the JET Program. However, given the fact that learning English is becoming increasingly more of a fad in Japan, I don't think the program is going to be phased out so soon. One thing JET does have is a much better ESID policy. I know a guy who lives on an island of 300 ppl, has 5 students total, and only gets to leave the island like once a week. With the JET Program, you will get a decent English teacher who will stay for at least a year(this guy is going to stay more than a year, I think). Private companies would have trouble filling this spot, especially for long term, I think.

wattiewatson
February 21st, 2007, 09:15
I would go on interact rather than waiting another year. However i do think the BOE's are getting a false economy by paying less. There is nothing free in life and if you pay less you get less.

JETs generally honour their contracts whereas eikaiwa people dont really give a shit. That being said, the Jet contract isn't that great, US25k, the total package i think is worth a little more than US30k, maybe US35k including taxes & housing benefits. It isnt worth writing home about, especially given there is no career advancement.

The housing is a big bonus. However if your japanese is any good you should be able to get a good deal on the private market. One tip, try to get a house near a university, it will mean you will be able to get unlimited private classes and you should make more than jets by picking up a few regulars. It will also mean you will do well in the sack, also a good reason to get a place near a daigaku.

Part of the reason why Jet is failing is that the program is after good quality graduates but the pay doesn't reflect what a good graduate can get back home. Probably the only guys that get a good deal on the wage are south africans, chinese and people from the carribean islands. I feel sorry for the bloody poms, the yen is confette compared to the pound.

Matt

jacqui
February 21st, 2007, 09:20
Not necessarily, because at the interviews, Interac gave us the idea that we'll be living comfortably, not scraping by and starving in the streets. I didn't really apply there out of desperation, etc..
well, if they're trying to get people to apply for their company, they're not about to tell you that you'll barely be scraping me, now, are they? :P

btw, jet doesn't necessarily have subsidised housing. very few people i know have it. that's completely at the discretion of your BOE.

Omega037
February 21st, 2007, 09:20
I found out recently that there is a university/college in the town next to mine, but I am not sure how to approach that. I guess eventually I will just pull the gaijin card and walk right up to the dorms and knock. For now, the only people who hang out around that area are kids from the nearby high school. While the same "unlimited lessons and easy lays" applies to that group too, I am not that deprived yet(though I am getting there).

Dynamis
February 21st, 2007, 09:55
JET may be changing, but its not dying any time soon. All the places that are ditching JET are decent sized cities. The smaller towns and rural areas can't get private ALTs so they dont have any option other than JET.

It's been happening for a long time.. the first to go was Tokyo. We all knew we had 0% chance of a Tokyo placement because are/were 3 JETs there, and none of them are in the actual city anyway. However, places with little-to-no gaijin population will keep JET for a long time.

The vast majority of people who come with a private company dont want to live in bumsville inaka, so private companies find it hard/impossible to get staff for those posts. Also, the contracts are small and annoying to manage so I don' think they want to bother.

On the other hand, JET is perfectly set up to fill those positions, and is become a more rural-focused programme each year. Which is fine, because JET also tends to attract most of the "i want to see REAL Japan" types who dream of seeing rice paddies out the window while dodging mukade on their tatami floor.

Matt

wattiewatson
February 21st, 2007, 10:23
I agree that jet is not going to die out, but it will get a little smaller.

As for they guy who said Japanese SHS were easy lays, Champ they may be over the legal age but they are pretty immature compared to girls from western coutries. To put it in perspective my kids still wear matching top and bottom tracksuits as normal everyday clothing. Im not talking about matchday kit, im talking to school for a normal day. I gave that up when i was about 11. Also guys tend to be a bit to touchy feely between themselves for my liking but that is another topic. Some of the SHS girls are a bit of eye candy but i wouldnt go near any of them. The daigaku girls, well that is another story.

The subsidised housing thing. I think you get screwed on that front. Everyone in my ken gets it to varying degrees. They either get a good deal or an outstanding deal. Okinawa might be tropical but being stuck on an island can suck sometimes - especially on the housing front.

Matt

dobharrison
February 21st, 2007, 11:12
Matt, there seems to be a willingness in a lot of places here to keep JETs on, but the money just isn't there in a lot of cases. I know of a few places in Hiroshima Prefecture that really want to keep using JETs but simply don't have the money for it! In some cases, they've ended up with no ALTs at all.

Everywhere I look here I see signs of the JET budget being cut. New Hiroshima-ken BOE JETs get no housing subsidies, for example. The willingness to have JETs is definitely there, but if the finances won't allow it...

Hawaiiantime
February 21st, 2007, 11:27
I thought I remembered hearing that public schools hiring private companies like Interac is against Japanese Law.

Yeah, basically it is against the law. There's a lot of information here...

nambufwc (http://nambufwc.org/issues/alt/)

English on the Cheap (http://www.fukuoka-now.com/features/article_display.php?fn_code=442452)

To sum it up, a lot of companies like Interac state 29.5 hours of work on the contract so they do not have to pay/subsidize insurance. However, the work hours are from 8:30-5:00 meaning in reality 40 hours per week. In Japanese law if you work more than 30 hours, you are considered full time. This is one of the reasons why these companies are illegal.

My little inaka town is considering going to Interac after I leave. After my time on JET, I was thinking about working for them just as an interim job, but I am not so sure now...

Omega037
February 21st, 2007, 11:47
As for they guy who said Japanese SHS were easy lays, Champ they may be over the legal age but they are pretty immature compared to girls from western coutries.


It is true that girls here act like high schoolers back home until they are like 25. Of course, they also look younger too. Which is annoying because it means your target age is near 30 when you just turned 23. I was just commenting on the fact that picking them up would be child's play. I mean, I have to actively try not to. Here is an example:

Girl: What are your hobbies?
Me: Eto...I like to read books, use the internet, and watch anime.
Girl: Wow! I love computer games and anime too. We should watch anime and play gmaes together.
Me: Eh...I don't really play computer "games". And we probably don't like the same anime.
Girl: Let's go to your place and you can show me what you like to play!
Me: I kinda gotta go...my friend is wating...bye...

Or the more obvious...

Girl: Wow, you are from America!
Me: Yeah, New York.
Girl: Amazing! How old are you?
Me: Err...57 years old.
Girl: Really?
Me: No. I am 23.
Girl: Oh! That's great! I am 17. Do you have a girlfriend?
Me: Not really.
Girl: You should be my boyfriend!
Me: You are just a kid.
Girl: But you are only 23, it is close.
Me: I kinda gotta go...my friend is wating...bye...


Why can't they be 22 or something?

mteacher80
February 21st, 2007, 11:53
WOW




i dont mean word of warcraft

1440
February 21st, 2007, 13:05
Girl: Oh! That's great! I am 17. Do you have a girlfriend?
Me: Not really.
Girl: You should be my boyfriend!
Me: You are just a kid.
Girl: But you are only 23, it is close.
Me: I kinda gotta go...my friend is wating...bye...


Why can't they be 22 or something?

My high school boys think that me being 23 is perfect for them 8O At least it gets them to work harder.

dobharrison
February 21st, 2007, 13:20
Girl: What are your hobbies?
Me: Eto...I like to read books, use the internet, and watch anime.
Girl: Wow! I love computer games and anime too. We should watch anime and play gmaes together.
Me: Eh...I don't really play computer "games". And we probably don't like the same anime.
Girl: Let's go to your place and you can show me what you like to play!
Me: I kinda gotta go...my friend is wating...bye...

Or the more obvious...

Girl: Wow, you are from America!
Me: Yeah, New York.
Girl: Amazing! How old are you?
Me: Err...57 years old.
Girl: Really?
Me: No. I am 23.
Girl: Oh! That's great! I am 17. Do you have a girlfriend?
Me: Not really.
Girl: You should be my boyfriend!
Me: You are just a kid.
Girl: But you are only 23, it is close.
Me: I kinda gotta go...my friend is wating...bye...

How the hell do you get into these conversations!?! I've never had this happen to me.

1492
February 21st, 2007, 13:55
I've had a few guys tell me they want to be my boyfriend, but more odd was the girls trying to pawn off their boys to me. That was sort of strange.

Girl: What you like hobbies?
Me: I like shopping.
Girl: You like shopping?
Me: Yeah
Girl: okay, you take him shopping (points to boy behind her)
Me: why would I take him shopping?
Girl: da-i-to. you go date.
Me: I...don't think so.

Girl: You marry?
Me: nope.
Girl: You have boyfriend?
Me: nope.
Girl: darling?
Me: Nope
Girl: Okay (taps guy next to her) you can have him. He your boyfriend.
Me: err.... no, he's too young.

I should mention that both times these girls were completely serious.