Although JET participants are members of the JET Programme, each JET is actually employed by a local contracting organization and not by CLAIR or the JET Programme. CLAIR and JET are the organizations who set up the framework to introduce us to our bosses. And since different JETs have different bosses, they often get different deals. Hence the famous Every Situation Is Different.
How JET Contracts and Contracting Organizations Work
Each contracting organization determines the terms and conditions of the JET’s employment.
For example, all Senior High School ALTs (SHS ALTs) are employed by the Prefectural Board of Education which means that all SHS ALTs have the same boss, and therefore all SHS ALTs have the same contract.
On the other hand, JHS ALTs are employed by the local (municipal) boards of education, NOT the prefectural one. Each JHS ALT has a different board of education (contracting organisation), therefore they have different contracts. This means that some get more/less paid holidays, or other benefits that others do/don’t get.
Even though we are all JETs, we each have different employers, and we are bound by the contract of our employer. Please do not compare your contracts to those of other JETs, because you do not work for the same people. While this may seem obvious, many issues arise from some contracting organizations doing something extra for its JETs (Furnished Apartment, Study Leave, etc.), and other JETs finding out about it. Expect nothing but what your contract guarantees you, and you will appreciate everything that you do get.
Also, the Prefectural Advisors (PAs) do not work for the Hyogo Board of Education. A lot of people get confused by this because they sometimes work with the BOE on orientations and other projects. They are employed by the Hyogo Prefectural Government and work in the International Relations Bureau and the Hyogo International Association.