Blacklist of schools


#1

I have heard of a lot of people complaining about schools. Thier deposits being taken, deposits being ASKED in the first place.

I have been lucky. My schools have been great.

Do you guys have stories to share? I would love to hear if anyone else worked at Julia American School in Szwei Road. Teachers having to put out fires, NT$ 10 000 deposits…being fired for having an opinion…
So far I have 3 people whose lives were almost ruined by that school!


#2

Folks,

I think a thread like this can be of great help. But I ask all of you to post in a responsible manner.

We expect information to be from a
[color=red]primary source[/color]
. Please do not post stuff like, “My roommate’s friend’s girlfriend’s sister’s might have heard such and such about a school”. We expect the information posted here to be reliable.

We also suggest that you have a solid case against the school or at least a valid argument or complaint. No, “Hey man, I got fired because I was drunk and was twirling my meat in the classroom. That’s totally unfair.” type stuff.

Please be aware that schools will have an equal opportunity to respond.

Regards,

Durins Bane
Co-Moderator
Teaching Forum

[color=#0000FF]Mod’s note 4/17/12 – Please take the site rules into account when posting, particularly the following – TG[/color]

[quote]
Conversely, offline disputes are also unwelcome on Forumosa. If you have a problem with someone in real life, don’t harass them online. If you have a grievance you’d like to share, that’s fine, but please ensure that the identity of the people you’re talking about is kept private. Forumosa is not a court of law and allegations of wrongdoing against private individuals are unwelcome.

Do not post personal information about any other person even if that information is publicly available. [/quote]


Warning: Jump Start Kindergarten Under Investigation
#3

Not wanting to knock the value of such a thread on this forum, but such lists already exist.

A blacklist of bad schools, and more importantly a greenlist of good schools can be found at www.buxiban.com


#4

[quote=“Battery9”] I would love to hear if anyone else worked at Julia American School in Szwei Road. Teachers having to put out fires, NT$ 10 000 deposits…being fired for having an opinion…
So far I have 3 people whose lives were almost ruined by that school![/quote]

Unless I read this incorrectly, battery has never worked there, as his schools have been great. Why not name them? That would be even more valuable IMHO.

I hate to say it but this is exactly what this is, to quote a famous song of the same name, second-hand news. Someone posting bad stuff about a school, that they don’t even work at, fishing for responses. First hand experiences at any school is valuable information, but insuations about schools shouldn’t be allowed.


#5

I will try and get the 3 people to post their FIRST HAND accounts here. Doubt that they will because they are busy with lawsuits to get their deposits back.

My good school is Joy English School in Taishan county.


#6

Battery 9 - It would be great to get a review about the Joy School you mention, for the buxiban site. There are plenty of negative comments about schools and this is good, but it would be good to build the Greenlist on the buxiban site so that teachers can find quality schools rather than just information on which schools to avoid.

I encourage anyone else with positive information about current or past schools to also write up a quick review so that this information can be shared with others.


#7

Just to confirm - indeed, I went for an interview/demo at Julia. All went well, very friendly folks. Then came the contract with the deposit/fine information. I think it was two weeks pay, or NT10,000. Too bad. Seems like it would have been a nice school to work at.


#8

I am curious. Does anyone know of any buxibans that don’t either have a penalty payable, or loss of bonuses, for premature breach. To my knowledge this is the norm, and although I suspect that there may be some schools out there that do things differently, I expect that most school have some form of penalty.

Opinions about whether penalties should be levied in the first place aside, the penalty at Julia doesn’t seem to be too excessive to me. I am not sure that you will find a better deal elsewhere, but am interested in hearing if there is one!


#9

So you have to pay a deposit up front or is it taken out of your pay?


#10

I am curious. Does anyone know of any buxibans that don’t either have a penalty payable, or loss of bonuses, for premature breach. To my knowledge this is the norm, and although I suspect that there may be some schools out there that do things differently, I expect that most school have some form of penalty.

Opinions about whether penalties should be levied in the first place aside, the penalty at Julia doesn’t seem to be too excessive to me. I am not sure that you will find a better deal elsewhere, but am interested in hearing if there is one![/quote]

If a teacher does not complete the contract. I ask.

1.) To repay the ARC fee and the Physical fee (I pay for both.)

2.) I also ask for the teachers to repay the 25 training hours that I pay them to attend ( it is half pay so it isn’t too much).

I don’t penalize teachers for leaving early.


#11

Durins deal is certainly very fair, and I must say very practical. It would however be the exception to the rule. I suspect that schools owned by foreigners are likely to place less importance on penalizing teachers for leaving early because these schools can effectively communicate their needs to the teachers, and also because the teachers themselves would no doubt fear being recognized within the foreign community as a contract breaker.

Personally, I do suscribe to the ‘you cover the reasonable costs incurred by the school and help us find a replacement and we will have no trouble with you leaving’ way of looking at this situation. I can’t understand what benefit there is to the school of making someone stay for a full year if they don’t want to be there, just so that this teacher doesn’t need to pay a penalty.

That said, I can totally understand why local schools insist upon penalties. I believe that most schools levy the penalties reasonably and that they are generally there as a deterrent, but I am aware of some schools that do abuse the system.

No matter which way you look at it someone will lose, so my best advice is to try and find the best school for you, rather than the highest rate of pay.


#12

There is one school here in Kaohsiung (part of a chain) that is partly owned by a foreigner. They have two weeks vacation in the summer and also during Christmas. If a teacher takes a day off other than those times (and of course national holidays, typhoons, etc) that teacher has to pay a penalty of $2,000NT per day.


#13

Ouch, that hurts, is that over and above losing pay for the day? If it is, that is outrageous.

And Durins school.

ARC 1000
Physical 1000
Residents visa 3600
25 hrs @ 275 6875

Total 12,475

More than Julia’s in the OP. The only difference is that you are upfront about what costs are being covered and most schools don’t pay for this stuff. I wonder why you do pay for this stuff? Does it make your staff feel like you care about them (I’m not saying you don’t)?

Some schools do all the ARC legwork and pay for it to keep teachers in the dark about the process that is involved, thereby maintaining some power over thier teachers.


#14

[quote=“impleased”]Ouch, that hurts, is that over and above losing pay for the day? If it is, that is outrageous.

And Durins school.

ARC 1000
Physical 1000
Residents visa 3600
25 hrs @ 275 6875

Total 12,475

More than Julia’s in the OP. The only difference is that you are upfront about what costs are being covered and most schools don’t pay for this stuff. I wonder why you do pay for this stuff? Does it make your staff feel like you care about them (I’m not saying you don’t)?

Some schools do all the ARC legwork and pay for it to keep teachers in the dark about the process that is involved, thereby maintaining some power over thier teachers.[/quote]

I just feel that it is my responsibility to pay for the ARC and physical. If a teacher wants to leave I don’t hold any grudges. I have one teacher who is leaving to start his own school. I am keeping his visa for him until he is ready to transfer it over to his place. I also told him he is welcome back if things don’t work out. I have another teacher who has worked for me for almost five years. Ten months into his latest contract he said he needed a change. Sure, I can’t argue with wanting to do something new. I paid his bonus, even though he did not finish his contract, and told him if things don’t work out he is more than welcome to come back. Two months later he was.

Simple respect and courtesy can go a long way. It is also a business decision…if the teachers are satisfied where they are working then they will work harder.

I really respect them for the job they do. I am really lucky to have such a great bunch of folks in the trenches.


#15

My very first job ever, when I was 13, was paid ‘a week in hand’. That was delivering newspapers once a week, but the same system has been commonplace throughout my working life.

You worked the first two weeks and then got paid for the first week. You were always owed some pay, to ensure that you didn’t just get paid one day and not show up the next. For salary jobs pay has rarely been on the very last day of the month, but usually a week or so after.

Here in Taiwan there are sadly a great many people who will just up and quit on payday for no reason other than that they got a ‘better’ offer somewhere else. Better might mean starting later in the day, or a few more/less hours, or something similar and people can be very unprofessional about how they handle moving. It leaves the school in the lurch, and let’s not forget that the teacher is what the customers pay for.

When a teacher moves on the school doesn’t simply have to replace him/her. They have to explain to the paying customers why they are no longer getting what they paid for. Students don’t like it if the teacher changes, unless the teacher is no good.

So who can blame schools for trying to enforce a little reliability if it’s done in the same way as many western companies? You can hardly blame ‘them’ for protecting their interests, it’s a universal thing. I don’t have a problem with the concept of the penalty, although the implementation of it can often leave a lot to be desired.

I would go as far as naming IACC as being the worst example of using a protective mechanism to leverage teachers unfairly. I would never recommend anyone to go and work for them, and found their ‘service charge’ bullshit to be totally unacceptable. But, in fairness, the nature of the agent’s game is such that it’s almost inevitable. (I’ve done similar work in other countries, and one reason for quitting was that I didn’t like what it was turning me into.)

At my current High School job, which I won’t bother naming because the person responsible is leaving and new management will take over, things have been almost unbelievably good in this respect. I have taken time off at short notice without penalty, for a hangover! I was even able to tell the truth about it, although I wouldn’t have kept the job for long if I had done this often. I took a week in the middle of the semester for a trip overseas and no trouble was made about it. And I get paid on the first of the month, or even the last day of the preceeding month. In May I had my cheque in my hand before I had even completed my teaching obligations for the month.

Although this shows that schools can function without bullying their staff, the school had also had problems with teachers being unreliable in the past. I would have no objection to being paid a week later.

Finally, how about Elite? Their contracts generally include penalties and specify such impossibilities as having to give 24 hours notice if you need a sick day. On the face of it these are pretty unreasonable working conditions, but they are not generally enforced. I’ve had sick days and pulled out of courses mid-way through without being penalised, simply because I’m trusted and have trust.

Right now I have a course of classes that clash with a new project that is more important. I’ve told them I don’t want to do it, starting asap, and they’re looking for a replacement. I know I’ll get paid up, they know I won’t just drop classes without warning, so there’s none of this silly penalty business.

But if I was to repeatedly screw them around I’m sure that they would start taking money for ‘fines’ out of my pay packet. And I know someone who quit without notice on payday once, and they wouldn’t give him the money for the remaining classes. I don’t blame them and neither does he. He broke the contract and expected to pay the price agreed.

It boils down to respect. Some companies don’t respect their staff, and sometimes that’s because they have had to deal with teachers who have been disrespectful towards them. An interview is your opportunity to find out if they are going to treat you respectfully, and if they are then it’s your opportunity to promise yourself that you will treat them fairly.


#16

In over 6 years and a dozen or so parttime and fulltime jobs, I have never once paid a deposit. I refuse. Aside from the fact that they’re ilegal, I just hate the “we don’t trust you, so we’re going to deduct money from your salary as security” message it sends. If you don’t trust me, don’t hire me.

I think it is far far better for a school to offer a ‘contract completion’ bonus. It may add up to mroe or less the same thing, but the message it sends is much more positive.

Brian


#17

Sorry, just to clarify, I don’t have a problem with always being owed a bit of money but would never accept having to pay a deposit ‘just in case’. Having to take money off people to prevent them from leaving is a sure sign that you have a way of making people want to leave. ie the job’s no good.


#18

O.U.R.S. is advertising on Tealit to avoid flames here. Go to that school at your peril. Very dishonest and tricky bunch of people - lying, making up excuses to not pay and keep deposits, constantly changing contracts, chinese boss looks in on you constantly rather than letting just do your job. Among those especially to avoid are Jack Li, Alan, Stephanie, and Grace. If you can speak to Jack Li, you’ll have an interesting experience; he can lie about most anything with a grin a mile wide. But don’t take my word for it. If you like adventure, give them a try.


#19

No way, man. I’ve never worked at a school that had a “deposit” in their contract. It’s illegal and distrustful. Sure lots of schools have been screwed over by runaway foreigners, but that’s not my problem. Sorry school owners, but there is no insurance against that (unless of course you manage to swindle the teacher into agreeing on a deposit). What if my school doesn’t pull through for me? Then I’m doubly fucked. Teachers unite! Walk out of interviews that insist on deposits. Sure - it’s “no big deal” if you are sure all will go well, but come on! Imagine holding back somebody’s pay for work completed. Especiallly disconcerting are schools that hire illegally, don’t provide work permits, then still insist on a deposit in case THEY get screwed. What about your own deportation if the school stops paying off local authorities . . .


#20

OK, so we have established what we already knew - and that is that deposits paid upfront are out of line as well as being illegal.

My question still stands though. Does anyone know of any schools that don’t have some sort of penalty for premature breach? That is, are there any schools out there that you can walk out on your contract and not have to pay some sort of penalty? I am not talking about deposits as we have already established the situation with these.

To the best of my knowledge all schools that provide an ARC have some kind of penalty for premature breach of contract. Can someone suggest otherwise?