Can you believe this offer from my school?

:fume:

Can you get over this one.

I’ve been working at this school for 2 years now. We’ve been asking for raises for more than a year now. I love what I pay out in the end of the month (sometimes more than NT80 000) I get NT630 an hour, and 6 hours a day. I know I can get more hourly, but not many schools have 6 hours available.

so, I told them I really want to earn more because I feel that the amount of paperwork and things I do in my free time is just getting more and more. ( I teach 70 kids a day, all need weekly reports, where I used to teach only 30 before)

so heres the new deal. From Aug, they want us all to sign contracts…(we never had, so no bonuses, etc) We get paid salary between NT70 000 - NT75 000. BUT have to stay there during lunch (which is 2.5 hours)

So, I’m going to be taking a pay cut, and have to stay at the school for 2.5 hours more than now.

errrrrr…what?

What is it with businesses here that think that when they sign a contract they are doing you a favor? AFAIK, it is the law, and not giving you one means they are in big trouble. YOU are doing them a favor and they come up with this?!
-been there, done that-
:fume:

Are you getting a year end bonus? Any extra perks? At least a transportation allowance? :roflmao:

So, you’ll spend more hours at the school for less money? :loco:

Like Icon said, does this new contract stipulate any perks?

If not, I’ll say it’s a :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown:

Yes, I believe it.

My last job was at a private high school, as a placement from a language school. We were psuedo-salary. During the regular school year, we were paid a monthly amount based on 22 class hours per week. Some months of course had more hours, some had less, but we were paid the same. The average hourly worked out OK, so we just accepted it. During partial months, however, our “salary” was reduced by the same percentage our weekly hours were reduced. This bothered me because we were often asked to participate at special events during the semester at no extra pay, but when our hours were reduced, our pay was also reduced. This didn’t seem fair.

After talking to the language school about it, they went to the high school and insisted we be paid hourly for every hour we’re asked to do anything. The high school resisted, but finally gave in. It took them about a nano-second to figure out how to use it to their advantage. They cut out all the typhoon days and national holidays that used to be part of our “salary”. They also decided they didn’t need us to proctor exams. Overall, we lost 10% of our pay.

Be careful trying to get more out of your employer. If they can find a way to make it backfire, they will.

To be fair, we are facing an unprecedented slowdown in the global economy, which makes your bargaining chip, whatever it was, almost redundant.

HG

[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]To be fair, we are facing an unprecedented slowdown in the global economy, which makes your bargaining chip, whatever it was, almost redundant.

HG[/quote]
Perhaps, however in the 4 years I was at my school, present school year included, the enrollment has steadily increased and there has been no reduction in tuition. “The economy” is too easily blamed.

all I wanted was an extra NT2500 a month. JUST to show that there is a reason that I stay on at the school. I’ve been in Taiwan for 7 years and I don’t feel right earning only NT630 an hour. I’m sure I can do better. All I wanted was NT650. In my elementary class there are 20 kids, and 13 of them will leave when I leave.(the parents hate the school and ask me on a regular basis if I could teach them privately instead of at the school.) I always say no because the school introduced me to them and I have loyalty to my school.

thats alllll I wanted. Just a ‘we see that youre working hard and doing extra things and want to say thanks.’ I think theyre trying to get rid of all the old teachers (some have been there for 7 years, some for 5) and its never been this bad. Now whenever they ask us to do extra work we always complain that theyve been promising a raise for more than a year and we just keep on getting more work, but the raise isnt coming.

oh well…if they told me they cant because of the economy I would have understood. But the boss just smiled and said ‘ok’ when I said I propably wont sign the contract in Aug. I want to work at a school that actually recognizes that you have stayed there for more than a year! The ppl that have been there for 7 yrs pay the same as me and are just as unhappy.

darn…feels like a waste of time!

They can’t tell you it’s the economy -it’s a face issue.

Take a good look at the contract. Have a Taiwanese friend look over the Chinese version as the Chinese version is the only one that counts. Verify nothing is added/missing -we just had a very dirty trick played on us on this regard…

Sometimes pushing for a raise of one’s hourly rate can backfire. It may lead to reduced hours as the boss decides to have a cheaper work unit teaching more classes. Personally, I wouldn’t ask for a raise unless there was a sharp hike in the price of booze.

well, the boss finally broke down and said that this is their new business strategy. They are hoping to get rid of all their old teachers, and employ foreigners that are new to Taiwan and work for cheap.

so…I’m going to leave at the end of August.

New? I’d say this is the strategy of many business owners in this industry. Perhaps the only thing new is that they admitted it.

And then they complain that they keep getting furners who break contracts and leave. There’s no connection in their minds that low pay = lower quality. To them it only means “low pay = more for me”.

Well, if they can force stupid newbs into agreeing to contract breaking penalties, then it’s definitely cheaper to use 'em because they get the employee to underwrite some of their hiring costs. Newbs are evil!

This is one of the harsh realities of teaching in Taiwan. It’s true that–usually–a teacher is worth more after a year or two of experience. If that teacher actually stays at the school where they started out for all that experience it’s even better because it shows the teacher’s sense of loyalty to the school and sense of efficacy towards their students and the job.

But this added value is only temporal. There is always another English speaking warm body stumbeling of a plane in Taipei or Koahsiung looking for a great teaching gig.

I have a friend who has worked for only two schools in Taiwan. She worked for three years at her first job. She was hired at 500 per hr. and eventually earned 550. She married and had a baby, then decided to leave her husband and return to the States. She lived in the States for three years and decided to move back to Taiwan with said husband.

The school she had worked at was very small. She was always the only full time teacher, but she and her boss got along very, very well. When she left, the boss said to call her if she decided to come back–so three years later that’s what she did. The boss said, sure come on back, and I’ll even pay you 600 per hr. My wise friend jumped on it.

At this school the hours were variable and a lot of prep time and flexibility were required of her, but she never, ever had to deal with unruly kids or crazy parents. The boss put in as much or more effort than my friend and trully cared if the kids learned. Yes, the boss needes to make money–she’s a single parent who’s husband was killed in an accident–but she actually takes the education of the kids seriously.

My friend is also a single parent in Taiwan now, so decided that it would be better to take a job in an elementary school that offered stable hours that were the same hours her daughter is in school. It also worked out to more money, but not a lot more.

She hates this new job. She says the job is hard enough, but she has to do anchinban hours that are insane–no discipline at all there and she’s made the scapegoat for any troubles that come up. She’s going to finish out the year, but swears she’ll quit next year if they expect her to do anchinban–of course they will.

The fact is, even in a good economy, there is just no real leverage. A good working environment is worth a hell of a lot. Better jobs can likely still be found, but they’re rare in the first place. If you feel that you’ve outgrown your job, you probably have. I mean that with nothing but respect. You’re just facing the delima that everyone eventually does in Taiwan. It’s easy to stay and keep living a relatively easy life treading the professional waters, but you start to realize you’re not getting anywhere cause there’s no place to go.

[quote=“Icon”]They can’t tell you it’s the economy -it’s a face issue.

Take a good look at the contract. Have a Taiwanese friend look over the Chinese version as the Chinese version is the only one that counts. Verify nothing is added/missing -we just had a very dirty trick played on us on this regard…[/quote]

That is not correct unless it says that the Chinese-language version governs. That said, it’s a good idea to check them for inconsistencies that can crop up for all kinds of reasons and create lots of bad feeling.

[quote=“Feiren”]
That is not correct unless it says that the Chinese-language version governs. That said, it’s a good idea to check them for inconsistencies that can crop up for all kinds of reasons and create lots of bad feeling.[/quote]

Out of curiosity I want to ask: what happens legally if the statement that the Chinese version governs is missing and there is a dispute?

[quote=“Battery9”]well, the boss finally broke down and said that this is their new business strategy. They are hoping to get rid of all their old teachers, and employ foreigners that are new to Taiwan and work for cheap.

so…I’m going to leave at the end of August.[/quote]
This really doesn’t surprise me. Sorry to hear that they are doing this to you.

[quote=“lemur”][quote=“Feiren”]
That is not correct unless it says that the Chinese-language version governs. That said, it’s a good idea to check them for inconsistencies that can crop up for all kinds of reasons and create lots of bad feeling.[/quote]

Out of curiosity I want to ask: what happens legally if the statement that the Chinese version governs is missing and there is a dispute?[/quote]

A court or (more likely) the Labor Bureau would look at both them and try to decide what the parties met. In general, the documents will be read in favor of the employee if there is a discrepancy. In the end though, what usually happens in these disputes is that the Bureau leans on the employer to pay up for severance.

This case is interesting because the OP is arguably a permanent employee anyway and the employer is attempting to unilaterally change the terms of employment. The OP may be able to refuse to sign the contract on grounds that pay can’t be lowered without mutual consent. The employer will then have to pay severance to make her leave, which they won’t want to do. She should talk to her local labor bureau.

nope. None of us have a contract. There were many great things about this school. A 2.5 hour lunch break…a boss that didn’t really care what we did. We all worked hard, but didn’t have a dragon breathing down our backs. We could take holidays whenever, as long as we got a sub. Things only started to go downhill when the sister schools started suffering and our school started financially pumping money into them…we have a lot of kids, but the school’s money is now supporting two sister schools.

It just sucks because I have found that the only thing I can keep here is my job. Everyone else goes…I’ve lost 10 friends last year and I don’t feel like finding any new ones. Whats the use…they just leave and it hurts. And to now hear that the school doesn’t care about us and the time we put in…it sucks.

but, I do get it. Times are tough…I will just try to find a school that actually gives bonuses for resigning contracts, etc. Some way to feel like youre actually climbing a ladder of some sort. Because there really isn’t a lot of growth in this job industry. When I got here 7 yrs ago I earned 500. Now I earn 630. But the exchange rate has gone up(ok ok, except for now!!) SO when my friends back home ask me what I earn after 7 years of experience its almost less than when I started.

sigh. Def time for me to look for another little pile of land.

I saw a Taiwanese acquaintance the other night. In the pub. She has her own school. She was trying to find teachers. :astonished: