Contract problem (was: I want big strong hunky boys)

I’m a teacher working for a company that wants to reduce my salary for February. I am a salaried employee, meaning I signed a contract with them stipulating that I get paid a fixed salary every month for the duration of the contract. Obviously, February was a shorter month and I worked fewer hours than previous months, but the contract does not say I have to work a minimum of hours each month. It does stipulate that I have to be available, which I was.

What the company (which I won’t name here (yet)) has decided to do is pay me for February by hour. Of course, this will result in my pay being lower, by about 20%. :bluemad: This is a clear breach of my contract, but for some reason the company thinks they can get away with it.

I’m not about to let this just slip by, but I’m wondering what is the best way to get what I’m owed, without getting fired? And if worst comes to worst, and I am going to get fired, how do I make sure I get everything I’m owed?

If I have to, as the U.K.-nians say, “send the boys 'round,” where can I find some boys?

Are you teaching?
Are you in a big city or a little city?
Can you afford a lawyer?

This is a tough one. In fact, as I recall, a teacher in my old school had to argue for higher pay based on a similar situation. She got it. I don’t know the legal grounds for your claim (someone else needs to post that), but if they can find any way to pay you less, they always will. Why not threaten a walkout? Or just do it? Go to school, announce to your students you can’t teach that day because you didn’t get paid, then leave. Embarrass the school. There are ways to create psychological pressure. Hiring assassins is not recommended, though!

Remember, you are waiguoren, they are locals. If you make the mistake of “bringing round the boys”, remember - they’ve probably got their own boys, and bigger than yours. Never try to fight a Taiwanese on their own turf that way. They have home advantage, as we say in American sports talk.

Do you have an English contract and a Chinese contract. If so, what does the Chinese contract say, it’s the only one that counts here.???

I’m employed by this company (basically an agent), and the location of my work is a high school in Xinzhuang (across the river from Panchiao). My gripes are about the company, not the high school.

Well, I just got off the phone with the superviser, who said I will get my regular salary after all.

But…in exchange for me “being kinda unfair,” he’s threatening to pile more hours on me in the future “if he feels like it,” so that I teach 100 hours a month (the amount exceeding which they’d have to pay me overtime). The worst result would be him making me do half-hour increments at lessons scattered all over northern Taiwan county on Saturdays.

So now that they’ve gone back to the contract, I suppose it’ll come down to how much tolerance I have for a few more hours a month. We’ll see.

But I also have some doubts about the legality of my contract, or some sections of it. Is there anyone in the Forumosa community who is well-versed on the requirements for contracts for foreign English teachers who might be willing to look at my contract (it’s in English)?

BTW, I was only joking about the boys. But I was quite angry there for a while, ready to turn into Lara Croft Tomb Raider. :wink:

My advice would be to look for a new job. If you’ve got an ARC, you may have trouble, but you can work without one and miss the pleaser of paying taxes. I wouldn’t take a job paying salary unless it was pretty good, either.

New (unfortunate) update:

Argghh!!! Supervisor just called again, and now he says he wants to re-discuss this further. So he’s still trying to push me around. Obviously wants to renege on his previous promise, and/or threaten to fire me.

I’m waiting for him to call back; and I’ve been waiting for his phone calls pretty much all day. When I call him, his response is that he’s occupied, can he call me right back?

Shall I pursue, or milk the status quo for all I can get?

Dear Aprimo,

What your supervisor will do is jack you around. He will want to discuss it endlessly, change his mind, change it again, and screw with your mind and you till he finally finds some other sap.

If you don’t believe me, then explain what he is currently doing to you and see how much it bears resemblance to my above assertion.

What you should do(remember it’s your choice and if you want to keep getting mind-fu##ed, well that’s your prerogative.)

Seeing as agents can’t give ARC’s, that means that your ARC is being rented from another school, most likely. I don’t know how that will work out with the new regulations that are causng ARC’s to be processed in just under 60 days. You need to find another job. Make nice grunting noises with this, still fight for your money, but realize now that you have “hurt” the relationship and trust. Do not be surprised if he says you have damaged the relationship, either. The CLA may be able to help you with the contract, but a judge won’t. Contracts are a very good waste of what could be very comfortable toilet paper. Judges mediate contracts, not enforce them in Taiwan.

So the sum of key points:

  1. Find new job

  2. Contact CLA

  3. Figure out how you will stay in Taiwan

  4. Be firm with your current employer, BUT ALWAYS SMILE!!! Do not yell and try to give them a reason to save face, like the 13,000 was for your mother and now she won't have that money, so how the F@# is she going to pay her heating bill?


Before I launch into my update, I must give a :laughing: because this situation is quite ridiculous and funny if you really think about it.

So, last night, they didn’t want to renege on their promise to pay me my salary after all. What they wanted was for me to sign a letter/policy that would basically bar me from discussing with anybody else any future issues I might have with them. The letter also constitutes an amendment to my current contract, because it said that if I failed to sign then I’d be in “breach of contract.” :unamused:

I’ve not signed it. Instead, I’ve written them (email) that I’m going to seek legal advice before I decide whether to sign it, since it would be an amendment of my contract.

The ridiculous thing is that I suspect my contract is, for many reasons, (not the least of which is that it has no Chinese version that I’ve seen or signed) illegal!

Generally, under Taiwan law, parties are completely free to agree to anything, provided what they agree to does not violate any of Taiwan’s laws.

[Hello, this post is off-topic. I am wondering if the moderators might rename this discussion to something clearer and maybe move it to the Teaching or one of the Legal forums. It is very confusing. :smiley: LC]

Generally, under Taiwan law, parties are completely free to agree to anything, provided what they agree to does not violate any of Taiwan’s laws.[/quote]

And, under Taiwan law, local parties are generally free to disregard any contract they have entered into, terminating it or changing the terms freely with or without cause. :wink:

When your employer, landlord, etc., decides to screw you out of your legal rights, try to talk them out of it and if that fails find a new job, apartment, etc.

A resolution has been reached. To make a long story short, not only will I be getting paid what I expected, but the other full-time teachers working for my company, who were also told that their pay for February would be “different,” will also be getting paid their promised salary. All because I spoke up and demanded that my contract be adhered to.

So the big boss of the company is upset because they will be in the red after doling out February salaries. But this is not my problem; I am not the one who manages the budget for my program. That job belongs to my supervisor. In response, the big boss has decided to implement a “training policy,” for which all full-time teachers must go into the office for training once a week for three hours each time, “to enhance the quality of the supplemental materials” we produce. These training sessions will not count as paid teaching/working hours, they say.

This will be, on the one hand, a major pain in the ass, because I’ll no longer have my entire Fridays off. But if they really are substantive training sessions, then they’ll of course be of benefit to me. All I have to do is show up and take notes. The real work will fall onto my supervisor’s head, who will be the one having to prepare and conduct the trainings. And since my supervisor is already overworked, I imagine these trainings won’t happen every single Friday anyway. And certainly won’t last all the way through the end of June, either.

And of course, if they’re not counted as working or teaching hours, then I can ditch whenever I want/need, since my contract says I only have to give notice when I’ll be unable to make working/teaching hours.

At this point I feel obliged to:

  1. Thank everyone who has given me advice and support either in this forum or in person.
  2. Encourage anyone in the same situation as I was to stick to your guns if you know you’re right .
  3. Thank the Forumosa moderators for giving my thread such an interesting, snazzy new title, even though its been moved into the not-so-snazzy Legal Forum. :notworthy:

[quote=“aprimo”]At this point I feel obliged to:
3. Thank the Forumosa moderators for giving my thread such an interesting, snazzy new title, even though its been moved into the not-so-snazzy Legal Forum. :notworthy:[/quote]

Not-so-snazzy?? Around here we stress functionality, my friend.