How to re-negotiate a salary?

If I knew that my agent was such a leech I wouldn’t have bothered staying in Taiwan but here I am now trying to get back what I deserve.

I am an Australian qualified teacher and working full time in a High School in Taipei. Well, I am getting paid around $25,000 dollars less than the rest of the teachers. I also do a night shift like the rest and not getting paid the bonus for it. All because my Agent is an inept that only cares about his dirty commission. Some of the teachers in my school are genuine people who are trying to help me out but the school politics wouldn’t recommend me to have a talk tothe principal about this issue. There is one teacher (not exactly someone I can trust) said that she will discuss this issue with Admin. I also found out that there was another teacher in this school who was able to re-negotiate his salary during the contract but this year got his job without an Agent meddling. That is what this last teacher told me and she also said and this guy was married to a Taiwanese lady.

I thought to myself what a bunch of crap! I can’t believe how badly things run in my school and how bad is the situation of many foreign English teachers in Taiwanese private schools as opposed to the local teachers. We still get here an average of $50,000-60,000 NTD whereas local teachers go up to $80,000 t0 90,000 NTD (my school’s case).

Now, what do you guys recommend me to do in order to successfully obtain a wage rise in my school?

Thanks for your advice,


How long have you been here? Who do you have your ARC through? How much experience do you have with Chinese/ Taiwanese management? It’s significant that the other guy was married to a local lady; it means that the school/ agent didn’t have him by the short and curlies. Think in terms of power and command, not in terms of satisfaction and mutual agreement.

Uh oh, I thought JUICE went under… Or are they under a new name now?

I don’t think you can (assuming you’ve signed papers and stuf saying you agreed to the wage.) I mean, you can try, but I don’t know why they would help you out (unless they really like you.)

If I were you, I’d find another job and (seriously) threaten to quit. I’d try to settle things in a civil manner first, but I haven’t had much success that way thus far. Threatening people is more fun anyways :smiling_imp:

Something else you might want to try is writing a letter to “the Boss.” My morning school has “A Boss” that all decisions must first be approved by. Work your way up to “the Boss” through the proper channels. I’m guessing there would be 3 or 4 people to go through until you get to him.

I think teachers in general do pretty well here and teachers at private schools get more because they lose out on retirement bonus things that public teachers get (or something like that.)

I agree with Miltown that I don’t think you can (ie, that they won’t give it to you). Doesn’t the school basically pay the same amt of money to (a) any other teacher as it does to (b) you plus your agent? That’s why I wouldn’t use an agent to find a dime a dozen teaching job. The agent’s cut has to come from somewhere and it’s not gonna be from the school, it’s gonna be from you.

I agree also that you can always try. Fortunately for you there’s lots of demand for teachers in Taipei, right? And, if you really know the facts concerning salaries in your school, you’ve reached the point where you’re totally sick of the BS, not willing to tolerate it any longer, and willing to walk out, then you’ve got all the power. You don’t need to kiss their inequitable little asses. You can tell them you require teh same salary as everyone else or else you’ll find another job. If they refuse to budge then turn in your notice and find that new job. I wouldn’t call it threatening; just laying down your demand and sticking to it.

Definitely speak to the highest level person possible, so long as that person knows who you are and you’ve at least said hello before. In person would be better than a letter. Don’t be angry, take some deep breaths before approaching, stay calm and tell him firmly but politely and matter of factly that you require the same salary as the others, then pause and let him respond. Timing’s important too. Make sure you’ve done some good acts for the school, hopefully that someone noticed, shortly before you approach them. And make sure its a calm time of day/week, so the person can listen/respond to you and doesn’t have to rush out for a meeting, etc.

Good luck.

Negotiate salary in Taiwan?? :roflmao:

Recommend? Another country.

Actually, Mother Teresa gave the best advice already. Good luck.

Thanks for the advice guys.

Yes that’s what happens when you go through an agent in Taiwan.I learned the lesson of the newbie. Now I have to cope with this BIG MISTAKE and manage a way out.

I’ve also found that the school offered a higher salary to the agent before they employed me. I am thinking what the hell is going on here. I guess they must be keeping the extra or something like that. I wish I could put my hands on that dirty Agency.

It’s gonna be bloody hard to re-negotiate (but not impossible) at this stage. I’ll have a go based on the fact that schools now are in the middle of the semester and it would be hard for the school to find a new teacher. I mean if I leave I would disrupt the normal flow. The kids won’t have a teacher until the school finds a qualified one. That would take some time.



My first job here was through an agent. I think he took 5,000 or so off of my salary each month. I made a big fit about it and when the new year started it was my way or the highway. Ended up being my way, but they said something about needing to pay the agent money because of them breaking the contract (or something.)

Whatever. Lesson learned for you. :smiley: Don’t need to worry about it happening again next time around, you’ll have a better idea of what kind of questions to ask. Every year I learn new and better questions to ask new employers. Maybe there should be a list of these types of questions to ask somewhere… (salary, when’s payday, sicks days?, do I need to arrange a sub for time off, communication book issues, will I need to come in on a weekend?, etc. etc.)

Same deal here. I call it BS! These agents are just a bunch of legally established mafias. They are just waiting for us to quit so they can make extra bucks (unpaid holiday, the commisionthey get plus one month of salary if you quit before the contract expires). So my question is:

What chances do I have to speak to the school and negotiate a kind of under the table agreement to get a better deal.

Bear in mind that the school is already paying the agent $70,000 a month.

And I am working here with unpaid holidays, unpaid night shift (once a week though), unpaid sick leave, basically a white slave for the yellow fella. Yes I learned the hard way.

What do you think? Can I successfully re-negotiate?