I would like to know if I'm getting screwed

Hey, I am looking at a job at a chain school in koahsiung. I will work 22 paid hours a week at 550 NT/hr. But with the school I will also be working about 16-18 unpaid office hours. Is this just a bad deal from the get go? The owner is real reluctant at giving me a raise at 6 months to 575 NT/hr. I was just looking for a little advice. I am new and have no experience but this is almost a 40 hour work week. I really need to find a job, but at the same time I don’t like getting taken advatage of. One more question. Is the Tax rate 20% the first six months then 10% the remainder of the year. Thanks for any replies. Brian

16 to 18 office hours? Maybe you should get some specifics. What are the hours at the school. Like, what times do you start and finish? Getting paid by the hour is good. 550 seems to be a good rate nowadays. I don’t know why they would be reluctant about the 575 thing.

Seems to be too many hours at the school for too little pay though.

What’s vacation? Is it paid? Give some details if you have them.

Yes. You are getting screwed. Royally.

A few unpaid hours a week is understandable, but 16-18? That’s simply ridiculous.

$550 an hour is fine if you are new to the biz, but after you’ve got some experience I wouldn’t settle for less than $600.

:astonished: Terrible. That’s approximately 40 hours/week for a little over $300/hour. “A bad deal” doesn’t quite describe it…

Yeah, getting paid by the hour is good. And 550 isn’t bad to start, but it’s a little bit of a rip off if you’re only required to be there for the teaching hours. Being there 40 hours/wk is just insane. You’d be better off getting a gig that gave you 4 hours a night with a visa with no extra time required to be there. Then you can pad your salary. I’m just curious about the details of this contract. Just for curiosity sake. You shouldn’t have to spend anymore than a half-hour/day there fucking the dog.

Suggestion: Think of this in terms of your home currency. 20 hours paid + 18 hours unpaid=38 hours a week for while you earn 11000 for the week…
Do the math and it comes out that you are earning about $9US/10.40Can/12AUS/5GB an hour.

Is that an acceptable income for you?

Yes it is a bad deal.

I agree with the others. You need to look at how much you are taking home at the end of each week and compare this to the amount of time you are required to be at the school. If you are not happy with what this works out to be then you should either negotiate or turn the job down. Personally I would hope that no one would even consider this job so as to show the owner of the school that what he is offering is unacceptable.

Bear in mind that you would be committed to that school for 40 hours a week which would prevent you from getting a second job or taking on some privates. As such your only possible income is from that school. Are you happy living on that wage for a year?

My suggestion is give it a miss as you will find something else.

That depends.

The tax year in Taiwan runs from January 1st to December 31st.

If you have just arrived and will not be in the country for more than 183 days (approx. six months) in the first tax year then your employer is required to deduct 20% from your wages and pay this to the tax office. Make sure that these deductions are noted as tax deductions on your pay slips each month so that you have a written record as proof of payment. Therefore if you arrived in Taiwan after about July 31st then you legally need to pay 20% tax. Unfortunately you will forfeit all of these taxes as you are considered a non-resident for that period of time and are therefore not entitled to a tax refund. After January 1st of the following year your tax rate should drop down to around 10%. More about this later.

NB: The 183 day calculation is made according to how many days you are actually in Taiwan according to your passport, not how long you have been employed. So as long as you arrive before July 31st and don’t spend too many days out of the country after this time then you will be okay.

If you arrive prior to July 31st and are in Taiwan for more than 183 days then the 20% rule does not apply. Many schools however don’t realize this and will stay take 20% out of your wages for the first six months and then less after the six months. It is up to you if you want to point out to them the discrepancy between their practice and the requirements under the law. Personally I would let this one go provided that I was getting monthly pay slips that noted the exact amount withheld by the school for taxes. You will likely be entitled to a partial refund and this is kind of forced savings!

Tax rates in Taiwan are calculated according to how much you earn. Most foreign teachers would pay either 6 or 13% tax. As a newbie you are probably more likely to be in the 6% bracket. Despite this your school may make a standard tax deduction from your pay of 10% which is the center of the two. As mentioned above some schools may even take 20% for the first six months even in cases where they need not do this.

At the end of the tax year you will have your monthly pay slips stating exactly how much tax you have paid, and your school is required by law to give you a tax withholding statement. You can then use these documents to secure your tax return which will be the difference between the tax that you did pay and the tax that you should have paid.

16-18 unpaid office hours? Why earth would they need that many office hours?

Don’t take the job…it is a total rip-off.

Would you mind letting us know what school it is?

I’m in Kaohsiung and if you need any help please feel free to PM me.

I would first like to thank everyone for all the replies.

The the office hours are monday to friday 12-2, Monday Tues, Thurs, Friday 4-5 plus an hour here and there where there is no afternoon class and they expect you to stay there. There is also no afternoon class on Tuesday, but I would still have to report at 12, and I guess stay till class starts at 5. I had my suspicions about this job, but being new was looking for some verification. I was a little worried when the boss told me that because I signed a contract at 550/nt an hour I could receive no raise for that year. But after one year I could get 600 an hour. The working hours are 5-9 MTuWTr. with an hour here and there in the after noon. The School is Joy Language School. it is in north kaohsiung city. I hate to slander this school due to the very nice staff and a good friend that introduced me to the job. But I guess a bad deal is a bad deal.

I will part ways with this school, and continue my search in Kaohsiung. I will have to say that It is not as easy to find a job as my Friend in the Tiawanese Army told me it was. I will Contiune Looking and Hopefully something will come about.

THanks again. Brian

Just one more note, the contract isn’t official. Incase anyone read that. They offered 18 working days vacation non paid which I thought was nice.

Thanks again and I’ll keep on truckin’

Sounds to me like to OP might be working for Sesame Street. I know for a fact, and not from personal experience, that all teachers,—company policy–have to be on the property from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m.

You only have three hours that day? Well, we want you to sit in the front office where all the locals can see you while you are writing lesson plans.
Yes, if you work there, they think it is necessay that you write lesson plans for five hours. That of course is only for next day’s classes, not for the week or month.

I have heard that some schools in Tainan require that their foreign teachers take any and all breaks on the side walk in front of the school and say in English to all who pass, “Welcome to XXX” as they hand out one of the school’s promotional leaflets. No smoking allowed and please give every passerby one of our leaflets.

Something for you owners to think about :slight_smile:

In answer to “teach the kids Ya’ll”, you are not getting screwed until you drop yer britches and say “have at it”!

As a last thought, I have it on very good authority that the Sesame branches in PeiKang and PouTze were paying 450 an hour ten years ago and that is still what they are paying for 40 hours a week of actual teaching hours on either of their two properties. Sounds great? 450 for 14 hours a week of actual teaching. That’s 6,300 Nt a week or 25,000 a month for your teaching time. The rest of your time that you are required to be there is window dressing for them.

Dear God! Where is my Queen Margot CD?

Anything to get me away from the subject of cheap scummy Taiwanese “laobans”.

Stay away from any schools that asks you for a lesson plan that has to be written on site.

I can say Amen to that. When I was a lot dumber and all of that shit, the famous Giraffe Corp. in Kaohsiung asked me to teach a class of phonics to a group of Taiwanese teachers. The pay was pretty good 1200 per hour for a four hour seminar on Sunday afternoons four years ago and so I grabbed at the bait. I wrote up a detailed lesson plan of eveything I could pull out of my butt and elsewhere as it related to the phonics of English and put it all into one coherent package.

In the few seconds that passed as I handed over my lesson plan to Smiley at the desk in Giraffe I realized how greatly I had just screwed myself.

You got it! The class was “cancelled because of a lack of interested participants” My LP and 43 pages of information? “This is Taiwan”.

Everybody who works with me now knows that my attitude is “no pay, no play.”

If you don’t like the information I gave you or my style of teaching, you have two choices: sue me or fire me. I promise you neither one will bother me.