I’m getting real tired of my job (a private day school in Taipei) and the work culture. I’m trying to figure out if anything is illegal or the school is just a bunch of jerks.
The two big “is this legal?” things:
- My contract says the school hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but that teachers are expected to arrive by 7:40.
There are a few things wrong with this: 1. That’s an extra 20 minutes/day (over an hour more per week) beyond a 40 hour week. 2. The kids are let in around 7:50 and cannot be left unsupervised like in all the public schools I’ve taught at, so that’s nearly an hour more unpaid supervisory work (chasing down kids who are physically attacking each other) each week.
- The kids are in the building and we are responsible for looking after them from when they walk in the door at 7:50 to when their personal drivers pick them up at 4:55. The only break is if I run away for my hour at lunch, which is rarely a full hour as it is. There is no prep time in anyone’s schedule at all. Somehow we need to check completed assignments daily during the exactly zero time that we have in our schedule to do so. All meetings, professional development etc. are conducted after the students leave and sometimes on Saturdays, which is obviously outside the contract hours. There is no “補假” because they say that we have “more days off than the other schools”. The problem I have with this statement is that teachers at “other schools” have a solid 20 or more hours each week in which they can hold meetings and have PD because they aren’t responsible for looking after their class 100% of the day. It is not uncommon for us to be cleaning up our classrooms and prepping for the next day for way more hours into the evening than any teacher with a sense of time management because there is always at least an hour of assignments to go through and two hours of prep that needs to be done for the next day.
So I already know I got a raw deal with this job, no one needs to tell me that. It’s unfortunate, because I love my coteachers, even if the administration is focused only on making money from the rich parents who think it’s a good idea to send their child to the school. But I want to know if the number of hours they are expecting from us is actually legal.
I know cram schools are generally 20ish hours per week, some with office hours, others without.
I know (because I’ve worked in them) that public schools are 18-24 CLASSES per week, (coming out to 15ish hours), the rest of the time with expected desk warming.
This school has a total number of teaching/supervisory hours with the kids at 8 hours a day (we can call that 40 teaching hours a week). Stupid, stupid me, thinking I’d known all the tricks of the Taiwanese scam-the-foreign-teacher out there, NEVER thought I’d have to ask if I, the main teacher who saw that class time was from 8:20 to 3:30, would be responsible for supervising students in ALL classes and clubs besides my own teaching duties.
TLDR: Is it legal to have us directly required to work more than 40 hours a week if there is no overtime? (by “directly”, I mean “required to clock in and be working”; I know I have no voice with regards to the unpaid prep time). Thanks!