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BANGKOK 17 August 2019 20:53
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costas

Does A Contract Mean Anything?

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hi all,

i have a 3 month contract ending march 30th, and the school asked for renewal.

i enquired whether everything would be ask discussed and agreed upon in december when i initially got the job i.e. salary, how many holidays and when etc

only to be told that they will offer me a 12 month contract but only 11 months pay!

the alternative i was offered when i told them (politely) to stuff it and stick with the agreement, was to: work during my holidays and get paid by the hour instead of my monthly salary....

my reaction was pretty much the same, stick with the deal or you loose a teacher... :D

to this they replied that another meeting amongst themselves must be held, and they will let me know...

so yesterday they did, saying that we will not work together next term....

and i was not alone...!! over the same dispute/negotiation they have managed to loose all 3 of the foreigners they had :o:D

.....but i do wonder...

is this f@cking normal practice or was i just unlucky dealing with a batch of incompetant idiots considering that i do not even need the contract to stay in the country as i am married?

any comments welcomed

costas

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If your contract is legalized (by the presence of a work permit, teacher's license and work permit extension- see the Red Tape thread for more details), then it is a legal agreement which can be enforced.

Most contracts with Thai schools don't make it this far. Until that point, it has no legal value and is worth no more than the paper it's printed on- (or less, you could re-use paper if it were blank).

It is pretty normal procedure to screw around with employees even when the contract is spelled out and legal, so with no legal protection you're pretty much down the creek without a paddle. Your choices are to take it or leave it.

Next time insist on proper paperwork and WP before you begin work- it'll take longer to get a job, but it'll be a real job when you get it.

"Steven"

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If you had a three month contract that expired on 30 March, that's that. If they won't give you another contract, then you're unemployed as of 30 March, I guess.

Yes, some Thai schools are run by incompetent. lazy, ignorant idiots. By the way, some simply don't negotiate (as in your case, apparently). They make one (absurd) offer, and that's all, take it or leave it. Or in your case, two offers that sounded absurd.

You could have taken 11 months pay for 11 months work, but you choose not to. Fine; I don't blame you.

Find work elsewhere. Find a school that promises you a 12-month contract. Ask, "When the f##k will I receive a counter-signed copy of this contract?" I say that because I never got 2 out of the 3 contracts.

I think this is more or less common with incompetent, etc. idiots. Go elsewhere. It takes 2 to 5 bad experiences before you finally find a school that might appreciate you and treat you more kindly than they treat illegal Burmese immigrants.

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If your contract is legalized (by the presence of a work permit, teacher's license and work permit extension- see the Red Tape thread for more details), then it is a legal agreement which can be enforced.

Most contracts with Thai schools don't make it this far.  Until that point, it has no legal value and is worth no more than the paper it's printed on- (or less, you could re-use paper if it were blank).

It is pretty normal procedure to screw around with employees even when the contract is spelled out and legal, so with no legal protection you're pretty much down the creek without a paddle.  Your choices are to take it or leave it.

Next time insist on proper paperwork and WP before you begin work- it'll take longer to get a job, but it'll be a real job when you get it.

"Steven"

hi IJWT,

thanks for your reply,

yes i was thoroughly legal, all the trimmings, signature of the governor of the province, work permit, extension of stay based on that etc

But this contract finishes end of the month and we had to talk about extending it for another year, to which they offered what i described above...

indeed as you said, it was 'a take it or leave it' offer "sign for 12 get paid 11", as it proved out, but with all the legals still on!

anyway, i think its time to be unemployed for a while till a proper employer appears (kind of difficult in Loei...)

cheers

costas

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If you had a three month contract that expired on 30 March, that's that.  If they won't give you another contract, then you're unemployed as of 30 March, I guess.

Yes, some Thai schools are run by incompetent. lazy, ignorant idiots.  By the way, some simply don't negotiate (as in your case, apparently).  They make one (absurd) offer, and that's all, take it or leave it.  Or in your case, two offers that sounded absurd.

You could have taken 11 months pay for 11 months work, but you choose not to.  Fine; I don't blame you.

Find work elsewhere.  Find a school that promises you a 12-month contract.  Ask, "When the f##k will I receive a counter-signed copy of this contract?"  I say that because I never got 2 out of the 3 contracts.

I think this is more or less common with incompetent, etc. idiots.  Go elsewhere.  It takes 2 to 5 bad experiences before you finally find a school that might appreciate you and treat you more kindly than they treat illegal Burmese immigrants.

cheers blondie,

indeed i could have taken it, had i not been promised face to face all the little details (holidays, pay during non teaching months, etc)

i suppose it did not go down well , when i told them that if they dont honour their word then i dont want to work for liars.....but its true!

let us see what the future holds, i am just amazed that they would rather lose ALL their foreigners over something so obviously wrong on their part.....

costas

:o

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Legal employees have legal rights. If you have a legit legal gripe, then contact the Law Society and request a lawyer to help with making a case for Labour Court. And don't assume the cards are stacked against farangs. I have a fair amount of experience in this court personally, and they've always done the right thing, in my view. Even media reports suggest that employees get a fair shake here in this court. Of course, collecting on any damages can be a different story sometimes, it seems, from these same reports...

Believe anything a Thai school tells you with a grain of salt unless it's written down and signed by them.

Buyer Beware, as always :o

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Am I right in thinking that a contract written in English is worthless?

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Am I right in thinking that a contract written in English is worthless?

I can't speak for other places, but I know from experience it's legal evidence in the Labour Court.

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Common rumour is that if contracts are written in both languages, the Thai version controls. My first contract was in English; I never saw the other two, one of which appeared to have been in a SE Asian alphabet.

Haven't seen a contract written in both languages yet.

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over the same dispute/negotiation they have managed to loose all 3 of the foreigners they had angry.gif angry.gif

.....but i do wonder...

You did the right thing telling them to stick it, if you'd let them get away with it it probably would have been the first of many violations. People who can't honor a simple employment contract are...well, dishonorable and not worth dealing with.

Unfortunately many employers here regard contracts as 'guidelines'.

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hi all,

i have a 3 month contract ending march 30th, and the school asked for renewal.

i enquired whether everything would be ask discussed and agreed upon in december when i initially got the job i.e. salary, how many holidays and when etc

only to be told that they will offer me a 12 month contract but only 11 months pay!

the alternative i was offered when i told them (politely) to stuff it and stick with the agreement, was to: work during my holidays and get paid by the hour instead of my monthly salary....

my reaction was pretty much the same, stick with the deal or you loose a teacher... :D

to this they replied that another meeting amongst themselves must be held, and they will let me know...

so yesterday they did, saying that we will not work together next term....

and i was not alone...!! over the same dispute/negotiation they have managed to loose all 3 of the foreigners they had  :o  :D

.....but i do wonder...

is this f@cking normal practice or was i just unlucky dealing with a batch of incompetant idiots considering that i do not even need the contract to stay in the country as i am married?

any comments welcomed

costas

Pretty sad when an English teacher doesn't know the difference between the words lose and loose. It's obviously not a typo either.

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hi all,

i have a 3 month contract ending march 30th, and the school asked for renewal.

i enquired whether everything would be ask discussed and agreed upon in december when i initially got the job i.e. salary, how many holidays and when etc

only to be told that they will offer me a 12 month contract but only 11 months pay!

the alternative i was offered when i told them (politely) to stuff it and stick with the agreement, was to: work during my holidays and get paid by the hour instead of my monthly salary....

my reaction was pretty much the same, stick with the deal or you loose a teacher... :D

to this they replied that another meeting amongst themselves must be held, and they will let me know...

so yesterday they did, saying that we will not work together next term....

and i was not alone...!! over the same dispute/negotiation they have managed to loose all 3 of the foreigners they had  :D  :D

.....but i do wonder...

is this f@cking normal practice or was i just unlucky dealing with a batch of incompetant idiots considering that i do not even need the contract to stay in the country as i am married?

any comments welcomed

costas

I had a contract which actually flew for a few months but, all of a sudden :D , :

1- A work week was now from Mon-Sat. :o

2- A new diabolic way of measuring time was invented and my work hours went from 8 to 4 to 7 to 4, 5, maybe 6, even 7! :D

3- Was paid 12 months but had to be there for it all :D .

I've quit and so have 2 other foreigners since then. (last April)

Incompetants? Probably, by the sound of it, from my experience, they were shopping. Seems like we were at the same school, no?

Thai teachers were treated like mud.

Stick to the deal or walk.

So ah put awn mah boots! :D

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"Teaching" in Thailand! Don't you just love it!!

Edited by Rumpole

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If your contract is legalized (by the presence of a work permit, teacher's license and work permit extension- see the Red Tape thread for more details), then it is a legal agreement which can be enforced.

No true, with or without a WP it's legally binding. Although you'll get in trouble yourself it is possible to take an employer to court with a contract but no WP. I remember Pinky posting about some Burmese workers that had done so!

Most contracts with Thai schools don't make it this far.  Until that point, it has no legal value and is worth no more than the paper it's printed on- (or less, you could re-use paper if it were blank).
As mentioned above a contract is indeed legally binding.
Next time insist on proper paperwork and WP before you begin work- it'll take longer to get a job, but it'll be a real job when you get it.

I don't know many schools that would do this, most will expect you to work for them before they put in for the paperwork (and I'd not want to be tied to a school before I'd even worked for them!).

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I don't know many schools that would do this, most will expect you to work for them before they put in for the paperwork (and I'd not want to be tied to a school before I'd even worked for them!).

In most other countries in the world, this is precisely how things are done.

Edited by Rumpole

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