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lostinisaan

What does your new contract look like, or did they keep their promises?

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Hello and Sawasdee khrap, wai2.gif

. I thought it might help others in a similar situation to write this. I know that I'm not alone and I'm also aware that the whole teaching theater seems to get worse from year to year.

I've just signed my contract for the second year at a small Anuban in lower northeast two weeks ago.

Nobody had time to prepare my documents before, one day was the director too busy, the other day the coordinator, who seems to dislike foreigners, because they "make too much money.".Only my good connection to educational area two office made it possible to get this document.

I only had two more days left on my visa and work permit and was really pissed off that I had to come in on a Sunday, together with my wife and a Thai government employee as a sort of guarantor.

I've never heard about a similar case before, but the only Asian teacher, who'd been there already for three years has to do that as well.

When we showed up, all the documents were already signed by the superiors, the director left after a short chat, before I could even have a look at my new contract. I thought a new contract should be discussed,then agreed, or not, before anybody signs this so important document.

I thought a little pay raise would be included, but it was never even discussed, while the Thai teachers have their yearly pay raise(s), when they show their fancy looking folders and need some help to write something in English for them. Like a little Thesis for a Master's degree, or so? blink.png

I was really shocked and.had to read it twice, could not believe my own eyes.. Last year I signed up for 20 hours, then got one more class after only a week. Okay, not a big deal.

Instead of a pay raise, I had five more contact hours in my contract, but no director to talk to, as he's the guy who's making the decisions.And I needed to extend my visa and work permit within the next two days.

I said to my wife that I won't sign this one, but having our friend, my guarantor with me, wasn't the right moment to say anything.

So I did sign the contract, but immediately sent the coordinator an e-mail that I won't do the five more hours. No way. Nil. Niente. Null.

I made it in a way that nobody lost face, for god's sake. I'm really happy that I have the balls to tell the truth, not just saying yes to all, to agree with things i don't like, not calling everybody "Ajarn", I don't take a broom and start cleaning the class, when a Thai shows up, etc....smile.png ..

I wrote to her that two EP like classes, one grade one and a grade two class, who also study math and science, a' nine hours a week would be already a lot of work..I'm usually on my own and can't tell kids who've got fever, or anything else, to go and see a doctor.....facepalm.gif

In addition they wanted me to teach four classes of grade six again, because the results of the grade six O-net tests had increased.

Then four other classes of normal grade one kids. Now I'm talking about kids from small villages, who have huge problems to learn their mother tongue.

I've had situations where a little boy all in a sudden kicked me in my balls and other weird shit, where my relatives in Europe didn't believe me.

If you can't communicate in their language, there's no point to play the foreign teacher. I haven't experienced such an environment before.

There're kids who're never in class, because they won't listen to anybody.I'm talking about a place where incest does exist, in a visible way.

But my e-mail was clear, that I won't do that and if they feel I'm not fair to them, they are free to look for a new teacher.

You'd think that such a statement would at least lead to a meeting with the director and the coordinator, but hell no.Nothing.Nil. Niente,Null.

I had to come to school last Monday and even attend school on Wednesday, where all other schools were shut down, just to get the grade one kids familiar with some basic English.

I was certain that somebody would show up and let me know that my service isn't needed anymore, because I had no teaching schedule until Friday morning.

I arrived at school, walked to the fingerprint scanner to sign in and the coordinator gave me my new schedule. thumbsup.gif

There's no explanation, no "okay we understand that the two special classes are already enough".

Then I looked at my new schedule and was happy that I have the balls to say no.

2 X 9 hours in the EP section. No grade six classes, no ordinary grade ones.18 hours a week seems fair to me, I felt like I'd won a little war.

I wrote this here for several reasons. I know some guys on this forum personally and some schools/agencies didn't tell them the truth and left them in the rain.

Please feel free to write a short note about your new contract, maybe earning less money, only a ten, or eleven month contract, schools that want you to work without a work permit, schools that don't get you into the SS, agents who keep 15 % of your monthly salary, problems with schools who don't pay you, Ricky Rip Offs, etc....

I really believe that it's time to stop some administrators of schools who do nothing else than abusing foreigners.

And for the guy who just started to work for this fantastic agency in the north, please share your really interesting story here.

If it's getting worse, I know a school for you. Please write some of the stuff you'd sent me in an e-mail.

I think it's really worth to read the truth what's really going on at some institutions. For example your Asian MC, or foreign head teacher with his speech problem. Please. thumbsup.gif

Thanks a lot in advance for sharing your thoughts/ situation/dislikes/likes at a Thai school, might it be a good, or a bad one.wai2.gif

.

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Glad to see that by standing up for yourself, ie strongly worded email detailing your concerns, netted you a better schedule. It is situations like this that as a group of people, foreign teachers, we can band together with a solid and strong voice to encourage our employers to see the value in what we do. I encourage all to voice their concerns as you did, ie. Strongly worded email, so that we can as a group, call it WTU, defend our rights to a fair wage, better working conditions, pension and health benefits, designated break periods, clear and concise contracts, and open and direct communication with management.

Perhaps we as a group could charge a small monthly fee to fellow teachers to help coordinate a monthly news flyer, perhaps arrange a monthly meeting or two and perhaps use the money to support a small group of people, let's call them "representatives of the movement" to say "bargain" on behalf of the oppressed group of foreign workers. Our fellow brothers and sisters will have a voice, one voice a solitary voice, to say no more. We are not going to take it anymore. Take this message to management, demand action, in a strongly worded email, perhaps then we can fight for change. To no longer be the unforgotten, under paid,under represented in a land full of under represented people.

Or perhaps just accept what you are. You are the foreign worker in a country who really does not give a rats ass if you show up or not. I am sure your school director, like mine, probably does not know your name, pays you less in a month then he/she makes in a day, probably could not read your email, and only showed up to have a bit of a laugh to see the foreigner doing the old song and dance in front of his posse. I have signed 7 contracts here and not once have I ever needed to drag along my wife and a chum. But anywho.....

Richard R Barnsworth

VP Designate

WTU

(Western teachers union)

Omaha, Nebraska

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I thinks its amazing you got a new contract, considering all the public complaining you do about you school. By the way, positing pictures of your students is considered a privacy violation and shows lack of professionalism. Good luck to your school.

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I thinks its amazing you got a new contract, considering all the public complaining you do about you school. By the way, positing pictures of your students is considered a privacy violation and shows lack of professionalism. Good luck to your school.

The photo show students of mine ten years ago. Thanks for the flowers.

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Good to hear that you didn't end up with the additional 5 contact hours, upon initially reading that you did sign, I was expecting that they'd try to force it upon you regardless. I got my new timetable last week, and although I'm contracted for 18h per week, they've only given me 16, which has left me pretty happy (I was amazed, as I was absolutely sure they'd try and load us up with extra hours this semester, as they've dropped from 4 Farang down to 3).

Although when I went to sign my new contract this year, after taking a 1 year break, the new director (who I'd never met before & doesn't speak English), got the head of English to explain to me that they wanted me to take a pay cut, since the school's Bilingual program doesn't have as many students this year, so they don't have as much income. I decided to skip going through the translator and politely, with a smile on my face, told the director in Thai that if he changed my salary, I'd change schools, I then also pointed out that they were saving 400k THB this year by dropping down to 3 Farang teachers instead of 4, so I didn't agree with their point about not having as much money lol.

They laughed it off, and I could tell they were a bit concerned that they might have offended me. I was a little offended, but as I was laughing & smiling, they knew I wasn't too serious. They then handed me my contract to sign, which was exactly as it had been prior to my 1 year break lol (I guess they must have known there was no way I'd accept a pay cut lol).

It did leave me with a bit of a sour first impression of the new director :( But I'm open minded, so we'll see how our next encounter goes (I'm thinking about getting them to setup social security for me, or alternatively before I left, the old director promised us private health insurance, but I don't think it ever eventuated).

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Good to hear that you didn't end up with the additional 5 contact hours, upon initially reading that you did sign, I was expecting that they'd try to force it upon you regardless. I got my new timetable last week, and although I'm contracted for 18h per week, they've only given me 16, which has left me pretty happy (I was amazed, as I was absolutely sure they'd try and load us up with extra hours this semester, as they've dropped from 4 Farang down to 3).

Although when I went to sign my new contract this year, after taking a 1 year break, the new director (who I'd never met before & doesn't speak English), got the head of English to explain to me that they wanted me to take a pay cut, since the school's Bilingual program doesn't have as many students this year, so they don't have as much income. I decided to skip going through the translator and politely, with a smile on my face, told the director in Thai that if he changed my salary, I'd change schools, I then also pointed out that they were saving 400k THB this year by dropping down to 3 Farang teachers instead of 4, so I didn't agree with their point about not having as much money lol.

They laughed it off, and I could tell they were a bit concerned that they might have offended me. I was a little offended, but as I was laughing & smiling, they knew I wasn't too serious. They then handed me my contract to sign, which was exactly as it had been prior to my 1 year break lol (I guess they must have known there was no way I'd accept a pay cut lol).

It did leave me with a bit of a sour first impression of the new director sad.png But I'm open minded, so we'll see how our next encounter goes (I'm thinking about getting them to setup social security for me, or alternatively before I left, the old director promised us private health insurance, but I don't think it ever eventuated).

Good to read that you're one of them, who don't just say yes to freaking everything. Regardless, my situation has -again- changed.

The only other Asian teacher had 24 hours in his contract, started whining last Friday, acting like he'd resign and when I came to school today, the coordinator confronted me with two more hours of grade six, which the other guy would have had.

She later gave me a new timetable with two more hours on it and I might have to reconsider if I stay, or not.

I know that I'll have to fight for my rights, had six hours of grade one and two EP today, completely burned out and need to have a word with the director this week.

If possible tomorrow. Last year they're talking about two, or three more "farang" teachers. But you know how they are. It seems that I've got the parents of the EP kids behind me. I can't just say, oh yes, sure I'll help the school, not even having a pay raise.

I had a sticker on my old-timer Benz back in good old Germany saying: " Destroy all that destroys you." And this job is so difficult that i don't need some extra headaches, just because the grade six kids last year did better in their O-net tests, because of me?

It's not that easy to find somebody who can do my job. Sorry, don't wanna sound impertinent now, but you''ve to be able to speak Thai/isaan, be completely on your own, know how to keep a computer running, if all goes wrong how to fix it and many other responsibilities.

Sly, i really hope for you that you won't see some changes hitting you, right when you think all went well, as i thought before. Just wait and see, it seems that some of them are full of dung.

Guess you know their stupid statements, please help the school, etc...Cheers and a lot of fun in this circus, also called school. facepalm.gif

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Here we go. 2 page contract. Signed recently.

I'd like opinions on this please from those who know about these things.

1) Do you see this as a 1 year contract or is April exempt as a month?

2) What months according to this contract would you expect payment to begin and end?

3) Last year the teacher in question was not paid for the 1 month school holiday. I see no mention of being paid or not during holidays. Would you expect to be paid during holidays with this contract?

Thanks.

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Here we go. 2 page contract. Signed recently.

I'd like opinions on this please from those who know about these things.

1) Do you see this as a 1 year contract or is April exempt as a month?

2) What months according to this contract would you expect payment to begin and end?

3) Last year the teacher in question was not paid for the 1 month school holiday. I see no mention of being paid or not during holidays. Would you expect to be paid during holidays with this contract?

Thanks.

I'm afraid to let you know that you've signed a contract I wouldn't even wipe something off with. Anyway, I'm used to a bum gun.

I've never ever seen such a for the employer negative contract in my 10 + years of teaching here. This is not a one year contract, it clearly states that you won't get paid in April.

According this contract you'll receive (or already did) the first salary on May, 5th. The last salary will be paid on the 5th of April. ( Hopefully).

You have to work illegally, because you won't get the needed paperwork until your probation is over,but it doesn't say how long the probation will be. I assume one month?

No work, no pay is very strange. If you're sick, you don't get paid. If you have to apply for a visa or work permit, you won't get paid.

It would be very easy for the agency to make something up that you broke the contract and that would bring you in deep shit.You wouldn't receive your salary and would have to pay 50 K to them.

There's no such thing as a blacklist, that they pluralized it makes it to a better joke.

If I were you, I'd immediately look for a new job, working directly for a school. Preferable a 12 months contract, SS insurance, etc..

If you're looking for one, I might be of help. ( I've got nothing to do with an agency)

If I were you, I'd run, as fast as you can. It hurts me to see such pieces of dung, and tat they call this a contract is a joke.

It's the modern form of slavery. Wish you the best. Please do not hesitate to send me a private message.

P.S. Just reading your post again, I do not think that they'l pay you for October, nor will they pay for holidays. No work no pay means all.

Get out of there, as soon as you can. Oh, and not having an insurance is a pretty fragged up situation.

Please believe a guy with an artificial knee joint.

You can easily end up in a hospital, nobody would pay the bill for you and you don't get paid.

And if that's for a few days, they'll just replace you, and/or say that you broke the rules. wai2.gif

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WhamBam, I've removed the first picture, and would ask that you also please redact the name of the agency (+ director). As although your post doesn't break the rules, I have a pretty good idea of the posts to come, which will then cause this thread to breach the defamation/libel/slander laws (So by removing the names, I won't need to remove derogatory comments regarding the director/agency).

In reply to your post:

Your contract won't apply to April, so don't expect to be paid then (Your visa will likely finish on the 31st of March too btw).

Also in general, I couldn't see how much you were being paid, but assuming you're only on a standard salary (~30k per month) it's a pretty raw deal. Also it doesn't specify your contact hours, which opens you up to exploitation, as they could tell you to teach 25 or 30 periods a week, and you would just have to accept it (or quit).

Likewise the tax clause isn't clear, you likely wouldn't be required to pay any income tax (Or if you do, it'll be less than 3% of your total salary), since you're not working for a full calendar year, but 2 part years. Many teachers just do their tax manually, thus I don't know if deducting PAYE is mandatory or not for agencies, and it won't save you any extra work, as you'd need to file a tax return regardless in order to try and get a tax rebate.

The cancellation clause is pretty crap, particularly without any idea on what the working conditions or hours will be like. Also losing pay because you're sick, and not having any personal leave, is likely in contravention of Thai labour laws (And not giving you paid visa run days is simply lame).

My advice would be to apply at a government school. I know of one in RoiEt which is looking for 2x teachers for their gifted program (Or at least were looking as of last week), if you send me a PM I can put you in touch with someone from their school (From memory, 30k salary, 11 month contracts, with sickdays etc included, and the salary is negotiable if you have good qualifications/experience. Sickdays will be included, but I think it's 18 contact hours per week but am not sure about that, or about who pays for WP/Visa etc).

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Gutted LostinIsaan, that they've tried to flip the tables on you.

If I were in that situation, I'd have not signed the new contract unless the additional 5 hours were changed, but I can understand not wanting to cause your guarantor any hassle etc. But as from the sounds you have a verbal agreement for the lower hours, you can probably call the school's bluff, and simply say that you'll only do it if they pay you an additional 400 THB per period* (We actually have a clause in our contract which says they have to pay us 400THB per hour over 18h). They'll back down from that, and just re-assign the lessons to someone else, and it makes you look like less of a dick than if you simply refuse to do them. Even without a similar clause in your contract, it's pretty fair to expect additional money for teaching additional hours (Although of course, you did already sign a contract with 5 additional hours).

They probably wouldn't fire you, as it'd make them look like dicks (Since they increased your hours from the previously agreed contract which is what caused the problem), and because for the time it'd take to find a replacement, they'd get some mega grief from the parents etc, since it wouldn't really be a well justified dismissal (Unless they did some good propaganda work with your signed contract).

If the school has to choose between a Filipino and a Farang teacher, they'd likely choose the Farang, as they need the prestiege (You're the only Farang there right?), and because Filipinos are much easier to find, so even rural schools will get 50+ Filipino applications if they advertise a position.

Remember as well, that regardless of what a contract says, it's all about the employer/employee relationship, and so what's in a contract isn't set in stone.

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so you signed the contract accepting the 5 extra hours then sent an email saying you would not honor the terms?

brilliant, you have just revolutionize the legal profession.

im going to send an email and move back into that house i just sold.

I didn't accept it, told the coordinator immediately in person and then through an e-mail that i won't do them.

But the boss already left and phone was off.And he's the guy who makes decisions.

Anyway, it wasn't the final contract, as i needed my docs to extend my visa and work permit.

The first contract stated that the five extra hours were not sure yet, so please don't try to make an idiot out of me, please.

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Gutted LostinIsaan, that they've tried to flip the tables on you.

If I were in that situation, I'd have not signed the new contract unless the additional 5 hours were changed, but I can understand not wanting to cause your guarantor any hassle etc. But as from the sounds you have a verbal agreement for the lower hours, you can probably call the school's bluff, and simply say that you'll only do it if they pay you an additional 400 THB per period* (We actually have a clause in our contract which says they have to pay us 400THB per hour over 18h). They'll back down from that, and just re-assign the lessons to someone else, and it makes you look like less of a dick than if you simply refuse to do them. Even without a similar clause in your contract, it's pretty fair to expect additional money for teaching additional hours (Although of course, you did already sign a contract with 5 additional hours).

They probably wouldn't fire you, as it'd make them look like dicks (Since they increased your hours from the previously agreed contract which is what caused the problem), and because for the time it'd take to find a replacement, they'd get some mega grief from the parents etc, since it wouldn't really be a well justified dismissal (Unless they did some good propaganda work with your signed contract).

If the school has to choose between a Filipino and a Farang teacher, they'd likely choose the Farang, as they need the prestiege (You're the only Farang there right?), and because Filipinos are much easier to find, so even rural schools will get 50+ Filipino applications if they advertise a position.

Remember as well, that regardless of what a contract says, it's all about the employer/employee relationship, and so what's in a contract isn't set in stone.

Sly, thanks a lot. It's sometimes difficult to explain such a situation in a few words.So it went from maybe 25 hours down to 18 and this morning up to 20.

I've just written my letter of resignation. Cheers-thumbsup.gif

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I have been thinking about teaching but I am definitely not gonna do it. Sounds like most schools want top quaility for the cheapest possible price. Back to Europe to make money - come to Thailand to spend it. Easier, hassle free...

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I have been thinking about teaching but I am definitely not gonna do it. Sounds like most schools want top quaility for the cheapest possible price. Back to Europe to make money - come to Thailand to spend it. Easier, hassle free...

Teaching can have it's frustrations, and you definitely don't make as much as working a fulltime job back in Farangland.

But it's an easy job, I usually think of it as effectively the equivalent of a part time job, which pays part time wages, while living in a country where food/rent/services are about 50% - 75% cheaper than back in Farangland. And although the frustrations at the school, along with the krusapa circus, can get you down from time to time, teaching is the most intrinsically rewarding job which I've ever had, there is simply no substitute for getting paid to do something which you love.

However, even though it's a job which we/I love, we still don't want to work for free, and we can't afford to let our employers walk all over us, else they'll keep on doing it and then we won't won't enjoy our jobs anymore. So we have to play hardball with the schools, as many of us have families to support.

For me, with a stay at home wife & young baby to support, I'd probably save less in NZ than in Thailand due to increased costs, unless of course we changed our lifestyle habits, or if my wife went out and got a job. So for me, I'm definitely happy to put up with the trials and tribulations of teaching, as it's worth it, even if I were single again, the sense of fulfillment I get from teaching kids would still trump the increased salary from my old job.

But then, I'm someone who specifically moved over here to teach, rather than simply using teaching as a means to an end, as many do. My original plan was to teach for 1 term, then if I liked it go back home and do a GradDip so I could teach in NZ. But I liked it too much here, and figured that teachers make crap money after tax back in NZ anyway lol. As they only make around two and a half times what I make here teaching, for double the work & triple the expenses lol.

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{snip} I've just written my letter of resignation. Cheers-thumbsup.gif

Congrats and/or condolences in whatever amounts feel right to you, @lostinisaan. I know it can be tough to make that kind of decision, but in my experience when it seems like it *might* be time to go it is probably well *past* time, and we'll be a little more wary and cautious and end up in a much better situation after bailing out. So probably all the frustrations are a blessing in disguise.

Sincere good luck finding the greener pastures!

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