contracts and your rights

For general discussion between ESL teachers.

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Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:19 pm
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contracts and your rights

Unread post by Panniv » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:50 am

Hi everyone,
Everyone probably knows a negative story about his foreign colleague being screwed over. My colleague successfully sued a school in Shanghai. Now Shanghainese laws might not be applicable everywhere else, they might be on the contrary.
Underneath an brief account of how I think it works but you better check with your lawyer.

The law is not above the contract. The contract is above the law.
This sounds crazy but in practice it often turns out this way due to a manipulative system.
If you sign an illegal contract you are basically more a victim than the school is going to be due to the simple fact that you are in China and the school might have the right network and more financials to manipulate the system.
In other words if they screw you over for 60.000 you must be prepared to pay lawyer fees, have a lot of patience (sometimes up to a year) and end up with getting 10.000.

If the school does not live up to their financial obligations but still want you to sign a note which state that they did live up to all their financial obligations in order to get your release letter do the following.
you can still sign it but you should record using audio/video that clearly shows you are signing under protest, you do not agree with the content of the note and you only do it in order to get the release letter and get the follow up job.
Schools can not disapprove sick leave without a medical diagnosis from qualified medical personnel. Thus they can not deduct anymore than your daily wage if you refuse to come in.
Your expert certificate and residence permit should be in your possession not in the schools. They will abuse it to bargain with you if they screw up somewhere down the line.

There are good schools out there but there a a lot of rotten apples too.

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Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:09 pm
Status: Management

Re: contracts and your rights

Unread post by Roze » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:27 am

The other side of the issue.

Yes,there are a lot of bad "schools" and agents in China but there are a lot of bad teachers too. China is becoming like the old Wild West, a place to get away from debt collectors, child support payments and the like. I recently interviewed over 60 applicants for teaching jobs via Skype, only 5 could write properly with many initial email applications written in text speak, RU instead of are you etc. When asked what book they would suggest for a class most were unable to offer a suggestion admitting that they seldom read books. On being asked to submit a sample lesson plan, again most could not be bothered. These same teachers demanded up to 30,000 a month, quoting supply and demand, due to the recent expulsion by the Chinese government of many "cowboys" calling themselves teachers. Only one applicant has been employed.

Teaching English in China is not all about singing and dancing like a performing monkey in kindergartens as many people seem to think.Nor is it about chatting up the "hot chicks" in high school classes. Likewise, those who come to convert the locals to their particular religion or alternative lifestyle will not endear themselves to anyone.

On the subject of sick leave, if you need to miss one class in every three due to a hangover or because Tuesday is the only day your chosen hairdresser is available don't expect to be paid. Your social life should be arranged around your job not vice versa.

As for contracts, what many don't seem to realize is that most contracts include a probation period. The employer OR THE TEACHER can void or renegotiate the contract during this time. Anyone with their wits about them can see in a few days if they have been mislead by the school or agent the same way we can see if you have mislead us regarding your abilities and attitude.

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