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zethe

SAFEA helps resolve dispute with school boss

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zethe

Currently, I'm working at a private school named Candy English in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia. Yes I know the name is ridiculous.

 

Yes, I did get the z-visa and RP, I triple checked every step along the way.

 

LONG STORY SHORT: Boss fires me via text, refuses to give written notice (as per contract) refuses to give letter of release.

 

MAIN QUESTIONS: Can a new employer get me a completely new visa (start from scratch) without the letter of release?

Some OTHER SCHOOLS have told me they can help me get a completely new visa without the release letter, does anyone know if this holds true???

Am I screwed if she refuses to give the release letter?

 

The the director started complaining that the school loses too much money and they blamed me. They have 3 schools, freshly renovated, and now 150 students (started at 40 when I arrived) It's been 6 months now the boss has only paid me the full month's salary 3 of those months. She takes salary from me (2000 at a time) for things like asking my recruiter who brought me here to help resolve these conflicts.

I recently asked the boss if we can talk to the director, because she has been working against me in the classroom (she interrupts constantly and disrespects me in front of others). The boss replied with this, "You are just an employee, I can get a westerner any time I want".. Then blocked me on wechat, THEN messaged me via text saying she doesn't need me the end of this term in January. She said be out of the apartment by March 1st, and refuses to negotiate or even discuss the release letter.

 

-I have video footage of her admitting she will give no release letter or recommendation letter.

-I have physical proof of her paying me less than the salary (documents from the school computers).

-I have messages from her threatening to fire me if I did not work on holidays (even though the contract clearly states I am entitled to national holidays).

 

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陳德聰

Sounds like you should consult a lawyer.

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vellocet

Go to the labor bureau in your area, they're responsible for the breach of contract and penalizing any employment violations.  They can't refuse to give you a release letter, they're required to do so by Chinese law, the labor bureau will come with you to the employer to get it.  I hope your copy of the labor contract is stamped with the company seal, because that's the first thing you'll need to show. 

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zethe

Thank you Vellocet...yes I will attempt to go there with a friend tomorrow. I'm hoping for the best....because my boss blatantly said (on video!) she doesn't care..and hinted that she has a connection in the bureau.

As for all my documents, everything is definitely legit, I triple checked and made them correct things....multiple times

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Chris Two Times

...and then get the word out to anyone who will listen to avoid working for Candy English in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia. Name and shame.

 

Warm regards,

Chris Two Times

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James3

You may have already found this, but if not, here's a prior post about a similar situation.

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zethe

Yeah James, I found it...but the SAFEA office in Hohhot isn't answering calls and in my situation, I have no idea if my boss is even willing to cancel the FEC or doing anything to make my life easier.

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zethe

Today was a big day.

Went to the PSB (Exit/Entry) with a friend.

At first they were reluctant to help, said "it's none of our business".

My friend insisted my boss was refusing to give the letter of release and terminate my contract correctly.

 

The lady stood up, immediately called her boss.

The PSB boss knows my emplyer in some way, I've seen her before.
She called my boss almost immediately in front of me, then came out to speak to me in English when I requested more help.

They did some shady looking whispers with their backs to me...

Then I asked what should I do?
I showed her my Chinese contract, the part where it requires mutual written consent to cancel the contract.

She spoke in chinese to my friend, who said my employer must give the papers in order for them to cancel my residence permit, at which time they will issue an exit visa or enough time to go to another city.

The PSB boss turned to me, asked me in English, do you want to stay or leave?
I said I want to stay, my boss is terminating the contract (looking innocent).

She said, I should go to the Education Bureau...

THEN my boss texted me and said I know everything you have done, if you cause trouble more I will send videos of you stealing a key from a desk in the school cameras, then it will be more than just cancelling your visa.

She's threatening me with blackmail with what???Videos of me going to the main desk to grab a cup from the cabinet??

The rest of her text said she will cancel all documents according to the rules for her school, not me...

Refuses to answer when I asked for the letter of release.

She went on to say I can stay until I finish classes on January 24 or March 1st, and she will pay salary up to that point, it's my choice.

I responded with yes maam, you will have a resignation letter on your desk with the above mentioned mutually agreed upon date of January 24th.

 

Then I got ahold of SAFEA (FINALLY)

At which point they said she will have to give the letter of release and a reason for termination.
I told them of her breaches of contract, and am currently emailing all the proof.

They said they will call her and ask her what happened...

 

I said just please ask her for my letter of release.

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roddy

Couple of weeks later - how are things going?

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roddy

Good result, thanks for the follow-up! Now, have your boss make you a cup of tea...

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Chris Two Times

Wow, good job SAFEA!

 

When I returned to China in 2012, I learned that there is now this SAFEA group, but the cynic in me flooded my mind with negative thoughts about their work.

 

Good to see that they are not useless and actually can be effective when things are getting dodgy.

 

But you will stay?!?

 

I also made it clear that should there be any shady **** directed towards me, I won't hesitate to send all documents proving other illegal activities by her school and her personally to make sure she loses her license. Then I would just simply go on my merry way to any other country I please to teach.

I won't get into details, but there's certainly enough dirt.

 

The above quote is reassuring--shows you're willing to play hardball and won't be walked over. Perhaps your boss took a gamble and thought she could walk all over you. It's good to see you flexing some muscle ('specially since you seem to be in the right anyway) and again, glad that you had an outlet like SAFEA to go to and they were effective.

 

Now, have your boss make you a cup of tea...

 

--> Haha, this, yes, most definitely this, and make sure you put your feet up on her desk the next time you sit down in her office.  :D

 

Enjoy that tea!

 

Warm regards,

Chris Two Times

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roddy

SAFEA have been around since the days when foreign experts were actually experts, and all lived in the Friendship Hotel in Beijing and bought things with Foreign Exchange Certificates from the Friendship Store. 

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Chris Two Times

Ah! Why didn't I hear about them during my initial China stint from 2000 to 2003? No matter, I definitely know them now. Again, it's good to hear that their work can be effective and it's good to hear that they helped out zethe.

 

Needless to say, this thread can be very useful for others who may find themselves in a similar situation in the future.

 

[i love hearing about the good ole days/daze of Beijing/elsewhere with the whole Friendship Store scheme and having to use FECs and the what-not.]

 

Warm regards,

Chris Two Times

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陳德聰

I love success stories like this one.

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roddy

Edited the title to commemorate this momentous event. 

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David Dos

I'm having the same issue in Beijing. I went to the SAFEA offices they said they can't help. Went to the PSB and they wont help either. Ended up hiring a lawyer filed for arbitration on March 5th had a court date on April 19th  and got the results that I won on May 23rd but I might as well have gotten a Hallmark Christmas card because I can't do anything with it. I asked my lawyer today he said it might take up to 3 more months before I can enforce it. By then my visa will have long expired. I was told to go to the Labor bureau but because I filed for arbitration they won't do anything either. If anyone has this issue again, go to the labor bureau first get your owed wages and release letter then go to arbitration and get your severance pay and pay in liu of notice as stipulated under Chinese labor law at least maybe someone will get some guidance from my ordeal.

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