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Pianote

Lawyer Tells Me My Contract Is Unfair And Suggests I Find Another Job. Help!

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Pianote

I met with a lawyer yesterday to go over my new contract (for the school I am currently teaching at). She said she didn't like how I am not paid for summer or winter break, there's no mention of insurance and I am not compensated for my flight. She suggests I find another job or talk to my agent if I want to keep this job... but I like this job and I dont want to leave thinking the grass is greener and I end up in a bad situation. I sent a message to my agent (the one who makes the contracts) an hour ago about 1 of the issues and she hasnt responded. (I know it's break time). 

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks again!

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edelweis

Well, is the pay high enough to compensate for these drawbacks?

 

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Pianote

I make 10,500 rmb a month 

@edelweis i am getting 6000 rmb bonus after the holiday but I am out for 4 month- January to March and  July to September 

 

what do you think?

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DavyJonesLocker

i think you should just look at this like any other job, if you are not happy with the conditions, look for another one. Of course conditions in China also include obtaining visa, as well as material considerations

Have you signed the contract yet and if not when is it due to start (old one end)? if that is the case no reason why you can't negotiate for more favourable conditions.

 

 

 

 

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Pianote

@DavyJonesLocker   I have not signed. The new one starts in August... but school starts in September... idk

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ChTTay

As Davy said, look at similar jobs and see what the pay and conditions are like. If they’re all better than yours then take that information to your school and ask them to meet it. If they won’t, then leave that school and go to another one. 

 

Sometimes a “flight allowance” is also called a end of contract bonus or something that isn’t tied to a flight. For instance, my flight allowance requires proof that I’ve taken a flight. In the past I had a “end of contract bonus” that was really just a way to incentivise me to stay. Do you have anything at all at the end of contract?  If not, then that’s probably not the norm. Doesn’t count in favour of staying. 

 

After holiday bonuses are usually just to encourage you to stay. That bonus is only Just over half your wage and they don’t even pay you during holidays. 

 

What kind of school do you work in? Universities and some public schools

wont pay you over the holiday and isn’t that uncommon. The trade off is a lot of holiday and they usually don’t mind you finding students to tutor from the place you work. They may even recommend you. 

 

Do you get insurance? If so, what is it? Accident insurance or general coverage? Regardless it’s likely not very good, in my experience anyway. 

 

 

 

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Pianote

@ChTTay  i work in a private school. I'm getting business insurance.

 

other schools' pay are about the same as mine or a little more but im not paying for housing or utilities.

 

 

i dont see anything at the end of the contract

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DavyJonesLocker

I'd say its no harm in looking around and that way you can compare contracts. You don't have to take any offers but it gives you bargining power 

Its how i got most of my pay rises :wink:

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Pianote

@DavyJonesLocker  so, it's normal to not be paid during break?  The agent isn't budging. Also, what is business insurance?

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ChTTay

Seems like you don’t want to leave. Just compare and negotiate a bit. Done 

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DavyJonesLocker
13 minutes ago, Pianote said:

so, it's normal to not be paid during break?  The agent isn't budging. Also, what is business insurance?

 

no idea about your career sorry Pianote, my posts are more based on experience of dealing with various jobs in difference countries as both an employee and employer. 

i think your focus should be on how you can negotiate any benefits , the fairness doesn't come into it as its a free market. 

 

 

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roddy

Careful. If you start asking to be paid for the holidays, they'll find a way to make you work the holidays. Fancy getting sent to a badly organised summer camp?

 

Given that you seem happy there, I'd stick with it. Maybe ask for a small increase, as you're now more experienced and it'd be a hassle for them to bring in a new teacher. But I wouldn't risk any major demands.

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Pianote

@roddy  so true. Im definitely not trying to work during the break. Hell no. I was given a 500 rmb increase a month for next semester.

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Lu
2 hours ago, Pianote said:

She said she didn't like how I am not paid for summer or winter break, there's no mention of insurance and I am not compensated for my flight.

I can see how she doesn't like that, but they don't seem like really bad issues. Now if you were liable for your students not passing the TOEFL, or were obligated to work 60 hours a week, or something unreasonable like that, then I'd advise you to leave. Or if they couldn't get you the right visa. But the issues you mention are not, as I see it, deal breakers.

 

I think other people's advice here is good: look around at other schools and compare what you'd get there, negotiate a bit at your current school, weigh your options and then opt to stay or go. If you are happy where you are, that's also an important factor.

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Pianote

@Lu  yes my students and coworkers are very sweet and that means alot to me as I know what it's like to work with spiteful  coworkers ( I  worked in several restaurants in college).

 

I dont grade papers and i work 4 days a week and my hours are short. My cousins are even thinking about coming to China. 

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DavyJonesLocker
16 minutes ago, Pianote said:

My cousins are even thinking about coming to China. 

 

 

Great, that would be nice to have some family around

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roddy

I think you should quit and then I can have your job.

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Pianote

Do you think it'd be ok if my cousin came to stay with me for, like, a month?

 

 I know the question is similar to my couchsurfing question but I still want to know.

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Lu

I think that should be less of a problem, since it's family, not some random person. But if your school is your landlord, or if your landlord comes by regularly, let them know your cousin is staying over.

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roddy

Actually, after all the questions you could maybe start helping other people out - could you do a new post explaining your recruitment process, getting to the school, settling in, etc. It's actually quite rare for new teachers to have such a positive experience and it'd make a nice contrast to the usual complaints. You're welcome to name the agency if you want. 

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