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Contract Questions
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Is a sticky regarding contract questions worthwhile?
Yes
83%
 83%  [ 10 ]
No
16%
 16%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 12

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yamahuh



Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 1026
Location: Karaoke Hell

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:52 pm    Post subject: Contract Questions Reply with quote

I see further down the page a thread "Tell me something" that is asking about whether or not an offered contract is reasonable or not.
I didn't want to hijack the thread but this is something I've been wondering about myself.

There is a wealth of experience and expertise floating around this forum and one of the things that 'newbies' seem to find hardest is knowing whether or not a contract is good or bad. I'm including myself in that category after the year I've had with contract disputes.
It seems that quite often when a post is made regarding contractual obligations or specifics the poster is regaled by questions and comments like "Didn't you read your contract?" "Why didn't you have it written into your contract?", "Why did you agree to that?"etc.

The simple truth is that people coming out of the starters gate very often don't know the right questions to ask or what should be included that perhaps isn't.
So I'm wondering if a sticky that deals solely with contracts might be worthwhile. A place where people can copy and paste the contracts they have been offered and allow fellow forum members to help them avoid future problems by sharing some of the afore mentioned experience and expertise.

What do you think??


Last edited by yamahuh on Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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martyw



Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 3
Location: u.k.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:28 pm    Post subject: contracts Reply with quote

yeah, I think that's a damn good idea. maybe not cutting and pasting all of the contract but parts of it that need querying. In my experience there seems to be quite a lot of difference between a contract in Europe and a contract in Asia and in China specifically.

i'm just going through a contract I've just received and have made sure that I've asked a lot more questions about it than I would do in Europe.

I think expectations of the teacher are definitely much greater in China. That is in terms of what they want and will allow you to do - i.e. teaching hours, marketing, when you can take holidays and if you can do private lessons.

it's a big world out there for efl teachers and help is often needed..........

marty
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Andee



Joined: 16 Oct 2005
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

im the "tell me something.." poster and yah i think it would be great. so far im so lost in this contract thing. im terrified of what i might get myself into
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kev7161



Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Posts: 5816
Location: Suzhou, China

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if a sticky would need to actually have parts of a contract, but rather what you SHOULD expect in a "standard" Chinese teaching contract - - and beyond the contract. Of course, things are going to vary from school to school, so these would really be words of advice and the reader can take it or leave it.

For example:

Most schools offer a furnished apartment. It would be advisable to ask your prospective employer exactly what the furnishings would be (a checklist, if you will).
Most schools will also pay part or all of your utilities. These may include: water, drinking water, propane, electricity, internet, cable TV, phone. It would be advisable for you to check exactly how much of these items they will pay: 100%, 50%??

Most schools probably won't give you a solid, set schedule until the day you start teaching. However, it's not too much to ask:

The maximum teaching hours that are expected of you (sometimes known as "contact hours") per week
Will you work evenings, weekends, holidays?
What will be the maximum number of students per class?
What will be the teaching materials you will be using? Can they send you a sample unit? (Not too hard to do in this age of scanners, fax machines, copy machines, express mail, etc.)
What facilities will you have in your classroom and/or office?
Can they send you a list of things that may prove useful or helpful (such as magazines and other visual aids)?

Not all of the above would be listed in a contract. However, some of them should be included in an addendum and certainly others can be answered in a simple email.
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yamahuh



Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 1026
Location: Karaoke Hell

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So perhaps a list of things that should definitely be included in your contract would be a good thing to post up.
The problems that I've had over the past year have been a direct result of my own naivete I'll fully admit.
A couple of pieces of advice that I can pass on with my hand over my heart are these:

#1 DON'T ASSUME!!

Just because you think you know what the employer means in a specific part of the contract; don't assume that you are correct.

#2 GET IT IN WRITING!!

That way when you go to him after you come back from vacation and ask for your vacation pay you won't be surprised when he says;
'The vacations aren't paid...look at your contract!'

As far as this Sticky idea goes...how do we go about it??
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yamahuh



Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 1026
Location: Karaoke Hell

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nobody else thinks this is a decent idea??
It's OK, I've got (relatively) thick skin...
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erinyes



Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 272
Location: GuangDong, GaoZhou

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:39 pm    Post subject: Does anyone know... Reply with quote

Does anyone know where to find the example contract that the admin of foreign experts has posted? I found it once, but I cant find it today.

Maybe starting a sticky with that as an example would be helpful.

On the same note, anyone want to start a WHITE LIST??? (opposite to a black list) I would but I think it should be started with an example of a good employer, and although I love mine, there are like 3 whole jobs in this town!!!
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tw



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 3898

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the official SAFEA contract:

Quote:
CONTRACT






ISSUED AND PRINTED BY
THE STATE ADMIMSIRATION OF FOREIGN
EXPERTS AFFAIRS
(Copies Are Invalid)
CONTRACT
I. Party A ___________________________________ wishes to engage the service of Party B ___________________________________ as ___________________________________. The two parties, in a spirit of friendly cooperation, agree to sign this contract and pledge to fulfill conscientiously all the obligations stipulated in it.
II. The period of service will be from the __________ day of ____________________, 20__________ to the __________ day of ____________________, 20__________.
III. The duties of Party B (see attached pages)
IV. Party Bs monthly salary will be _______________ Yuan RMB, __________% of which can be converted into foreign currency monthly.
V. Party As Obligations
1. Party A shall introduce to Party B the laws, decrees and relevant regulations enacted by the Chinese government, the Party As work system and regulations concerning administration of foreign experts.
2. Party A shall conduct direction, supervision and evaluation of Party Bs work.
3. Party A shall provide Party B necessary working and living conditions.
4. Party A shall provide co-workers.
5. Party A shall pay Party Bs salary regularly by the month.
VI. Party Bs Obligations
1. Party B shall observe the laws, decrees and relevant regulations enacted by the Chinese government and shall not interfere in Chinas internal affairs.
2. Party B shall observe Party As work system and regulations concerning administration of foreign experts and shall accept Party As arrangement, direction, supervision and evaluation in regard to his/her work. Without Party As consent, Party B shall not render service elsewhere or hold concurrently any post unrelated to the work agreed on with Party A.
3. Party B shall complete the tasks agreed on schedule and guarantee the quality of work.
4. Party B shall respect Chinas religious policy, and shall not conduct religious activities incompatible with the status of an expert.
5. Party B shall respect the Chinese peoples moral standards and customs.
VII. Revision, Cancellation and Termination of the Contract
1. Both Parties should abide by the contract and should refrain from revising, canceling, or terminating the contract without mutual consent.
2. The contract can be revised, canceled, or terminated with mutual consent. Before both parties have reached an agreement, the contract should be strictly observed.
3. Party A has the right to cancel the contract with a written notice to Party B under the following conditions:
1) Party B does not fulfill the contract or does not fulfill the contract obligations according to the terms stipulated, and has failed to amend after Party A has pointed it out.
2) According to the doctors diagnosis, Party B cannot resume normal work after a continued 30 day sick leave.
4. Party B has the right to cancel the contract with a written notice to Party A under the following conditions:
1) Party A has not provided Party B with necessary working and living conditions as stipulated in the contract.
2) Party A has not paid Party B as scheduled.
VIII. Breach Penalty

When either of the two parties fails to fulfill the contract or fails to fulfill the contract obligations according to the terms stipulated, that is, breaks the contract, it must pay a breach penalty of US $500 to 2,000 (or the equivalent in RMB).

If party B asks to cancel the contract due to events beyond control, it should produce certifications by the department concerned, obtain Party As consent, and pay its own return expenses; if Party B cancels the contract without valid reason, it should pay its own return expenses and pay a breach penalty to Party A.

If Party A asks to cancel the contract due to events beyond control, with the consent of Party B, it should pay Party Bs return expenses; if Party A cancels the contract without valid reason, it should pay Party Bs return expenses and pay a breach penalty to Party B.
IX. The appendix of this contract is an inseparable part of the contract and has equal effect.
X. This contract takes effect on the date signed by both parties and will automatically expire when the contract ends. If either of the two parties asks for a new contract, it should forward its request to another party 90 days prior to the expiration of the contract, and sign the new contract with mutual consent.
XI. Party B shall bear all expenses incurred when staying on after the contract expires.
XII. Arbitration

The two parties shall consult with each other and mediate any disputes which may arise about the contract. If all attempts fail, the two parties can appeal to the organization of arbitration for foreign experts affairs in the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs and ask for a final arbitration.
This Contract is signed at ____________________, in duplicate, this __________ day of ____________________, 20__________, in the Chinese and English, both texts being equally authentic.
Party A Party B
(Signature) (Signature)


Last edited by tw on Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:11 am; edited 3 times in total
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clark.w.griswald



Joined: 06 Dec 2004
Posts: 2056

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:01 am    Post subject: Re: Does anyone know... Reply with quote

erinyes wrote:
On the same note, anyone want to start a WHITE LIST??? (opposite to a black list) I would but I think it should be started with an example of a good employer, and although I love mine, there are like 3 whole jobs in this town!!!


This one is called a Green List but I assume that it is what you are looking for. Basically a list of schools and recruiters with good records.

Personally I think that it would be great if we could get more information from teachers who have had a good time in China to help balance out the negative comments. In searching for work I think that it would be much easier for a newbie to start out with a list of good schools that can be considered, rather than having to work off a list of bad schools to avoid.

So come on everyone. If you are or have had a good experience with a school then write it down and let us all know. Tell us why it was good and of course point out any bad points. I really think that this is very valuable information.
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yamahuh



Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 1026
Location: Karaoke Hell

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OOps , double post but the next one is reworded.

Last edited by yamahuh on Fri Oct 21, 2005 7:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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yamahuh



Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 1026
Location: Karaoke Hell

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly, the poll is up for 5 days and then I'm going to see (if the responses are mostly +'ve) if the moderators will make a sticky section out of this. Personally I think it could be a very valuable resource for people coming to China and who are encountering their first 'Chinese Contract".
I know that I could have avoided a lot of stress over the past year if I'd known what to look for, what to ask for and what NOT to assume.

So come on guys and girls; post your comments, vote in the poll; if you think it's worthwhile or not vote and let us know what you think.

Thanks.
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erinyes



Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 272
Location: GuangDong, GaoZhou

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wrote this document with the intention of sending it to future employers when I get serious about a job offer. it's a list of stuff that shouldn't be forgotten in a contract.

Accommodation

Accommodation should be provided free of charge by the school.
Utilities provided at no charge include:
Rent
Electricity
Gas
Local Phone
Private Apartment shared with partner or spouse off Campus, or in a quite, private on-campus location complete with:
Kitchen
o Cook top (preferably Gas)
o Fridge
o Cupboard
o Sink
o hot water
o Cookware (Wok, Frypan and Pot)
o Kettle
o Rice cooker
o Cutlery (knifes, forks, spoons, chopsticks)
o Sharp kinfe
o Plates (4)
o Bowls (4)
o Mugs (4)
o Cups (4)
Bathroom
o Shower with hot water
o Toilet with flush
o Towels (4)
o Hand basin and mirror
Laundry
o Washing Machine
Bedroom
o Queen-sized bed with soft mattress
o Bedding (2 Sheets, 2 pillow cases, 2 warm blankets)
o Cupboard with hanging space and draws
Living room
o Dinner table and chairs
o Sofa
o TV
o Television cabinet
o Phone
o ADSL Connection with Modem
All amenities in the apartment should be clean and free from mould and in good working order.

Class Schedule and Holidays and sick days and study leave

Class Schedule:
Classes should be any 5 consecutive days each week.
Classes should be in the morning and afternoon, or in the afternoon and evening, with a total of 10 hours between the beginning of the first class and the end of the last class.
Eg: Beginning at 7am and finishing at 5pm or beginning at 12noon and finishing at 10pm.

Holidays:
The teacher should be paid for public holidays during the semester (eg labour day holiday), but not summer or winter holidays.

Sick Leave:
The teacher should be paid for no more than 5 days sick leave per semester (6 months). The teacher will give the school 24 hours notice of sick leave, or as soon as possible.

Travel and Medical Allowances

Bicycle:
The school will provide the teacher with a bicycle that is in good working order.

Air Fair:
After completion of one year contract a bonus equal to the cost of a return air-fair will be reimbursed to the teacher. The amount should be equal to the cost of the economy class ticket (where a receipt is provided to the school by the teacher) or equal to one month salary.

Travel to and from School:
If the accommodation provided is less than 5km from the school, then the provided bicycle provided is sufficient.
If the accommodation provided is more than 5km from the school, then travel will be organised by the school, or the school will reimburse the cost of travel when provided with recepts.

Medical Allowances:
For minor illness, the teacher will be able to seek medical assistance from the school clinic, or a local clinic.
For major illnesses, the school will provide medical insurance.

Breach Penalty

There will be no breach penalty in the contract. If at any time the teacher or the school feels that they do not want to continue the contract or one party have no fulfilled the duties outlined in the contract, they will give one month notice to the other party. Upon leaving the school, the teacher will collect any pay that he / she is owed for classes taught.
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latefordinner



Joined: 19 Aug 2003
Posts: 973

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't believe anyone voted against the idea. An anxious recruiter, perhaps? The tough part will be putting some relevent, perhaps overlapping but not too contradictory (and thus confusing) posts together. It looks like a good group project. Any takers?
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kev7161



Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Posts: 5816
Location: Suzhou, China

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to sound flippant, but it's air-FARE (not air-fair). If we are going to make specific contractual demands, we have to be careful with our homonyms! Wink

As to erinyes list: most of those points are standard from what I've experienced and heard. I think it is not too out there to have a school put together a check-list of what they offer so a future FT will not be blindsided upon arrival. If they can't or won't provide one, then submitting your own should be perfectly acceptable. If they do provide one and their list is slightly (or even majorly) different than the one you have in mind, that is where the negotiations come in (for example, a bicycle would not be an issue with me, but perhaps it would be for some FTs).

Again, a list like this should be preluded with something like:

"This is what I would want before accepting a position, how about you?"
or
"This is a general list of what most schools should be expected to provide."

. . . because a sticky like this would be more of an advice sticky rather than a "you MUST" sticky.
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erinyes



Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 272
Location: GuangDong, GaoZhou

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:14 am    Post subject: Yep! Reply with quote

Yep, my list - I did write it for myself, I can't imagine everybody wanting a Bike, and I have heard of some schools providing the use of a motorbike!!!

It's just - people should think about everything, and kaybe know that beds in China can be very harsh, so if you HATE the bed they give you, you should be able to ask for something soft.
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