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VUS Probation Period?

 
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mockingyou



Joined: 20 Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Oxford

PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:32 pm    Post subject: VUS Probation Period? Reply with quote

Hi Guys,

I've recently received an offer to start at VUS in HCMC next month - the terms of the Full Time contract are about as generous as I was really able to hope for after reading the forum, which is great - however there's a specified '4-6 week probation period' which I haven't been able to find out much about from Dave's as VUS is much less written about than ILA and Apollo of late.

I'm just wondering if anyone's been through this period themselves and come out the other side with everything intact? I'm confident enough that barring any funny business I ought to be able to convert probation and I get their position, hiring people from the other side of the planet without some sort of failsafe is a risk.

I'm particularly interested in:

A) Anyone's experience of/best guess at hours for those 4-6 weeks (They haven't specified, I'm obviously coming out with cash reserves for set up & payment in arrears, but the idea of being short 2 months in a row because of a lack of hours isn't too appealing) and;

B) The likelihood of aforementioned funny business when it comes to the terms in my offer letter when we get to the end of probation (most of what I've been able to dig up via search has been about demo lessons and people getting cut down etc, hence my concern - my own experience hasn't given me reason to suspect anything)

C) Are they still crucifying people with their schedule? Seems to be all anyone could talk about in 2010 was 10 hour Sundays and 7 hour Saturdays, but that's died down a bit.

I could be reading too much into this, but just to be on the safe side thought I'd check. Obviously I'll also try and find some of this out from HR but having your insights is always going to be helpful.

Thanks for your help!
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Mattingly



Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:51 pm    Post subject: Re: VUS Probation Period? Reply with quote

mockingyou wrote:
Hi Guys,
there's a specified '4-6 week probation period' which I haven't been able to find out much about from Dave's as VUS....

I'm just wondering if anyone's been through this period themselves and come out the other side with everything intact? I'm confident enough that barring any funny business I ought to be able to convert probation and I get their position, hiring people from the other side of the planet without some sort of failsafe is a risk.

I'm particularly interested in:

A) Anyone's experience of/best guess at hours for those 4-6 weeks (They haven't specified, I'm obviously coming out with cash reserves for set up & payment in arrears, but the idea of being short 2 months in a row because of a lack of hours isn't too appealing) and;

B) The likelihood of aforementioned funny business when it comes to the terms in my offer letter when we get to the end of probation (most of what I've been able to dig up via search has been about demo lessons and people getting cut down etc, hence my concern - my own experience hasn't given me reason to suspect anything)

C) Are they still crucifying people with their schedule? Seems to be all anyone could talk about in 2010 was 10 hour Sundays and 7 hour Saturdays, but that's died down a bit.

I could be reading too much into this, but just to be on the safe side thought I'd check. Obviously I'll also try and find some of this out from HR but having your insights is always going to be helpful.

Thanks for your help!


At EFL schools, especially large chains (and many organizations), there is a "probationary period."

IMO it is for 2 reasons: 1. there are a lot of frauds, lazies, and wankers who come and no one really knows who / what they are getting until a couple of weeks into the job.

2. It gives a kind of 'professionalism' into the hiring and work process which also provides some legitimacy.

Do not pay attention to it. Do your best. Lesson plan. Take your job and most importantly your students seriously, and you should be OK.

I cannot offer any other details to your other questions.

(IMO) there is a lot of competition in Saigon for all types of teaching jobs.

This is an employers market. There are tons of teachers trying to fill the jobs open.
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RustyShackleford



Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha! You may be taking my position as I slowly finish my obligations to the company in favor of my other job.

Mattingly speaks truth.

Just do your job, be professional and courteous to those you work with. It's a good place to work for overall and I have few complaints. Offices are clean and staff is attentive to teachers; the students are rambunctious but nothing too crazy; the co-workers are supportive and give good advice; and everything is pretty above board.

The only thing I didn't like were the occasional mandatory workshops that go unpaid because it's considered part of a teacher's "duties" and thus not counted as labor.

You got signed on a full-time contract, so you may well be getting a full schedule out the door. I was hired part-time and got a couple classes on the weekend which then blossomed into a full classload. It was good but split-shifts are going to become a fact of life for you. Don't be surprised if you are indeed crucified on the weekends. On the flipside, weekday mornings should be open which will allow you to go out partying, guilt-free on the weekdays - Sunday will become your new Friday.

Good luck!
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Demonietto



Joined: 19 Apr 2013
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a language center, so evenings/weekends are pretty much a given. I signed on with them on a part-time contract for the probation period (90 days) and had 20+ hours after the first week, and was offered a year long contract right on time after that ended. The full-time contract does seem really nice with all of its perks, but be aware it might not be what you're getting. During the interview process it sounded like that is what comes after probation, but in reality it's a year-long part-time contract. Full time contracts are offered later at management's discretion. I've heard fellow employees also being unsure of their 'full time' status, even though we're all working 20+ hours a week. Everything else is pretty above-par, as far as organization, communication, cleanliness, curriculum, getting paid (most importantly). There is definitely plenty of time during the week for whatever, another job maybe?
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mockingyou



Joined: 20 Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Oxford

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, you've put my mind at relative ease. I'm still talking to other schools but given your responses I'll set the wheels in motion to head over - if nothing substantially better comes up in the next few days I'll accept and see you at VUS soon Demonietto! If anyone else has any other VUS experiences feel free to PM me if you don't want to post publicly as well
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 259

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't work for a school with a probation period. At least i wouldn't if I thought they took it seriously or expected me to. I guess that's why I'd never, ever work for VUS.

I guess I expect schools to respect the fact that I like teaching EFL abroad. That's why I'm here rather than back home making real money. I absolutely do respect the fact that they expect competence but not if they expect B.Ed. competence when clearly i would be back home making $75 an hour if I had that. Or in sales which has many transferable skills from teaching. 50 to 100 grand a year as a matter of fact. VUS is so full of itself it's becoming comical.
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cb400



Joined: 27 Sep 2010
Posts: 168
Location: Hanoi

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As someone who hires a lot of teachers I think the probation period is fine. It is mostly designed to weed out the less desirables that do get through the cracks and sometimes just fall apart. It is not unheard of, having people lie and exaggerate their experience to get a job and or just not be able to cope no matter what their paper says.

For teachers, treat this as a probation for the school. Are they holding up their end of the contract? paying on time?, amount of classes being specified? If they do not hold up their end of the contract walk away.

Remember the probation period is a TWO WAY street: The school to evaluate the teacher and the teacher to evaluate the school.

What Matt said is 100% do a great job during the probation period and you will be fine, 80% of your peers will be crap anyway.
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Mattingly



Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VietCanada wrote:
I wouldn't work for a school with a probation period. At least i wouldn't if I thought they took it seriously or expected me to. I guess that's why I'd never, ever work for VUS.


The concept of probation is a joke.

Another joke in EFL.

It gives "legitimacy" to pretend there are standards. Yes, there are often standards, but it makes it a bit.....erm....official, I suppose.

I don't care about probation whether it's 2 weeks or 5 years.

I consider myself on probation every day, and I consider the school on probation with me every day. Violate that, and I am gone - after payday of course - after I am paid in full, have no money owed to me, and when the students are showing up for class as my resignation text message / call is received 20 minutes before the start. It's too late to find a sub.

Probation is ok - if - there is not the "pay reduction" scam. "We'll pay you less than the agreed amount / contract amount because you're on probation."

Well...you (the school) are on probation with me - so I'll ask for above the amount we agree on for a while until I decide your organization is worth working for.
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 322

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VietCanada wrote:
I wouldn't work for a school with a probation period. At least i wouldn't if I thought they took it seriously or expected me to. I guess that's why I'd never, ever work for VUS.

I guess I expect schools to respect the fact that I like teaching EFL abroad. That's why I'm here rather than back home making real money. I absolutely do respect the fact that they expect competence but not if they expect B.Ed. competence when clearly i would be back home making $75 an hour if I had that. Or in sales which has many transferable skills from teaching. 50 to 100 grand a year as a matter of fact. VUS is so full of itself it's becoming comical.


This is what I was talking about in the other thread about some teachers demanding instant respect...

Rolling Eyes
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spycatcher reincarnated



Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't recall the exact laws with probation but believe that the probationary period can be for up to two months and during this time the employee can be paid as low as 80% of the regular salary.

The above is negotiable between the employer and the employee within the above parameters.

During the probationary period both the employer and employee can terminate the contract immediately with no penalties.

During a probationary period it is usual for the employee to keep on the look out for further jobs. For this reason it is advisable/normal amongst sensible companies, to offer the employee to end the probation and offer the employee a full time contract, as soon as the employer is satisfied that the employee will be a suitable full time employee. Obviously when the full time contract is offered the employee is under no obligation to accept it. They could merrily continue in probation as long as the employer is willing to do this.

Also during the probation period the employee could tell the employer that they want a full time contract immediately and see what the employer says.

It must be understood that this probationary period works both ways and it is normally in the best interests of the employer to finish the probationary period and offer the employee a full time contract as soon as they are satisfied they are good enough.

Over the years I have seen swings in the market for Vietnamese employees where prospective employees have both insisted on no probationary periods and in other cases insisted on them. Foreigners don't seem to have gotten the hang of this probationary period yet.

The above is not ESL specific.
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ajc19810



Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 214

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probation periods are similar to demo lessons in that i believe they can be very useful and fair, but i would say a good majority of the time they are not used effectively.

I like what Mattingly wrote about pretending to be standards and agree with it. I think many of us would have no problem accepting these types of conditions but they must be consistent throughout your employment and unfortunately they aren't. However, people shouldn't be afraid to work for language mills and shouldn't be scared off too early by these types of things as in my experience what may seem like a crappy school might actually work out to be a good fit for yourself. I'm sure there are many of us here who work for what might be considered a less reputable school, but have found a niche for themselves. A niche in the way of good colleagues, decent wage, good employers, great students or possibly you get to keep the same class for the term of a book/level.

Sometime in Vietnam you may find the greatest opportunity to teach in the most unexpected places.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 259

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ExpatLuke wrote:
VietCanada wrote:
I wouldn't work for a school with a probation period. At least i wouldn't if I thought they took it seriously or expected me to. I guess that's why I'd never, ever work for VUS.

I guess I expect schools to respect the fact that I like teaching EFL abroad. That's why I'm here rather than back home making real money. I absolutely do respect the fact that they expect competence but not if they expect B.Ed. competence when clearly i would be back home making $75 an hour if I had that. Or in sales which has many transferable skills from teaching. 50 to 100 grand a year as a matter of fact. VUS is so full of itself it's becoming comical.


This is what I was talking about in the other thread about some teachers demanding instant respect...

Rolling Eyes


Link? So I can respond to your criticism of me.

Off the top of my head-

Respect is not a one way street. I expect to be respected for my choice to teach here not to mention my experience and my age and I respect the school for just existing. I respect my ATs because of their education, dedication and experience in many cases. I believe this mutual respect should be in balance. I've done this long enough to recognize outfits that have no respect for foreign teachers (I'm looking at you Cleverlearn) and those that balance respect with their needs. VAS (not VAIS) comes to mind. I don't work at either school at this time.

I recognize that people who purchase fake degrees and certs and others who lie about their commitment just to make a few bucks to continue their travels through Asia are obnoxiously disrespectful of the whole industry and cause us all problems with visas and possibly even relationships with VN co-workers.

Don't judge me on a single post and condemn me with a hidden post. That is disrespectful.
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