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Concern about contract clause

 
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meyanga



Joined: 02 Mar 2008
Posts: 103
Location: Malaysia

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:23 am    Post subject: Concern about contract clause Reply with quote

I am currently going through the pre-employment checks for a position teaching ESL in a UAE government agency which aims to upskill the Emirati workforce for the future. I have two children age 10 and 12, and during the interview, I was very firm in saying that I would only consider positions in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi as I needed to be around international schools and other expat families. They seemed to accept this and I was offered the position.

However, after doing a bit more internet digging, it turns out that there is a clause in the contract which states that the employer has the right to move the employee to any location at any time. I've read a couple of horror stories on forums about teachers who have had to pay deposits for apartments again after being forced to relocate by this employer. For me, as I have two kids, there is also the issue of a disruptive school move to consider if I was ever pushed to reIocate during the time of the contract. I put this to my recruiter and stated that I was not comfortable with this and asked if the clause could be removed. They replied that people with children in schools are 'less likely' to be asked to move but that the clause would not be removed.

I am not a licensed teacher, although I am just finishing up a contract in a 2nd tier international school in Malaysia. My background is in ESL, which I have been teaching for 18 years, and I have just completed a PhD in Applied Linguistics which I did by Distance while working over the past few years. Given the age of my children I am looking for my next move to be one that provides some stability in a country with lots of international families and plenty of socialising for me (I am a single mother). Despite the fact that this particular employer, if internet reviews are accurate, does appear to be a bit of a shambles and teaching on this type of project in the UAE will mean dealing with many unmotivated and undisciplined students, I am long in the tooth and experienced enough to be able to handle it and make the best of it if it means that my kids are in a good international school and we have a bit of spare cash to have some fun.

I am also applying for positions at UK universities, but on a single salary, there wouldn't be much less at the end of the month. I am also concerned about standards in state education back home and I think international school life best suits my children. However, the job market just doesn't seem to be working much in my favour at the moment.

So, I would really like to know if anyone knows anything about this or can offer any advice. Would you take the risk and go for it? Would you refuse to sign unless the clause was removed and risk losing the position? Do any of you based in the UAE know anyone who this has happened to.

I just want o make a sensible decision, but feeling quite stressed and confused just now. I'd appreciate any words of wisdom.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1581
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:58 am    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

These clauses are common in the ME.

I'm in the UAE right now and have a flat in Abu Dhabi. If I were you, I wouldn't limit yourself. I know people in RAK, Fujairah and Al-Ain, who love it. Abu Dhabi is crazy expensive and my guess is you're on 21k, which seems like a lot but isn't in AD where the rents are crazy even though they've gone down 10%.

2 kids in school? Wow, that'll be costly. Are you sure your offer is good enough?

Feel free to pm me.
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meyanga



Joined: 02 Mar 2008
Posts: 103
Location: Malaysia

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply. I have sent you a PM with the package.

As for being open to other locations, I have just spent the last 3 years in a quiet part of Malaysia with very little expat social life and I found it extremely isolating and pretty miserable to be honest. I am worried about going through that again. Plus, I want my kids to have a good mix of international friends as it has been a bit tough for them here with no 'western' people around to mix with.

So, if these clauses are common, how many people actually have to move? It really is something that worries me. Do you know of anyone ho had to up sticks and relocate during their contract?

Thanks
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11244
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember your "story" from your general forum thread nine or so months ago. Smile

If you're referring to the MoE contracts, that type of clause is standard in contracts throughout the Gulf when multiple locations are involved. I understand your angst. There's no guarantee you won't be uprooted and sent to another emirate; they put teachers based on their need. And yes, Emirati students can be a handful.

But that's not the biggest issue. The cost to educate two children in an English-curriculum private school in the UAE is high; it's an employer benefit is problematic for expat families, especially given the current oil slump. (There's a reason why I posted that homeschool article.) Benefits aren't as rich as they used to be. BTW, expat children are not eligible to attend public school. If you're not able to rely on your ex for financial help, you'll find you won't be able to afford to send your children to school while keeping up with all the other expenses that come with living in the UAE. For example, if you're responsible for housing costs, keep in mind that you'd likely have to furnish the place, which could include purchasing the major appliances.

If you can get a position that at least covers housing and part of your children's education, then that's a job that might be worth considering. But I think this MoE gig will end up sinking you unless you have financial support from your ex or you can convince a family member to live with you to homeschool and care for your children.
,
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meyanga



Joined: 02 Mar 2008
Posts: 103
Location: Malaysia

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Package as follows;
Basic Salary = £32,000 - per annum (Tax Free) – 11,998AED per month

Plus:
Accommodation Allowance = £25,100 (Married) per annum
Education Allowance for up to 3 children = £14,400 (per annum) – Max 40,000AED per child (Need to be aged 5 in that academic year to apply)
Medical Insurance – Self, spouse & 3 children
Relocation Allowance (One-time payment on arrival) = Approximately £4,500
Air ticket for employee, spouse and 3 dependent children below the age of 18 years
Annual Gratuity Plus other benefits as per Govt. policies

Plus I now get 10K GPB in maintenance from ex. The basic salary isn't much, I know. But let's say I can find a decent school for approx 15 GBP each child, it is doable. As a single mum with a desire to give my children the best possible education, I don't expect to be saving much over the next 10 years (if ever!!!)

I am fed up with being in Asia and my son is a bit of a monkey and looks like a devil child compared to the well behaved Chinese Malaysian kids where we have been. I think he might be more at home the UAE where people are a bit warmer and kids are allowed to be kids. Actually he'd look like an angel compared to some of the kids we saw when we lived in Saudi!!!
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wailing_imam



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 578
Location: Malaya

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come to Singapore. Salaries are much better than that and your kids can go to local schools, which are most likely far better than any international school in the UAE.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11244
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wailing_imam wrote:
And your kids can go to local schools, which are most likely far better than any international school in the UAE.

Not so. Licensed/certified westerners teach the children of American, Canadian, British expats in the UAE in many of the country's IB/American/British curriculum international schools. BTW, Emiratis make up just 20% of the UAE's population.
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wailing_imam



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 578
Location: Malaya

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was referring to local schools in Singapore, not the UAE.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11244
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wailing_imam wrote:
I was referring to local schools in Singapore, not the UAE.

Yes, I know. That's why I stand by my comments. The private schools with IB/American/British curriculum that teach western children living in the UAE actively recruit qualified k12 teachers from the US, UK, etc. I'm not sure how you see that as inferior compared to local schools in Singapore. But that's not a discussion to have in this thread, although it would be nice to hear back from the OP about her UAE plans.
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