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IH Bydgoszcz are recruiting. Unbelievable.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1597
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:47 am    Post subject: IH Bydgoszcz are recruiting. Unbelievable. Reply with quote

IH Bydgoszcz are recruiting again, so early in the semester!! The offer is under 1,700 PLN a month plus free accommodation. Can you believe they are still advertising Poland as a low cost place to live? I'm stunned that anyone can work for so little. When I worked there 20 something years ago, they paid you through a UK company called Glenrex and it was a tax dodge.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 629

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IH's offer plus this post just below by the guy who seems to recommend working for a university or public school in Poland confirm that the internet, in fact, has no useful information on it besides driving directions, sometimes...
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depechemodefan1966



Joined: 31 Jan 2015
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't it also true that IH won't allow you to work for another school to supplement your income?

As for Poland being a cheap place to live - that's a myth now. The only thing that is cheaper is the rent for flats. Everything else is the same price as the UK - petrol, food and clothing and footwear is more expensive than the UK. A few years ago when I was working in Poland, my best friend brought his friend over, for a visit. His friend lived in London. I took them to the local shopping centre and they were shocked at the prices for jeans, trainers. The London guy said he could buy everything cheaper in London than in Bydgoszcz.

Together with the European prices and the still-the-same salaries as 8 years ago, Poland is not cheap, even in the so-called smaller places.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1597
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:53 pm    Post subject: yeah Reply with quote

Imagine living on 10 quid a day in the UK. That's what IH want you to do. Shocking! And their teaching development? Harrumph.....nothing you can't get from Youtube vids.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15315

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

10 pounds daily is the rate paid in benefits to the lowest-paid claimant in Britain. Below subsistence. Welcome to the Brave New World of capitalist Poland !
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manumany



Joined: 28 May 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:13 pm    Post subject: Is 1700 per month the same as 5000 a month? Reply with quote

I know the deal at IH Bydogszcz because I worked there, and not 20 years ago.

- Accommodation and bills paid.
- Any ZUS or tax obligations will be taken care of outside of what you receive - so you don't receive less than the total of your basic and bonuses.
- The minimum basic wage every month for your first year, which then increases in subsequent years.
- Paid your basic whether you work a full timetable or not.
- Paid holidays (except Winter break, unless you work through it), during which you are - as during working days and weekends - accruing your pro rata end-of-contract holiday pay.
- Paid travel expenses and paid for the time you spend travelling to external lessons.
- Extra for exam classes and extra for working outside of a time-band.
-And they will not try to screw you out of a penny. And they will give a shit about you.

And support that goes not only way beyond what you can get on Youtube, but way beyond what you can get from any other school I have ever heard of - not just weekly workshops, but both structured and ad-hoc planning support and more.

Financially what's it worth? Well, for an inexperienced teacher about 1700 a month for salary plus accommodation, plus an average of let's say 300 a month for travel and the like. From September to June that's 20,000 zł, plus your end of contract, which will be a paltry couple of hundred zloty, because you will have been given it in advance to tide you over in the Winter Break, which almost everyone takes off.



Compare that to being hired by a school promising you 5,000 a month. They deliver it, but you are technically self employed, so you pay 400 or so in ZUS payments (for the first 2 years and then 1000+) and 20% or so in tax, leaving you with 3,700. Take off your accommodation to leave 2,700. Now deduct your five weeks of Christmas Winter break, Easter and various nefarious holidays, and forget about an end-of-contract holiday because, what, are you kidding me?.

At the end of the year you have worked from September to June for less than 24,000 zloties.

Except you had to pay for your travel. And your own photocopies. And there were the three months when they didn't have a full timetable to give you so you only got paid half wages. And you got sick for a week and had to take unpaid time off work and pay for the doctor and the medicine.

And you are now pretty much exactly where you would have been with that honest 1,700 minimum basic plus accommodation, plus, plus, plus.

Now, go find out what support IH Bydgoszcz offers from the people who know (ask them what they formally provide, and it is not the usual platitude of 'a weekly workshop' or 'a friendly staffroom'), and if you don't value that on top of everything, don't work there.


I don't want to address the issue about Poland being considerably less wealthy than the UK, because what is there to defend there? (POLAND LESS WEALTHY THAN WORLD'S 5TH LARGEST ECONOMY shocker!) But salary comparability is easy to do badly if all you do is look at one number.


Ultimately, it's not a fantastic salary, but do the maths; and don't tell me it's not, at the very least, a reasonable deal for the type of school and the job market it is operating in.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1597
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:30 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

When I was there the accommodation was shared and was on the edge of town near Fordonska. Tax and Zus weren't paid at all because we were paid through the company Glenrex, which IH Bydgoszcz set up.

Your maths is off with the private schools. Last time I worked for one in Poz in 2007, I made 6000 net in a good month. When I tutored a wealthy individual I got 7,500 net and a free flat in Warsaw, free copying and free transport in the form of a personal driver. I taught him 3 or 4 hours a day. Some of the guys in Warsaw are making 15k a month.

1,700 in modern day Poland is a pittance. There's a myth that IH looks good on the CV. No-one gives a hoot about IH except other IH people/schools. How do I know? Because in the past I've been involved in candidate selection as a Centre Manager.

Sign your life away in Bydgoszcz, where all you can do is drink in Mosg and stroll around that big old park outside town and they'll fund your DELTA and make you king of the cast from Rainbow. You'll get to give workshops on Action Research, Learning Styles (all bollox), vocab battleships and lessons with songs. You might even watch someone do a mime lesson. Anyone who's read Tefl Tradesman knows what I'm on about.
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manumany



Joined: 28 May 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:11 pm    Post subject: Re: erm Reply with quote

Dragonpiwo - the point I make about tax and ZUS stands, regardless of your take on 1997 - point being that the salary they quoted is net and not gross.

As regards my maths, it doesn't seem to be off; you just choose to put different figures in to the beginning end, which anyone is entitled to do. My point is to do the maths, comparing a year's net for a year's net.

As for reputation, it's undoubtedly true that there are people who don't know what IH is, or indeed how many luminaries of the EFL world started out there. However, anyone who knows about teacher training has heard of them. Anecdotally, I was interviewed for a job with the opening words "You're another IH Poland guy, so I know you can do the teaching side of the job," and proceeding directly to discussing terms and conditions.

Your impression of the teacher training seems to be an ironic spin on the most ungenerous take you could have on what was going on 20 years ago - the market has matured, and so have many schools. Their current DOS, for example, is a CELTA tutor. If a prospective teacher doesn't value ongoing development, they shouldn't work there - the teachers who do are extremely motivated and work very hard, and they really get out of it what they went there for.

As for the bottom line, if someone wants a decent salary, they should get out of EFL teaching altogether because, while there are a few great gigs here and there (as you and I know from personal experience), they are the exception, and occupied by a lucky or deserving few, and by definition not available to everyone.

But if someone thinks that their 4-week intensive course might need some proper follow-up to make the foundation of a professional career or they feel that they have stagnated since their initial training, they need to look at professional development first. Not everyone has to think that way, and some people can do a great job of developing professionally all on their own, armed with only their own reflection and a few good books (and Youtube!), but I think a good school has got to be the best environment. I remember when I did my own DELTA about 20 years ago, the guys with 10 years working on their own or in various standard schools really struggled, while IH teachers with a couple of years' experience of ongoing training and development came in at a completely different level of both skill an adaptability (not that anyone sails through a DELTA (DTEFLA back then)).
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depechemodefan1966



Joined: 31 Jan 2015
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The discussion between dragonpiwo and manumany raised an interesting point with regards to working at IH.

Personally, I have never worked there, but have heard good things about them from teachers that I met last year at a Ukrainian camp (IH had a two-week camp there) and an ex-colleague / mate, who I worked with in Poland, way back in 2009. Although we no longer work together, we still keep in touch. He spent two years at IH in Donestk, Ukraine, before it all kicked-off in that region. He was very happy there and recommended it.

Okay, they may be good and come highly recommended, but personally my thoughts are with what they provide in terms of travelling costs and time should be automatic anyway and not as an extra. I can never understand why a teacher would use their own time travelling to companies, on school business, at their own expense, both in time and cost. The only teachers that would do that are the ones who are green, no different and are not in the position to say no, or the fanatics who are too scared to say no. No teacher worth their experience would do that. I have turned down several schools, with a polite email, citing that they did not pay travel costs and/or travelling time as one of the reasons for my not working with them.

As for the salary, it doesn't sound too bad given that they pay for the endless holidays and national days off that Poland has. Okay, you may need to work through the winter break, but is that a big deal seeing as it's straight after the two-week Christmas break? In the past, I always had countless arguements, with Directors, about that holiday anyway and why it is so soon after Christmas and the pay lost. Who really needs 4 weeks holiday in the space of 6 weeks? For me, it would be no big deal to work through the winter break and have a bit of money coming in. If the rent of the flat and bills are included in the contract, then 1,700 appears to be not-too-bad. However, if I worked for them, I would insist on a single flat, or rent my own. I shared a flat once in the past and that was enough. I will never do that again.

As for the facilities they provide to do the job, that's another thing that should be automatic. Nothing makes me cringe, or laugh, more than when a school, who are looking for teachers, advertises that among the benefits are free training, free photocopying (who the Hell would pay for that anyway), free coffee, library, internet, etc. It's like, "Excuse me, that's a benefit"??? Isn't that something that should be provided anyway so we can do our jobs. if you want me to do the job to the best, then you provide the equipment to do it, and that includes laptops. I do not use my own. Only, don't make it sound like you're doing me a big favour.

As for working for IH, we can take both dragonpiwo's and manumany's points of view and respect them, but I believe the only way to find out what they are really like is, a) send off your CV, out of curiosity, and see if they reply to it. If they don't reply, then do you want to work for them anyway, and, b) if you do get a offered a job there, go for it, try it for yourself and share your experience of IH on this board.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1597
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:02 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

So you've got 56 pln/day, 12 quid, $16.

It's nothing. It's absolutely nothing in Europe in 2017. If all you want to do is work and sleep and sit in your flat, living on soup, kebabs and frozen pizza, then go for it.

Forget travel and forget buying clothes or electronic goods. Forget paying for your date on a regular basis or going to the dentist or ever paying for a wedding. Rely for ever on your mum and dad. It's human trafficking, no more, no less in the Venice of Northern Poland as IH's handbook once described it.

So you got your 56 pln and it's Friday morning. You walk to work, have a sandwich and a coffee on the way and you're down to 42 pln. After work you grab a pizza and you're down to 17 pln, which buys you a jd and coke and leaves you 4PLN in savings. That's if you don't smoke or have breakfast or factor in cleaning products and cosmetics or a winter jacket etc or the odd soft drink. Winter break comes and you see the train costs a bit and the rooms quite a bit more and you're stuck in Bydgoszcz freezing your ass off.

No thanks.

I make more in 18 teaching days in 1 month than they pay in 12 months at that rate.
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manumany



Joined: 28 May 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:22 am    Post subject: More money Reply with quote

Last time I heard, you were working in the Middle East, so that would not really be comparing like for like, which is what my posts have been entirely about.

It's not a lot of money compared to working in the oil industry. That's not news. I take your point - the same point you make in nearly every post on this site - EFL pays relatively little in Poland compared to some of the best paying EFL jobs in the world, and there are some jobs in EFL in Poland which pay better than others. And lots of EFL jobs in Poland don't afford a comfortable Western European lifestyle.

I have a comparison to make based on current facts. It's not quite comparing like for like, because the difference in qualification level is so different, but at least its the same country, and the difference in qualification level only make the comparison more sobering, so here goes: junior doctors in Poland clear about 1800 zloty. From that they have to pay their rent and bills.

That's a considerably worse deal, especially after all the years of training they have been through, and it I hope it gives at least some perspective on what the job market can be like here. Junior doctors would need at least a 50% pay rise just to put them on a par with a CELTA-fresh IH 1st-year teacher.

The deal at IH is absolutely reasonable for the market it is being offered in, and if you're in it for the professional development, it is exactly the place to be.
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manumany



Joined: 28 May 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depechemodefan's points are well made. I might take issue with some of what should be seen as benefits, but that's really a question of terminology - the really important thing, whatever you call individual parts of the deal, is how much a school offers altogether.

However, you say that you wouldn't work for a place that didn't offer X, Y and Z; but if they offered you a higher salary might that not easily compensate for other lacks? For example, one place I worked for made it difficult to get photocopies done, and offered no training, but they paid astronomical money, and I knew about all of this on taking the job, having asked about it. Overtime was also completely unpaid, but it was stated up front and still it was easily the best paying job I've ever had.

I think you need to take the whole package, add it up in terms of money, add it up in terms of ease vs. discomfort of working (having accommodation found for you and the landlord handled, for example, saves you time and grief, and so has a value (which you might even quantify financially)), add it up in terms of location-based satisfaction (such as friends, advantages of a particular city) and add it up in terms of professional satisfaction and development, and make a decision based on a full picture.

That way, someone who values those four aspects differently than someone else does can come to the conclusion that a particular job is better for them than the same job is for the other person.

There was a time in my life and career when I valued professional development and a secure environment above everything, and another when I looked purely at how much I could bank. One of those periods was spent working for IH and another was spent somewhere else. I'm sure you can guess which was which. Very Happy
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billbob



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:32 am    Post subject: IH Bydgoszcz Reply with quote

See quote from Dragonpiwo:

"1,700 in modern day Poland is a pittance. There's a myth that IH looks good on the CV. No-one gives a hoot about IH except other IH people/schools. How do I know? Because in the past I've been involved in candidate selection as a Centre Manager. "

The first sentence is true.
The second and third less-so in my opinion. When I worked in TEFL management in PL and summer schools in the UK in the noughties and early teens, less experienced candidates who had worked a year or two for IH, Bell or some other more recognised chain were considered before those who's spent two years looking good in the corner of a classroom in China, working for a one-man band operation in obscure central European cities or 2 years' "freelancing" in Spain on a Hemingway kick.

Please note that any IH advantage was applied to relevantly noobs.

Dunno how much things have changed here, there and everywhere, but if you're fresh off a CELTA and have a a cash stash to supplement the truly awful wages, then go to IH, learn what you can in 1-2 years, then get out (of the school, the town, the country, whatever) before your clothes start to get threadbare.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 629

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arguing that 1700 a month net is an acceptable wage even in tefl poland makes me believe you have ulterior motives. Junior doctors are almost always subsidized by parents or work as GPs in their spare time or earn more through "dyzury" The only reason to consider IH would be for a year of guidance while living on parents or savings before getting a job for adults.
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billbob



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When all's said and done, we all know that someone is going to take this job anyway and IH Bydgoszcz will therefore have no impetus to raise wages.
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