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THINK LONG AND HARD BEFORE SIGNING WITH PNET SCHEME
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Joanne Light Miller



Joined: 23 Jun 2003
Posts: 33
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 12:30 am    Post subject: THINK LONG AND HARD BEFORE SIGNING WITH PNET SCHEME Reply with quote

To all concerned: I received the following letter from ETA (Expat Teacher's Association) and was asked to help publicize the information so am posting here.

Sincerely,
Joanne Light Miller
ex-PNET teacher


Ms Millers's case (Refer to Topic Forum: Don't Sign with St. Patrick's School) is all too typical. Many teachers have complained about bullying and prejudice from schools and the EMB has done its usual trick of hiding behind its school-based management policy. We were also very disappointed with the stance of NESTA (Native English Speaking Teachers Association) but not surprised. NESTA has always had a very cautious approach in these matters.

We would urge all teachers to avoid taking up employment in the NET scheme in Hong Kong until these matters are resolved. At very least they should get working hours and holidays written into their contracts and, on no account, come here without a contract which satisfies them. Teachers need to be particularly careful about clauses which allow schools to withhold salary increments and gratuities in the case of unsatisfactory performance. Based on anecdotal evidence from a great many teachers, it would seem that many schools in Hong Kong are simply not capable of objectively asssesing a NET teacher's performance. There is, therefore, a danger that schools will use these clauses to bully NETs into submission, even more than has been the case already.

The other thing we would like to warn people about is the issue of salaries. Stories of big money in Hong Kong are largely illusory. The salary scale here is based totally on experience so you will not be at the top of the scale unless you have 19 documented years (full time) teaching experience (as accepted by the EMB).

Moreover, in 2000 the salary scale entry points were changed so that teachers starting in or after August 2000 entered the salary scale 5 points lower than teachers starting before that date. This means a difference of $4,000 to 6,000 HK per month. There was also a salary cut of about 5% last year and the government is foreshadowing another cut of between 5% and 10%. The simple fact is that you can't really be sure what your salary will be until you get your first pay check.

Other things you need to watch out for are living costs which are about two and a half times what you would pay for the same lifestyle in Canada or Australia. The tax system might boast a low nominal rate like 15%, but you can expect monster provisional tax bills (tax on money you haven't yet earned but are predicted to earn).

In short, we would ask people to think long and hard before coming here and PLEASE contact us for leagal advice before you sign up.

Mark Aldred
President
Expatriate Teachers Association

my email is MrAldred@ziplip.com
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khmerhit



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 1874
Location: Reverse Culture Shock Unit

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely done, Joanne. Quod erat demonstrandum Very Happy
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Minhang Oz



Joined: 23 Apr 2003
Posts: 610
Location: Shanghai,ex Guilin

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The comparison between HK and Australian/Canadian costs of living is interesting. I wonder where the figures are from?
Anyway, the Australian job I'm on leave from looks quite good, apart from some of the "clients". And given that the Mainland's cost of living is about a quarter of Australia's, my 10 k a month here in China is worth much more than on first appearances, especially with 70% savings easily attainable.
Do you think that someone who states that he gets 1000 HK a day for a few hours work as a NET is pulling more than my leg?
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ChrisRose



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Posts: 424
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cultural differences!

I stared off with a wonderful position, had carte blanch for syllabus and curriculum and the results were beyond my wildest dreams. However a very close friendship with my superior turned sour and resulted in her threatening me and attempting to blackmail me.
In fact she did.

She wrote a bogus end of probation report that suggested I had hit students and smoked within the school. Both of which are absolutely absurd and untrue. She went on to say on 6 different occasions that should could write an even more damming report and have me blacklisted, whilst should I start a legal action she would just leave Hong Kong and be beyond the law.

Now please ponder this. The headmistress appeared concerned and supportive, however she didnít want legal actions flying back and forth damaging her image or that of the school. Justice takes second place to that of the track records of career teachers.
Whilst many NETs are here for a short contract and dare I say an opportunity to save some salary, the local teachers have been working hard to secure their chances of promotion.

Donít be so naÔve as to expect shock and horror with full support from the local staff. The deputy of the English panel at my school said in a whisper ďChris, I have two children and a family to support, please donít bring me into this as a witness.Ē

I urge everyone to consider the purpose of the NET scheme. We are not here to overthrow the existing educational system with enlightened methods of teaching and re-educate our local colleagues. We are hired for a contracted position, on a short contract (one to two years). If the contract terms are being unobserved, a very polite quiet letter of concern to your supervisor is the first step followed by a letter to the head.

If things are still not going well, consider being assigned to another school.

Commencing legal actions is a final resort.

I was personally was blackmailed and threatened my superior. In the end whilst consulting with all the relevant authorities about legal and disciplinary actions against my superior, I decided it was not worth while and just gave my notice.

I reserve my rights to legal action to the Ends of the Earth and until Old and Grey. But at present, I am too busy seeking new employment. The bottom line is, regardless of right and wrong, justice and injustice, look at the whole picture and remember starting and winning legal suits may not improve you overall happiness. It may just prolong you misery and have a lasting blemish on your career record. If possible take a deep breathe, think, ďIs there a cultural misunderstanding between myself and the school?, What is the quickest and most painless route out of this misery?Ē

Think once, think twice, and sleep on it.

Christopher
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Freddie_Unbelievable



Joined: 06 Jun 2003
Posts: 288

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The simple fact is that you can't really be sure what your salary will be until you get your first pay check. "

That is untrue. Another lie. You will know your salary based on the contract offer. I have an idea, if it is not the salary you want, don' sign.

As for the Tax rate. It is about 15%. Yes, it appears as a monster bill but, I have another idea, put 15% of your income into a tax account.

Joanne, your posts are full of inaccuracies. Quit trying to decieve the readers. You behave like a little girl who spitl her milk.

I know many people who want a job in HK as a NET. If you cannot do the job, do not take the position.

It's funny how you did not respond to my other posts and confront the issue of Why you spent 12 hours a day working.

Teachers do not need to re-invent the wheel. Personally, I used many resource banks that had fantastic material that my students loved.

I see nothing but Sour Grapes from a quitter.

Good bye and good luck
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Egas
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Frddie U,

Have YOU ever thought that there are two sides to every story? You are doing exactly what you claim Joanne is doing - posting repeatedly negative angles, only looking at one side of the story, being totally judgemental, using langauge that seems deliberately hateful such as calling her a "quitter", "sour grapes" etc. In fact the most sour face I see around here is yours.

I say if Joanne has the guts to challenge the system, let her do so. Her decision may prove useless, but it just may also help change a system that is imperfect, and it may help teachers coming to HK understand some of the potential problems involved.
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Bertrand



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddie_Unbelievable wrote:
As for the Tax rate. It is about 15%. Yes, it appears as a monster bill but, I have another idea, put 15% of your income into a tax account.


Exactly. Also, to tell the truth, I don't think that 15% is a vast amount; at least, not for what you get here in Hong Kong. For a large city I think the streets are remarkably clean (just draw a comparison with the mainland!), the buses, tube (UK English for underground or subway) trains, and boats are cheap and the choices and quality (like TV screens on the buses) offered to the traveller put the UK at least to utter SHAME. It's safe with so many police around and besides, you are treated as an adult who can save their tax during the course of the year; I like that a lot and prefer it to the UK where is tax is just taken (and you get little, or nothing in return).

In Finland I payed no less than 45% tax, many of my friends paid, and still pay, up to 85%. None of them complain. If they didn't like it or couldn't accept it, (since they are adults), they would move on; not whimper and cry like little kids that have dropped their rattle out of their pram.
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AKA



Joined: 04 Jul 2003
Posts: 184
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bertrand wrote:
"If they didn't like it or couldn't accept it, (since they are adults), they would move on; not whimper and cry like little kids that have dropped their rattle out of their pram."

Is this also his attitude to his sacking by EF China? Does it explain his obsessional anti-EF postings on the China forums?
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Joanne Light Miller



Joined: 23 Jun 2003
Posts: 33
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 6:06 am    Post subject: LEGAL HELP/NET TEACH. IN HK (IN&OUT(NEVER BEEN/ AL. LEFT Reply with quote

WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR EXPATRIATE TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION (ETA):

www.offedge.net/eta if you need legal advice about Hong Kong teaching situation, contract, etc.

For expatriate teachers in and out (never been or already left) Hong Kong.
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Joshua2006



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With every horror story on the NET scheme, there are 10 tales of bliss too.....
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kpjf



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 171

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edit: didn't realise this thread was so old.

Last edited by kpjf on Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mambawamba



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 291

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread was started 11 years ago!

Perhaps a little more up to date information on the programme would be helpful? From people who are actually there, right now?
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Joshua2006



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mambawamba wrote:


Perhaps a little more up to date information on the programme would be helpful? From people who are actually there, right now?

With every horror story on the NET scheme, there are 10 tales of bliss too.....
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mambawamba



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 291

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Joshua 2006 Thanks for taking the time to do that.
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Joshua2006



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mambawamba wrote:
@Joshua 2006 Thanks for taking the time to do that.

Always willing to help....

....and, bottom line - the EdB NET scheme is heavily over-subscribed for wannabe NETs in Hong Kong, so that in itself must speak volumes.

Yes, people have bad experiences, but I don't think that is only applicable to HK - having come from Korea before moving here, HK is like a paradise for teachers in comparison to the way they frequently get treated over there.

Now...living in HK? That's a whole different story.
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