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Taiwan: Appallingly low salaries . . .
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funkystuff



Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 1:48 am    Post subject: Taiwan: Appallingly low salaries . . . Reply with quote

I recently stumbled across this very interesting thread at www.forumosa.com entilted "appallingly low salaries":

http://www.forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?t=69907

I suggest anyone who is planning to take up work in Taiwan, especially at a university, should take a look. Unfortunately, the thread is now locked, which is unfortunate since it was a very healthy discussion.

You might also wanna check out this thread too:

http://www.forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?t=70000
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romanworld



Joined: 27 May 2008
Posts: 388

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

God, after reading these threads, I'll definitely be giving Taiwan a wide berth. Seems that the already low salaries haven't changed in yonks! I worked there years ago and I was getting more back then than tefl teachers are getting now . . . and things were much cheaper back in the good ole days. Sad
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funkystuff



Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I was thinking about looking for a job in Taiwan because I'd heard that the pay was good, but at my age the money is what counts. I think I'll just stay on here in Thailand, where the job pays a little more than the $550 in Taiwan, but living costs appear to be way cheaper.
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forest1979



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 507
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

550NT/US$18 hour is appalling low. Sorry, what is the minimum wage in your state back home?
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Miyazaki



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 635
Location: My Father's Yacht

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taiwan EFL salaries suck!

University salaries are low also.

If you want money better to go teach in Korea or Japan. Even China is more competitive these days than Taiwan.

MOD EDIT
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BJ



Joined: 03 Dec 2003
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wages are low here thats for sure. They have changed little in 15 years. BAck then 500 NT an hour was the pay, these days 550 - 600 seems the norm.
Universotoes havnt had a pay increase in years as well, whilst priices have been going up steadily,
In ENgland I think minimum wage is near 6 pounds - 12 dollars, whilst 18 dosnt suck it is not that good either.
15 years ago 500 NT was worth around 12 pounds - 600 NT now is worth 10 pounds - thats the reality unfortunately.
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funkystuff



Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a friend in Taiwan who works at a university and he tells me that it's hard to make ends meet these days. Sure, he says, $NT550 was OK 5 years ago, but now inflation is outta control and the money goes in a jiffy. As far as I know, Taipei is one of the most expensive cities in the world and rents in some areas are astronomical. So when you say that $NT550 is fine, think again. Not sure how long my friend will last. Says he wants to quit because he's so fed up with being unable to save anything.
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3897
Location: Pittsburgh

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Taiwanese are the cheapest people I've ever met in my life.


Yes, Taiwanese are so cheap. Some schools charge students by the month and students pay the same if there is a holiday or not but most schools don't pay teachers for holidays!!!
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MomCat



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't get this complaining. Wages here aren't a secret. Any level of research before coming over would let a potential teacher know what to expect. You get over here, make what you should have expected to make and then complain? Please!

Quote:
Even China is more competitive these days than Taiwan.
Give me a break. What delusion are you laboring under? Sure there are a few high paying jobs in China - just like there are here. But there are still a whole lot more schools that pay $800US. Oh right, you get a room - can we have a whoopee?

And wait, there's more. A poster's first and only post is used to tell us that they are not going to come here! Well, thank you for letting us know, please don't change your mind.

Am I the only one who thought that funkystuff and romanworld were just Aristotle and his alter ego trolling more poison.

Cat
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pest2



Joined: 28 Oct 2006
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MomCat wrote:
I don't get this complaining. Wages here aren't a secret. Any level of research before coming over would let a potential teacher know what to expect. You get over here, make what you should have expected to make and then complain? Please!


The wages are no secret, but the living costs and other aspects of day to day life are certainly not the way they are usually represented by recruiters and schools looking for teachers to come to Taiwan. Those schools and recruiters do what Taiwanese in general do best in order to get teachers: manipulating representations of truth while doing business in order to get something for personal gain (some call it simply doing business dishonestly, but that seems over-simplified to me).

Go look at tealit.com or esl99.com and see the slick, well-oiled quality of those sites... And there are so many jobs there! Taiwan must be a great place to come and teach English...

But if you keep looking at those sites for a few months, inevitably you will see the same schools popping up over and over again looking for teachers.... The turnover rate for English teachers in Taiwan is higher than the turnover rate of dead gold fish in a fish tank full of cyanide and fish.

Schools in Taiwan can easily hire and fire teachers over and over again until they get 'the right' one... those schools face very little liability for doing so. They never paid for a teacher's airticket, rarely paid for a teacher's visa, dont have to pay any fine for firing a foreign teacher.... Why not just fire 'em for any reason? Teacher Joe went out and got a tan and now his skin is too dark? Fire him; it wont cost you anything and it might get more parents to send their kids to your school. Teacher Susan is a little too fat? Fire her!! She can always get another job in her own country its not your problem.... and this is the mentality of most schools in TW... so they hire and fire.

Of course it LOOKS like the situation is great when you look at those Taiwan ESL websites. So many schools hiring! But the ratio of hiring schools to total schools in Taiwan is alot higher than it is in, say, Korea or Japan or China where there is 1) actually a greater demand to learn English 2) some real liability for firing an FT (In Korea, if a school fires a teacher and has to replace him or her, for example, it probably means that school has to fork out another 1k$US for an airticket, initially... and thats just one way its bad but there are many more)...



Quote:
Quote:
Even China is more competitive these days than Taiwan.
Give me a break. What delusion are you laboring under? Sure there are a few high paying jobs in China - just like there are here. But there are still a whole lot more schools that pay $800US. Oh right, you get a room - can we have a whoopee?


Alot of schools in China do, indeed, pay really low wages... but the obvious thing MC left out is that the cost of living in China is incredibly lower than it is anywhere in Taiwan... Moreso in the countryside and less in the cities. But jobs in cities in China like Shanghai and Beijing do, actually, pay nearly as much (still not quite, though) as the normal wage for a public school or buxiban job in Taiwan... But the significantly lower cost of living means that while you will have trouble saving alot of money in US$ terms in China, you can certainly maintain a much more wealthy and robust lifestyle with the earnings you spend there....

Quote:
And wait, there's more. A poster's first and only post is used to tell us that they are not going to come here! Well, thank you for letting us know, please don't change your mind.


Personally, I'd say that poster is making the right choice... wish more people would wake up and do the same, but wait... i just rememebered that most people I meet who teach English in Taiwan are 1)married to a Taiwanese person and have trouble getting that person out of the country and so are therefore forced to stay 2)experienced mainly only in Taiwan and have built up a network of jobs, friends, and other good reasons to stay... all of which would take alot of time to acquire 3) people who got sick of Korea....

Most common thing in Taiwan is NOT to meet someone who has been teaching here for less than 3 years... probably because demand for English has declined here and so too have jobs, pay, and working conditions... also, jobs pay and working conditions have increased in other places in recent years so most of the rational teachers woke up, got a clue, and went to work somewhere else....
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773



Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 213

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

forest1979 wrote:
550NT/US$18 hour is appalling low. Sorry, what is the minimum wage in your state back home?


$18 an hour is only for contact hours. Everything else is unpaid, which brings this hourly wage to a lot lower of an actual number.
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 778
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in Korea at a university making equivalent to US$3,000/month before housing. (Just so people don't think that is typical - typical in Korea is US$2,000+ WITH housing for uni jobs).

I applied to a university in Taipei. They offer their new teachers US$1,200/month WITHOUT housing.
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BJ



Joined: 03 Dec 2003
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A full time post at a UNi Tiger? no way the mimimum is 56,000 a month nearly 2,000 US. PHd starting is 67,000. Overtime is at around 600 an hour upwards over 12 contract hours.
AS you say most Korean pay similar.

My problem with it is very little increases over the years and the increase worloads they are now asking for in terms of papers, admin, extra curricular.

Momcat I half agree with you, a lot of moaning going on - 18 dollars isnt bad for someone straight out of college, and with the cost of living most people can save 1000 plus US a month out of their wages. Try saving that in the US or Europe these days.
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Miyazaki



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 635
Location: My Father's Yacht

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BJ wrote:
A full time post at a UNi Tiger? no way the mimimum is 56,000 a month nearly 2,000 US.


No it's not!

Let me break it down for you, because you're off by about NT $4,000!

University Instructor Starting Salary:

Salary: NT $52,490 = $1,725 U.S.
20% Income Tax: NT $10,498 = $345 U.S.
Health Medical: NT $723 = $23.77 U.S.
Pension: NT $666 = $21.90 U.S.
Rent: NT $10,000 = $328.77 U.S.

After Tax / Rent Instructor Salary:
NT $30,603 = $1,006 U.S.

You can also add another NT $45,000 for flight back to Canada or the U.S., which costs the instructor a month's salary!


Tiger Beer,

You are bang on with the info. you were provided.
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BJ



Joined: 03 Dec 2003
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your figures are about right M, sorry was looking at my wages basic + 4 hours extra works out around 68k a month for 16 hours work
Tax is around 13 percent + 20k for overtime etc at the end of the year,
2 months New year bonus? 8k for my apartment, 2k for bills.
basically I make around a million a year after tax from my college work.
30k a month in a savings account and still have around 10k a month spare after food etc

Of course if I wanted to work at other places I could do so.

How much is your accommodation, tax etc in Japan M? Wonder what the deductions housing costs etc cost in say the US and UK for a uni lecturer?

I am not saying the pay is good, but it isn't as bad as some would paint. 4 month PAID vacation is why I do it besides my love of teaching. If I wanted money I would not be a TEFL teacher.
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