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Contract clauses

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Joined: 14 Apr 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Albuquerque, NM

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:08 am    Post subject: Contract clauses Reply with quote

I'm a newbie to teaching in Taiwan (but have two years of university teaching and one year of K-12 substitute teaching in the US) and am in the process of Skype interviewing with recruiters and schools. I just got a sample contract from a school I'm going to interview with and find some of the clauses worrying. Could anyone take a look and let me know if these are typical school-contract clauses? It's possible the school has developed this contract as a response to worst-case-scenario teachers, but these particular clauses still rankle me.

This is a private school (not a buxiban) hiring junior high and high school teachers. Many thanks for any input you can give me.

"The Teacher shall agree to be available for extracurricular activities
requested by the school. If the activity is held on a weekend, the Teacher
can take equivalent hours as a deferred holiday on weekdays, when the
Teacher do not have classes and after approval of the School."

I don't mind the occasional school picnic or whatever, but are weekly weekend activities typical?

"The first three months will serve as probation period. The management of the Administrator will evaluate the Teacherís performance during this
period. The probation period will end if the School is pleased with the
quality of the Teacherís performance. If the School is dissatisfied with
the Teacherís performance, the Administrator will assist the Teacher to
meet performance standards within a mutually acceptable timeframe as
agreed to in written by the Administrator, Teacher and the School.
Failure to do so within the established period of time shall result in
immediate termination and loss of claim to any bonuses."

So I can be fired for any reason in the first three months, lose any bonuses (including, I assume, airfare reimbursement), and have to leave the country because my ARC is tied to my employer?

"The School may require the Teacher to work overtime in addition to
normal work days and work hours. In this case and at the discretion of the
School, overtime pay or compensatory time will be provided."

"At the discretion of the School"
I might not/probably won't be paid for overtime?

"1. The Teacher shall receive a monthly compensation of NT$ 60,000 .
2. The Administrator shall pay the Teacher NT$ 650 for each hour of
overtime if the teaching load exceeds 100 classes.
3. The Teacher shall receive a housing allowance of NT$5,000 per month.
4. The Teacher shall receive a performance bonus of NT$3,000 per month.
5. If the attendance of the Teacher is not 100%, the Administrator will have the right to deduct NT$2,000 bonus.
6. If the Teacher is issued a warning notice from the Administrator, he/she
will not receive the performance bonus of that month.
7. During the summer vacation in July and August, the salary will be
temporarily calculated by teaching hours. The hourly rate is NT$ 650.
8. Tax on income earned by The Teacher will be calculated according to the present law regulations of Taiwan, R.O.C. The Administrator shall
withhold individual income tax from the TeacherĎs monthly pay."

-But in the last clause, they said compensation for overtime was at the school's discretion.
-Should expect to have to look for tutoring on the side to get through the summer?
-"The Administrator" is the recruiter. Is it typical for recruiters to withhold taxes? This seems shady, but I don't know the tax laws in Taiwan.

"The Teacher shall buy a National Health Insurance policy and participate in the Labor Insurance Program. Therefore, the Teacher is obligated to pay, as required under Taiwanís National Health Insurance Policy law, 30% of the total insurance premium as charged to the Teacher, and an amount equal to 20% of the total premium as charged under the Labor Insurance Program."
Does anyone know how much these premiums typically cost?

"The Teacher is required to attend orientation and teacher training sessions if asked by the School or the Administrator. The transportation fee will be at the Teacherís cost if the training is held out of the school."
Has anyone had to attend out-of-school training? Has it been the cost of a bus ride in the city, or are we talking team-building BS in the countryside?

"The Teacher shall be on time for classes. If the Teacher is late for class
within 5 minutes, NT$100 will be deducted from the Teacherís salary.
And NT$100 will be deducted for each 5 minutes delay."

I'm pro-punctuality, but this seems a bit severe.

"The Teacher is entitled to sick leave if he/she is able to show a doctorís
note and description of ailment, no later than 2 days after the Teacher
returns to work. If the Teacher is absent for class, for each teaching
session missed, the Teacher will be deducted NT$650 from the salary.
The Teacher shall be deducted at NT$2,000 for any sick leave beyond the
quota of 3 days per semester."

I find this outrageous, but is this to be expected at most schools?

"The Teacher agrees that the Administrator may videotape and / or
photograph teaching and other activities conducted at the School and / or
during extracurricular activities, and that the Administrator may use these
recordings and photographs on poster boards, pamphlets, websites, notice
boards and any other medium, for the purposes of recruitment, teacher
training, orientation, school profiles, project presentations and publicity
at the sole discretion of the Administrator or the School"

Has anyone been video taped while teaching? I can understand this from the school's perspective (keeping tabs on the teachers), but it being constantly surveilled would make me uncomfortable.

"All material produced by the Teacher in the course of their employment, such as lesson plans, props, presentations, teaching tools, books, research studies, etc. remain the sole property of the School and may be used by the Administrator for the purposes of training, orientation, School profiles, project presentations and publicity."
If I spent the time to prepare lesson plans, handouts, or other teaching tools, then I'm darn well gonna use them at my next job. This is ridiculous. How could it possibly be enforced?

"The Teacher may not leave the classroom during class time under personal or emotional circumstances. Nor may the Teacher ask a student to leave, in cases of disciplinary or classroom management issues."
There's no sending an out-of-control student to the principal's office, detention, or some other such thing?

"The Teacher is expected to be polite and kind to all individuals at the School, and during extracurricular events, including family of the students and staff members."
This is, of course, important, but it seems inappropriate for a contract. All jobs come with unspoken social commitments, but I've never seen something like this in a contract. How would it be measured? Smiles per minute?

"The Teacher is expected to be supportive and friendly with other foreign teachers."
Again, desirable, but in a contract?

Would you take this contract? Thanks again for any help you can give.
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Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:35 pm    Post subject: Contract Reply with quote

It's not a good sign if you're having so many misgivings before you've even started. The contract I silly, but if you don't have anything else you could take it, try it and keep your eyes peeled for something else. It's difficult for them to 'punish' you for breaking it unless you've done something criminal. Your ARC will be tied to them but you can always do a visa run. I'm here so if I needed a job I wouldn't sign that one, but if you're not here yet then it's a way in. It may be a good school with a crap contract. There's not much they will really be able to do, the contract is there to scare.

Good luck

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Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 384
Location: Texas/Taiwan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject: Legalese.... Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

I've been around the 'teaching scene' in Taiwan since 1994.

This 'contract' is RIDICULOUS.

The only contract that is valid is the one submitted to governing authorities in CHINESE, the official language of Taiwan. It states that the teacher will teach a minimum of 14 hours per week for a certain amount of NT dollars.

All of these extra 'contracts' are nothing but ways for 'laobans' (owners/managers) to try to push people around.

IF I am incorrect on anything in this post, I'm sure that someone will let me know.

I am not a lawyer. I am not offering legal advice. I am offering some common sense advice.

RUN, McNash, RUN!!! By the way, NOTHING will drain your energy and LIFE worse than Junior High students in Taiwan. NOTHING!

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Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


i know this contract, and I know what program your applying for


this is the shadiest company i have ever worked for. Period.

most of us are currently in the process of hiring lawyers to get out of this thing
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