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MOLISA Requiring Checks of Compliance to Labour Laws

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Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 254

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:08 am    Post subject: MOLISA Requiring Checks of Compliance to Labour Laws Reply with quote

Not sure if this has been posted yet, I've only just come across it myself:

Letter in Vietnamese:

completed and reported to MOLISA by each People’s
Committee by 30 September 2012:
• To conduct a check of all foreigners working in the location
and of administration of such foreigners and to apply strict
penalisation for any non-compliance with regulations.
• To understand foreign employment requirement of
employers, Vietnamese parties and foreign non-government
• To complete a program on co-ordinating administration
of foreigners working at all enterprises and organisations
including specific procedures of managing foreigners and
responsibilities of organisations involved in the management
and penalisation to breaches of regulations.

More pontificating, or are things actually getting stricter?
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Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 465
Location: North Viet Nam

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THIS is actually a new twist!!

It's interesting because usually, what happens is that MOLISA or Education and Training or Immigration or whoever will just fire out a veeerrrry generic proclaimation about how they're really, really, really gonna crack down - AND THIS TIME, THEY MEAN it, seriously! No fooling around this time....seriously: We are gonna go door-to-door ridding our glorious Commie-land of the Western Menace....

.....and, of course: Nothing ever happens and those with work-permits curse blowing hundreds of USD to obtain said permit and those on visas only continue to remain as though nothing ever happened.

THIS new one is weird, though, JB, because it cites people employed in the genres of medical, EDUCATION, aquaculture and fisheries. NOTE that it does NOT mention anything at all about construction (which is literally overrun with illegal Chinese workers, but politically and economically, Viet Nam is in NO position to piss of China right about now, sooooo......)

Who knows? Maybe this time they mean it. If they DO mean it this time and they start making trips around to the schools sniffing around for work permits, there are going to be A LARGE NUMBER of very pissed off schools and centres!
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Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 53
Location: Vietnam

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree.........
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Joined: 24 Aug 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Vietnam

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe it's just been in Danang, but we've had regular checks from immigration/other "important" officials over the last year. They even ask to be informed when a member of staff is leaving the country to go on holiday, and their whereabouts while they're away.

These visits are a pain though, my boss panics each time even though all of the staff have work permits. So every few months we go through all the paperwork on file & make sure none of it has mysteriously been altered.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think there are ANY teachers in HCMC who are teaching LEGALLY. Cool
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's the economy. The gov't needs revenue.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:34 am    Post subject: what are the real numbers? Reply with quote

From my my informal studies, the number of foreign English teachers without a work permit has stayed above 80% for many years. There may have been a slight decrease in the number, but I think it is still at least 80%. Some people say the number is higher, like the gentleman who said there are no wp's in HCMC. Cute, but I know there are a few.

It would be interesting to see what happened if the govt actually tried to force this issue, and interesting to wonder why they never do. Certainly almost everyone has a visa, so forcing people to get a certain legal doc should at least be theoretically possible. One can never know what these guys are actually up to.

When you look at general enforcement of policies and laws across VN, you realize that any particular rule is subject to the standard VN processes. Very interesting to consider the big banking scandal. The govt decided to hammer a few guys for their illegal actions. Now, if you were to honestly judge whether or not all the other bank executives followed all the laws, how many of them would have to be arrested? 5%? 50%? 95%? Uhhh, yeah, I think so too. Seems to me that the govt selects the occasional whipping boy for some reason, but as the system is so dependent on going on the way it is set up, all we can ever see is symbolic enforcement.

I always read the news from China, as I see VN more or less emulating their process. The Bo scandal is very illustrative. Here we have a so called princeling who was trying to seize power based on his one-upmanship among his peers, and so they finally found he had been abusing the system. If fairly judging the other members of the elite there, what percentage of them are abusing the system?

We are just observers to all this craziness. I personally think real enforcement of rules would be a good thing, but then it would also require a huge change in their system, in many ways. In the question of WP's, it would have to be a reasonable process, almost like getting a visa instead of the nightmare it is now. If they just want to generate revs from it, fine, but make it transparent. Not very likely.

Really, in my opinion, the big issue holding us back is not the expense, and not just the hoops one must go thru. It is instead the transient nature of the work and workers. I would like to see a study on what the average duration of employment in any one job is among our guys, as well as length of time overall teaching in VN. My guess is that the first number is well less than 6 months if considering all jobs, maybe closer to 3. You guys working in better jobs have to factor in the lower level schools you do not spend time in. My guess is that the average teacher (again, considering all schools) stays in VN less than a year. So the wp is really a long term rule for short term people, and until this disconnect is addressed, the issue remains. One school exec told me that many of the schools purposely turn over a teacher when the time limit comes for him to have to have his wp. So we can keep up this musical chairs routine, or go with an intelligent and well managed process. I have a guess as to which direction we will go.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points M-I-S.

Can someone set up a poll here that would get us some idea?

We need

How long have you been here?
How many jobs have you had?
How many months unemployed/resting/not teaching.

I too tend to think 3-6 months in any one job is liable to be a long stint. I guess the pattern for many is to do an entry job for 1-2 months move to a better one for 2-3 months. Maybe take a break and then get a job they like for about 6 months before they finally get sick of the place and move on. This is 90% a guess but it feels right.

If they wanted to enforce WPs they could. If they wanted to improve the standards of EFL teachers in Vietnam, they could. That they don't do either says it all really.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they wanted to enforce WPs they could. If they wanted to improve the standards of EFL teachers in Vietnam, they could. That they don't do either says it all really.

Totally agree. All we really are never sure of is the motivations. Even then, it is mostly about money, but how it is divvied up is the real question.
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Location: Asia

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good replies and plenty of good points.

I see that one more important thing was not mentioned yet, and that is this is largely based on 'power.' The Viet loves to bask in his glamour and prestige, and many in Vietnam think this century is some new Vietnam Dynasty. These new rules are a direct reflection of that.

Five or six years ago, when there was nothing more than rumours of increased requirements (but not even a hint of implementation), Vietnam was relatively a free market for your average foreigner. It was at it's most effective, and it worked. There were big drawbacks back then as well, but the trouble-free visa, decent number of schools hiring, decent pay, and cheap food and drink made Vietnam a "viable option" for eslers.

Now the Vietnamese think they are some kind of soon-to-be-Singapore. I would argue that a large reason, if not an even bigger one than "economics" or "financial", is that the Viets like the idea of control and making foreigners dance around for their validation. I would also add that this isn't the Gov't vs. the schools and teachers, this is the government working together with the schools, opposing the teachers.

I've personally witnessed even "legit" schools use (more like misuse) these new regulations to intimidate teachers, one who was actually pretty good, with the excuse that he didn't "completely qualify" for the WP/Work Visa thereby cutting his classes. Simultaneously, they kept, and continue to keep, at least a few teachers who are much less effective at actually teaching, but absolutely and verifiably do NOT qualify for the proper documentation of said above. Effect: the new rules were used by the school for favoritism. I know for a fact that one of those teachers submitted false documentation, and I also know that at least one teacher never even bothered to submit a degree at all and honestly told his boss "I don't have one." That was 3 years ago and he's still there today. They both are.

This is Vietnam vs. the Foreigner, not Vietnam "wants to improve education." Vietnam thinks it's a new Singapore -- that's what it's about.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:43 pm    Post subject: the next Singapore? Reply with quote

I do agree that any country and people that have been in the dumps a long time will naturally enjoy lording it over people that they consider to be richer, more educated or more refined. But they also enjoy lording over people in poverty as well. This is very natural and not limited to Vietnam. One especially sees this with the Viet Kieu with reference to how they treat their native cousins. It is well know that they have a very bad reputation among the natives, and well known why. The same effect is also obvious among the nouveau riche here as well. Just seeing how they drive when they finally are able to afford a car is all the evidence anyone needs. Of course, this lording it over behavior is mostly directed towards the masses, but if they can get a few westerners in there for good measure, so much the better. Where I do differ with your opinion is on the question of this being the next Singapore. Obviously, VN has been a poor country for a long time, and the improvements of the last ten or more years certainly has lifted a few boats and pumped up some egos. But everyone I talk to, VN and westerner alike, as well as what I see, my own studies, and what I read locally and from the west convinces me that almost no one thinks we are about to move into some modern state over here, in fact, it is quite likely that the true economic situation is degrading. Not to say that if this is indeed the case it will chastise those attitudes and make them more lovable, it could actually accelerate the rudeness trend as well. But I just think that the locals, the expats, and anybody who spends much time and effort studying this system agrees that at this time the trend is down, with no clear path to great improvement. One has to understand that the money siphoned off of the capital influx for gaudy houses, karaoke bars, fancy retail shops, cars and high end apartment buildings is actually a symptom of the problem, not the symbol of improvement.

We have a great thread on "is Vietnam missing its opportunity to enter a golden age" or something similar, you can find it by searching "golden age". The discussion especially considers that VN has this special chance to improve itself while it has its current demographics, which will not last forever, and that if it is to improve its position greatly it needs to do it with an educated, young, healthy population, not an aging population, and in our case here, an aging uneducated population of alcohol and tobacco abusers. I love the nation and the people, but it is my opinion that the direction we are going is pretty obvious. The lord it over attitudes they exhibit just add one more impediment to improvement, causing people who really would love to help to lose a lot of their motivation to do much.

I do think that in any one school, any crazy thing can happen. Admin will keep less skilled "teachers" in the stable for various reasons. Management practices are so substandard here, one can likely find countless reasons for any crazy thing you encounter. I do agree that a better teacher has a tough situation, as most of the organizations are so unprofessional that they really prefer not to deal with someone who will stand up to their mickey mouse practices. I agree with that thinking, if you are just doing low level work with children you are better off without someone who is going to question your constant mismanagement. The school is not going to change, so it is better to get a mickey mouse teacher for your mickey mouse school.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:46 pm    Post subject: I'm not going crazy Reply with quote

Just when I thought it was me...

I have been here for a couple of years, and I have learnt a lot during my time here. It has, for reasons that are not so odd to me now, become more difficult for me to find work. When I landed fresh off of the banana boat I could land a job anywhere - now it is a different story.

You would think any kind of experience and application such knowledge would be an advantage; it hasn't been that way for me. My comments and input are seen as threats, or criticisms of the status quo. To be fair though, I believe this is the same for the Vietnamese in positions to be able to make a better change - it is better to tow the party line than to rock the boat. Even senior personnel in positions of power have to attend regular party 'policy' meetings to ensure this.

My experience of any success in any kind of financial backing or project approval sees everyone involved going to the nearest Apple store to buy an i-pad and then get together to try and 'branch out' into other areas when they clearly can't manage (or don't want to manage) the project that has just been won. Everything is so immediate. I am beginning to be over critical of this country and its people and it is probably unfair and detrimental to my being here. I have met people who are clearly more talented than myself, but probably either get ground down or find it just easier to 'join 'em' because of the strong flow against any real progress to join anything larger than the 'party'. I ask myself, 'how can any university continue to hand out a 4 year degree in the English language to people, only for them to be sitting in an elementary classroom learning to respond to simple social questions?' It is the same for me; after two years I have nothing tangible to show for it - I just wonder what it must feel like to pour in billions of dollars into a country over a ten year period only to see it all disappear.

I guess we all must see the irony in it all when we see the opportunity for self development in a country that is itself, developing, and wonder why things have gone south - Knowing when to quit is the hardest decision to make.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Vabeckele,

we should create a new thread to address the flow of this topic, which is starting to get away from the original post. Plus, we have spoken of this issue already on another topic. It certainly is an important one, and it deserves its own thread. I may start a thread on job search, it is one of my little pet interests, and I am fascinated with the way the VN hire compared to the westerners. There are a lot of interesting things to learn, things that run counter to western processes. But to briefly address this, it is pretty clear to me that we have various tiers of people teaching, and the schools know this, and of course they need to pick the right kind of person, profile, that is. Some schools specifically seek Filipinos for example. Why? Adequate English skills for young learners, willingness to work for lower wages and to put up with local management practices without a lot (or any) grief about it. So why should they hire someone who has high expectations? While it is hard to say if we have exactly 4 or 5 kinds of both schools and teachers, I do think there is some general truth to this, and we need to understand what we are as teachers, and what kind of school we best fit into (and is even interested in the kind of teacher we are).

Knowing when to quit? Yes, good question. I think we all need to realize, if the system is wasting its resources on things that are not going to improve the nation (like the high end housing, karaoke everywhere, high end retail, luxury cars, etc.), then it is also likely wasting a lot of what we are doing. Education is not some bright spot in the economy, if anything, it is a weakness. In my opinion, we may be able to help the odd special, highly motivated student, and we should, and feel good about it, but mostly we are just part of this machine, and you see how the machine runs. We have a great life here, our incomes are much larger than the national average, costs are low, we are treated with respect and shown a lot of interest, but to think we are making a significant impact is (in my opinion) unrealistic. So, if we can understand and accept this, and enjoy it, no need to quit and leave, just accept what it is. It still may be a much better life than what you would have back in Kansas. I would suggest that the special 5% or whatever it is of teachers who are very serious, professional and skilled might be more selective on the kind of employer they seek and not even try the lower level employers. Hard to know which ones they are when sending out a resume, a bit easier to see when knocking on doors. Alternatively, if one is desperate for income and is that kind of a teacher, he could try dumbing down his own resume and approach and soft pedaling his skills.
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