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ELS-Bell Szczecin (advice needed)
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merthin1234



Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:42 pm    Post subject: ELS-Bell Szczecin (advice needed) Reply with quote

I got offered a place at ELS-Bell Szczecin. ~2400 PLN/ month net. Just want to check everything seems ok. The school facilities are great and all but something seems dodgy to me:

- they didn't check any of my qualifications
- Ludka Kotarska referred me to the Szczecin school and she seems to have got quite a bad name on these forums

In an email I asked the following questions and got the reply in red:

Q Why is it that the contract doesn't highlight my gross pay aswell? Because the tax is the employer's responsibility and is pad by ELS-Bell. 20% flat rate for foreigners.

How can I prove that I would be paying tax? This is very important to me as I am permanately moving to Poland with my Polish fiancee and I just want to be legally working and living here like she was in the UK (it was easy for her to simply fill in the workers registration scheme and get a NI number).

Q Finally will the school help or give guidance to the teacher in
obtaining residency and (to my knowledge there is temporary residency
for 3 months (zameldowanie) and then a 5 year residency). It wil be processed by ELS-Bell.

Q The above applies to getting a NIP and PESEL number also. Yes.

hmm...

I would welcome any advice.

Thanks.
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nocturnalme



Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 73
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked for Bell for 2 years until 2007 and found them okay. Lutka isn't that bad, just trying to make a living. IMHO they are not rip-offs merchants or dodgy, though I can't help you with your residency/tax questions, sorry.
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hrvatski



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 270

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the end of the financial year you should get an official form from the taxation department stating how much you've earned and how much tax you've paid, ask her if you can expect something like this sometime in the second semester.

You should get a 'register of stay of an EU citizen' card right off the bat (karta o zarejestrowaniu obywatela unii europejskiej). For this you will need zameldowanie and a work contract. If you get this your tax should decrease to 19% and I believe some percent of your income should be untaxable.

You should automatically be assigned a PESEL with this card and you will have to apply to the taxation department separately for a NIP.
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scottie1113



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 353
Location: Gdansk

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have worked for Bell in Gdansk and have a contract for the coming year, so I hope I can answer some of your questions.

Your contract is for nett pay. Bell pays the tax for you and at the end of the year you will get a statement showing earnings and taxes paid. Don't worry about this.

Bell has been great about helping me through the residency card process. You'll get a NIP and PESOL. They know what they're doing. Again, don't worry about this.

They didn't check your qualifications? Don't worry. You'll have to show them when you arrive at the school, and I had to provide a copy of my university degree and CELTA when I first applied for my residency card.

I know Ludka pretty well and I like her. It's true that she's a business woman and I have to ask what's bad about that? I have 25 years of experience in sales and sales management in the US and in my opinion Ludka does most of the right things. She's in this to make a zloty and isn't this what business is all about? In my opinion she got a bad rap from several young disgruntled inexperienced former employees.

She owns 6 ELS-Bell schools in Poland. She knows what she's doing. Bell is an excellent school with a well deserved good reputation. Resources are very good; so is teacher training. Others are going to tell you that the pay is too low but remember that when you're on vacation at Christmas, semester break, and at Easter, you're still getting your monthly contractual pay while the others who work for higher hourly rates aren't earning anything.

Advice? Take the job.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 978
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

merthin, is accommodation provided by the school? Does the school pay your rent?

If the answer is yes to these questions, I'd say go for it. You'll do fine on that salary. Won't save a whole lot, but this is Poland.

Bell is a good school to work for. I worked at Bell Gdansk and ended up returning to sign another contract the following school year. Most of the negative comments about Bell you're reading were written a long time ago by people who had unreasonable expectations or an axe to grind.

Just curious, merthin, but why Szczecin? Have you been there before? It's not usually a city on foreigners' must-see lists.
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scottie1113



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 353
Location: Gdansk

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shake,you know that Bell will find a flat for teachers, sometimes shared, but you have to pay for it. The risk is that you'll end up living with some strange Romanian dude who has become my best friend. You know who I mean. Even at 2400 nett, we did it and so can anyone else. Saturday classes helped because they were paid extra.

Good question about Szczecin.
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1038

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

strange they didn't check your qual's. i remember applying to Bell in Gdansk before i made the trip across the pond, they told me they would never hire anyone without at least a CELTA, no exceptions.

Quote:
(to my knowledge there is temporary residency
for 3 months (zameldowanie)


zameldowanie has nothing to do with this. even poles need to have a zameldowanie. it's an old communist vestige that basically allows the authorities to find you if need be. to get one, you either have to have a place of your own or find someone willing to register you at their place.

also, 5 year residency.....no way. the first and second year you apply, you get a 1 year residency. the 3rd year you apply, they give you a two year. after that....well, i'll let you know in 2011 when i reapply Wink If you are married to a Polish citizen, maybe the rules change, i don't know.

Quote:
Others are going to tell you that the pay is too low but remember that when you're on vacation at Christmas, semester break, and at Easter, you're still getting your monthly contractual pay while the others who work for higher hourly rates aren't earning anything.


this greatly depends on the kind of worker you are, how ambitious you want to be, and how much money you want, or for some of us NEED, to earn.

when i first came to Poland, i was given tons of lessons the first year and earned probably 25% more every month than I would have earned at Bell. in my case, i needed every penny to have any chance of affording a roundtrip ticket and some spending cash when i flew back to the states for a 2 week vacation.

sure, if you're cool with your 20-25 lessons a week and "decent" salary with no plans to save money for something in the future, by all means, but for someone looking to come here and make some real cash, find another school, or work for more than 1, and you'll take home much much more than 2400zl a month. it's all up to what you want.
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scottie1113



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 353
Location: Gdansk

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything dynow said is true. I was fortunate to be able to supplement my meager salary with private lessons and that helped. I haven't been back to the US in two years and don't want to go anytime in the next few years. There's too much for me to see and do here in Poland and in the rest of Europe, but that's just me.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 978
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scottie1113 wrote:
Shake,you know that Bell will find a flat for teachers, sometimes shared, but you have to pay for it.


That may be true in our case, bud, but I think (and I wish the OP would confirm) that this job was 2,400 with the rent paid by the school. I remember seeing the add for this job on tefl.com.

2.400 with no rent to pay is pretty good for Szczecin, in my opinion.
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scottie1113



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 353
Location: Gdansk

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed
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elblagskich



Joined: 23 Jul 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2400 zl!!!!!

I earned that with Bell in Gdansk in 2000/2001. Does this include a flat or do you have to pay for that out of your salary.

BTW Bell NEVER paid my taxes as they said they didn't have to under the 2 year rule for teachers which doesn't apply to private langauge shools. I would urge any present teacher to check out the tax payment at the tax office (urzand skarbowy). I too have met Ludka and was not offered another contract cause of my questions about tax. I would not trust her as far as I could throw her (not very far).

BE CAREFUL
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sharter



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 878
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:26 pm    Post subject: What!! Reply with quote

I spent 4,000Zl in 4 days the last time I was in Poznan. You can't live on 2,400 a month unless you are a teetotal, vegetarian, hermit. Less than 90 Zl/ day.

OK...that will get you a Duzy tortilla kebab for dinner, a milk bar 'meal' for luch, some fruit for breakfast, a taxi, a pack of smokes, a cup of coffee and 3 beers max. A meal out will cost about 100Zl/head and that's being frugal. A JD is 25 Zl in most bars in big cities.

Forget travelling...a cheapo hotel like the Polorbis is 277 Zl/night.

Electrical goods and clothes are almost double what you pay in the states.

Even a krap restaurant like 'Sphinx' is now about 50Zl just for the ribs...and you gotta but your drinks on top of that.....nope you'll be a tramp on that.
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scottie1113



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 353
Location: Gdansk

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He said the flat was gratis. 2400 net.


I have copies of all my yearly earnings statements and tax documents. Bell filed for me, and as part of this year's process to renew my karta pobytu (residency card) I had to visit my local tax office. Everything's in order.


Whatever. Maybe it was for a little more than asking questions about taxes, but I don't want to start a flame war so I won't go there. I'll only say this about Ludka: I know her and trust her for reasons I won't discuss here. Enough said.


Oh, but you can, though far from lavishly. You manage to spend more money on things than I can imagine. 25ZL for JD? Half that where I go. A meal out for 100zl? Where the hell do you go to spend that on average? Every time I read your posts about prices in Poznan I marvel at your ability to burn through money. I enjoy cooking and cook well. It's a whole lot expensive and tastier than going to restaurants except for a few special ones, and they're all a whole lot less than 100zl per person, including drinks.
Quote:
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hrvatski



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 270

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:49 am    Post subject: Re: What!! Reply with quote

sharter wrote:
I spent 4,000Zl in 4 days the last time I was in Poznan. You can't live on 2,400 a month unless you are a teetotal, vegetarian, hermit. Less than 90 Zl/ day.

OK...that will get you a Duzy tortilla kebab for dinner, a milk bar 'meal' for luch, some fruit for breakfast, a taxi, a pack of smokes, a cup of coffee and 3 beers max. A meal out will cost about 100Zl/head and that's being frugal. A JD is 25 Zl in most bars in big cities.

Forget travelling...a cheapo hotel like the Polorbis is 277 Zl/night.

Electrical goods and clothes are almost double what you pay in the states.

Even a krap restaurant like 'Sphinx' is now about 50Zl just for the ribs...and you gotta but your drinks on top of that.....nope you'll be a tramp on that.


4000zł for 4 days in Poznan... my God man.

To counter some of your points, I've never spent more than 60zł per person with a tip in a restaurant here for a full spread in reasonable restaurants.

I just stayed in Warsaw in a basic but clean hotel (Felix) for 120zł / night. www.rezerwuje.pl is your friend for cheaper deals.

You are right about electrical goods and clothes, they are disproportionately priced to wages here and more expensive than elsewhere.

Sphinx really is krap and they only employ dudes, two great reasons not to go there. What about Jeff's or in Krakow Pod Wawelem? Good amounts of food for good prices.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 978
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sharter, are you a friend/relative of, or even "the" pauleddy from the Thailand forum?

He posted similarly prohibitive statements about the cost of living in Thailand and even used some of the same phrases you used: "teetotal, vegetarian, hermit, etc."

Anyway, 4000 in four days? Absolutely asinine.

I would take the Bell Szczecin job (2,400zl/mo. net + rent gratis) in a heartbeat if it weren't for the fact that it was in Szczecin.
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