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Am I getting scammed?

 
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viva



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: Jeju Island

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 11:24 am    Post subject: Am I getting scammed? Reply with quote

I am currenly negotiating with a school and am wondering if I should sign or not. Everything seems alright, but there are a few things that get my guard up:

1. I have been offered the job by a current foriegn teacher. I have not had contact with the director or supervisor at all.

2. They will not pay my flight. They promised to remimburse me as soon as I arrive. The two current teachers claim that they were reimbursed.

3. I am being paid 1.8 million won per month, for 120 teaching hours. I am expected to be at the school for prep time, which is not included in the 120 teaching hours.

4. 10 days paid vacation, but no more than a few days consecutively.

5. All shifts are at night, ending at 11pm.

Does anybody else think I may be being scammed by this hogwan?
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syclick



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edit:CO has brought up a good point about mandatory unpaid prep periods, so I retract my earlier comment.

However, I would read the contract carefully to make sure that you are not being required to agree to unpaid time doing miscellaneous unrelated jobs.

Whether or not you like those late hours is up to you, I guess.

No direct contact with the director would bug me, though.


Last edited by syclick on Mon Mar 31, 2003 7:44 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Derrek



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 12:28 pm    Post subject: Not scammed, but Reply with quote

Not scammed, but is a really bad deal, in my opinion.

Hold out for better. You're working too much for too little. AND you should talk to the owner.

11pm is awful. I work until 10pm three nights a week, and it is not fun. Kills the social life! If you're in Seoul, if you plan to go out at night, you'll have to pay taxi fare on the way back or wait until the subway re-opens at 5:30am. That gets expensive. Of course, you could stay close to home, but that gets boring (where I live anyway). Subway closes around 12-ish depending.

Definately look for something better -- DO NOT take this!
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hellofaniceguy



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: On your computer screen!

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can do better elsewhere. Follow your instincts. Then run! ALL businesses in korea who hire foreigners must sign a sponsor form with immigration BEFORE immigration will issue a visa. This sponsor form states that the business WILL be responsible for housing and airfare. If the school owner does not speak English, DO NOT work for them. Never agree to share housing, teach by the classes, NOT by the hours. 5/6 40-50 minute classes a day is fine for hokwons. Don't agree to 120 hours a month! Pay? Whatever you feel comfortable with. But no less than 2.1 per month. Schools are paying 2.2, 2.3 and some even 2.5. Get the best deal you can and don't worry about what others are getting.
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Captain Obvious 2.0



Joined: 09 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hellofaniceguy wrote:
This sponsor form states that the business WILL be responsible for housing and airfare.


Actually, it says that they ensure the foreigner has it, not that they pay for it.

Quote:
If the school owner does not speak English, DO NOT work for them.



For an experienced teacher that's good, this is not an issue.

Quote:
teach by the classes, NOT by the hours.



Technically, we're on salary with a cap of 120 hours a month. Heaven forbid that we agree to work 120 hours a month, and then actually have to work 120 hours a month. What the hell are we thinking? Rolling Eyes

Quote:
But no less than 2.1 per month. Schools are paying 2.2, 2.3 and some even 2.5.



For experienced teachers or teachers with education degrees. Joe Arts Degree First Time Overseas gets less unless the school is desparate and needs someone now.


syclick wrote:
If the prep hour is mandatory, you should be paid for it


What next? They should pay a teacher for showering? Wearing socks without holes? Some things should just be done, prep work is one of them. Some teachers forget this.

Then these same teachers complain that teaching isn't a real job then go on to wonder why teachers who do prep work make twice the cash.
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syclick



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Captain Obvious 2.0 wrote:
What next? They should pay a teacher for showering? Wearing socks without holes? Some things should just be done, prep work is one of them. Some teachers forget this.

Then you misunderstand my original post. Nowhere did I imply that teachers should try to rack up as many contractual freebies as possible.

I will concede on the subject of mandatory unpaid prep - any teacher who wants to maintain a certain level of professionalism will do prep, and making it mandatory forces teachers to do only what is needed anyway, whether done at home or in the staff room.

My point (and I should have been more implicit about this) was that teachers can and do get scammed by employers who include too many "mandatory unpaid hours" in the contract.
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keguri



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My point (and I should have been more implicit about this) was that teachers can and do get scammed by employers who include too many "mandatory unpaid hours" in the contract.

I agree with Syclick on this. I came *this* close to signing a contract with a school that I really feel was trying to scam me. First of all, I was going to have to work split shift for "only 2 months, we promise, but sorry, we can't put that in the contract." The first class was 6:50 am. I'd have to do this only 4 days a week, which is nice, but that's really early in the a.m. When I read the contract, it said I'd be expected to be there 30 minutes prior to my shift for prep time. That's 6:20 in the morning! Considering I'd finish my second shift at 9:30 pm, that's ridiculous. Also, with a split shift, that's an extra 4 hours a week of work that I wouldn't be paid for. Then I'd also have to do 3 "office hours" per week which are also unpaid. In 4 weeks, that's 19 hours of unpaid work. Plus, the school offered zero sick days and zero vacation days, if you can believe that. It is also located in a very expensive area of Seoul. The school offered 150,000 housing allowance in an area where, with the 5 million key money they offered, rent would be about 700,000/month. They would provide only a bed, desk, and range (no washer, no phone).

Now maybe for someone just starting out, this might have been an ok deal, especially with the 4-day work week. But I have a year of experience and an MA in a related field. I was about to take this deal for 2.28 mill at 120 hours/month. After housing, I'd make about 1.7 mill/month. When I asked if they could do better on the housing, they said "no." I explained that I was like having 2 teachers (the other teachers got 16 hours a week while I was to get 30), and couldn't they do better considering the money they were saving. No. Sorry.

Yesterday I wrote to the woman saying I had accepted a better offer (way better!!!), and she said "Oh, I can give you 200,000 won housing allowance, but that's the best I can do... without having to ask my boss." And here I thought she had already asked. Funny how things change.

The same thing happened with another offer too! The recruiter said the company could not negotiate the salary. After I got the contract, I wrote and told her I had accepted another offer. She wrote back "Oh, I didn't tell you? The company wants to negotiate the salary."

Just letting everyone out there know... try to get the best you can, because it can be gotten, especially if you have experience. Don't accept the first "no" you get when you ask for better. Even the offer that I accepted offered me an extra 100,000 per month when pressed. At first, they said no, but as soon as I said "buh-bye," they upped the offer (which did I mention was way better?!)
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katydid



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Here kitty kitty kitty...

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 7:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Am I getting scammed? Reply with quote

3. I am being paid 1.8 million won per month, for 120 teaching hours. I am expected to be at the school for prep time, which is not included in the 120 teaching hours.

** This always cracks me up when someone complains about the "extra work" they have to do but aren't paid for. It's one thing to do extra things, like projects for your director and not get paid, and it's certainly another to work a bazillion hours before seeing your first paycheck. But complaining about prep time?

I would love to take a poll to see the demographics of the people who think unpaid "prep time" is unfair: those used to working $6/hour jobs vs. those who have worked in a salaried environment. Lots of jobs (in America, in Canada, wherever) that are salaried pay you by the year, not by the hour. Working at a hagwan or a uni is pretty much considered a salaried job. So, prep time is included in your salary.

Besides. I would hope you would want to prep for your classes anyways!! Smile

4. 10 days paid vacation, but no more than a few days consecutively.

** You should also be getting Korean holidays off. Unfortunately, this year, many holidays are on a weekend.

5. All shifts are at night, ending at 11pm.

**That's usually the nature of the hagwan beast, to work a late shift. But if I had to get up for 7 a.m., and also work until 11 p.m., I might look elsewhere!

Does anybody else think I may be being scammed by this hogwan?

Maybe not **scammed** but definitely, if you don't like this offer, then don't take it. There are plenty of hagwans who are looking for people, and you shouldn't feel like this is the only job in Korea.
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The Great Wall of Whiner



Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Location: Middle Land

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:16 pm    Post subject: um yes Reply with quote

Quote:
1. I have been offered the job by a current foriegn teacher. I have not had contact with the director or supervisor at all.


maybe the foreign teacher is looking for a replacement in order for him/her to leave early and get a release letter.

I know of at least one person who got suckered into a krappy school from someone who just wanted out.

Quote:
2. They will not pay my flight. They promised to remimburse me as soon as I arrive. The two current teachers claim that they were reimbursed.


You should never have to pay your own airfare.

Again, I have heard of horror stories where you step off the plane, and the school sees that you are not up to their standards, and simply walk away, leaving you alone in an airport.

Quote:
3. I am being paid 1.8 million won per month, for 120 teaching hours. I am expected to be at the school for prep time, which is not included in the 120 teaching hours.


My friend just signed a contract for 2.0 million won for 3 days/week. 75 hours/month.

If people accept 1.8 million for a job, wages will stay low.


Quote:
4. 10 days paid vacation, but no more than a few days consecutively.


This sucks. Trust me.


Quote:
5. All shifts are at night, ending at 11pm.


So say goodbye to Friday nights because you won't be able to get home, get ready to go out, and catch the subway in time before it shuts down for the night.

Quote:
Does anybody else think I may be being scammed by this hogwan?


I wouldn't use the word scam so much as "not favourable".
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chi-chi



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why would you even think of doing this? I would say no just on the flight alone. There are a billion schools that will pay your flight over, but hey man, it's your money, you know?
Good luck, hope you do some more research before you come over.
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tomwaits



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: PC Bong

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

THIS IS BAD!!! I just left Korea and I was working 15 hours a week. OK 16. That is 64 hours a month. You will be run off your feet at 130. And you know what??? They still wont be happy. I have seen these situations before. A normal job is overtime at 120 hours a month and that is still bad. Tell them politely that you decline their offer. Tell them to drop the 130 down to 80 and you will think about it. Or 100 but I think that is too hihgh--but 130 is a joke. 80 hours a month for the same cash would be easy to get so they are playing you for a chump . Cant be any clearer than that so heed the advice of people on this board and DONT DO IT> My present job I get overtime after 14 hours(a week ) I am not making this up so do NOT accept this offer. If you do you are dissing all on this board. Please hold out for more they are taking advantage of you. Now I will lighten up and let you decide what to do...8-ball in the corner pocket HAHAAAAH
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igotthisguitar



Joined: 08 Apr 2003
Location: South Korea (Permanent Vacation)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

syclick wrote:
My point (and I should have been more implicit about this) was that teachers can and do get scammed by employers who include too many "mandatory unpaid hours" in the contract.


This is ONE definate reoccuring problem i had this year. Meetings scheduled 2 hours before the start of the work day. Report cards & marking stacks of homework and diaries, daily reports & student interviews etc eating up all pie in the sky "break" time.

You give an inch and they take a country mile Rolling Eyes
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mysteriousdeltarays



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Food Pyramid Bldg. 5F, 77 Sunset Strip, Alphaville

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never take a job offerd from another teacher, they are usually bailing.
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