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Ohhhhh......EPIK!!!!
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adventureman



Joined: 18 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 1:51 pm    Post subject: Ohhhhh......EPIK!!!! Reply with quote

Greetings,

I have been accepted to the 2003-04 Epik program. However, before I decide whether or not to accept, I had one important question for Anda and anybody else who is an expert on this topic. On my 'notice of appointment' form I have been assigned as a 'Level 3' Epik. As stated on the website, one is eligible for Level 2 ELI employment upon completing a TESOL/TEFL Certificate comprised of a minimum of 100 course hours. My question is, if I complete a certificate AFTER I return the contract but BEFORE the August orientation (as I was originally planning to do) do you think I have a chance in hell of still being eligible for employment as a Level 2 ELI next year?

Thank you for your time in addressing my concern.


Last edited by adventureman on Mon Jun 09, 2003 10:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 2:29 pm    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

Your level is decided by the EPIK office at KNUE after you arrive and not in your home country. You should provided you are polite and present your English teaching certificate on arrival be able to start as a level two.


Personally I would tend to send an Email to the following person stating what qualifications you have and the fact that you will have your English teaching certificate with you when you arrive and ask him to confirm that you will be accepted as a level two.

EPIK Office Director
Korea National University of Education - Cheongju, Korea
Mr. Jeong-hee Park
Email: epik@cc.knue.ac.kr
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long-term-player



Joined: 10 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually you should send them an email first, tell the name of the course, tell them how many hours, and get an answer in writing that they will accept that! Some Epiks have had their TEFL certificate rejected on various grounds thus wasted money in anticipation. And have a definite answer in writing. Epik is known for saying one thing and doing another.
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 5:51 am    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

Um yes it pays to check things out and do your homework properly. The following infomation is from efl-law.com

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

EPIK contract analyzed | contracts home

Article 5. (Term of Employment)
Article 5 (Term of Employment) The Term of Employment shall commence on September 01, 2003 and end on August 31, 2004.
This employment period is not continuance and should not be considered as continuance of any former employment in other city/province. Hence, Employer shall hire Employee as a new ELI, commencing on September 01, 2003.
Comment: A major change from previous contracts, in that now Employees receive severance pay at the end of one year. However, see the comments re the unpaid training period.(Art 1Cool

Article 7.(3)
In this case, Employee shall not claim for any additional pay.
Comment: It seems EPIK workers may and do travel from work place to work place daily thus incurring travel fees. It could be forcefully argued that this breaches Article 5 (Equal Treatment) of the Labor Act, in that Korean teachers do not and are not required to do this. Thus the Contract's refusal to pay such expenses as traveling expenses may be well void.

Article 9. (5)
Employee shall not claim, against Employer, any compensation and or/payment other than those provided for in this contract.
Comment: Clearly the Labor Act makes provisions for compensation above and beyond the wording of the Contract, which said Act overrides the Contract to that extent.

Article 10.(2)
In the case of renewal of this Contract pursuant to the foregoing (1) , Employee shall be given two weeks for a home leave which shall take place 2 calendar weeks prior to the contract end date specified in Article 5 hereof until the day immediately preceding the commencement of the renewed term. This two week home leave will be counted as part of the contract term, and accordingly salary will be paid.
Comment: Is this two weeks two working weeks (10 days) or two calendar weeks (14 days) and how is it distinguished from Article 14 (vacation). Does the employee get a total of 24 working days holiday as seems to be suggested?

Article 11. (Airfare) (1)
The airfare for Employee's flight, actual purchasing price, to Korea shall be loaned by Employer based on economy class airfare of the most direct flight available from his/her permanent residence to Incheon Airport.
Comment: seems a fair and reasonable clause.

Article 13. (Other benefits) (1)
Employee shall be entitled to one time settling allowance of 300,000 Korean Won, when he/she first arrives in Korea. In case of the termination of this contract within (6) months, regardless of course or ground therefore, Employee shall immediately pay back Employer the aforementioned allowance. (2) Employer shall provide Employee with medical insurance pursuant to the National Medical Insurance Act of Korea. Comment: On the face of it, and given comments above (1) these provisions seem quite fair. However, there is confusion as of this date (28/01/2003) as the EPIK web pages say that only 50% of the Medical Insurance fee will be paid by the Employer, yet the contract says 100%. :

Article 20. (2)
The orientation period shall not be included in the Term of employment under Article 5. Thus, Employee will not entitled to any compensation.
Comment: Already commented on in 'contract analyzed.' A most puzzling situation with possible serious legal consequences for an injured EPIK.

Article 21 and 22. (Indemnity)
Employee shall indemnify for and keep Employer harmless from any liability or damages arising from or in relation to any negligent, intentional or illegal activity of Employee during the Term of employment under this Contract.
Comment: clearly the words highlighted carry very wide meaning, including traffic offenses

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Question: Once I am assigned to my Provisional office of Education, will EPIK at KNUE (Korean National University of Education) help me?
Answer. Generally, the POE (Provincial Office of Education) where you are assigned is where you must take your grievance or dispute. Although your contract is with the POE, and not EPIK at KNUE, you should approach EPIK at KNUE with any problems you cannot resolve at your provincial level.

Question. What do I do if I arrive at my new POE and find my accommodation to be unsatisfactory?
Answer: You must deal directly with the POE and ask to be relocated to accommodation that is satisfactory. You should make every attempt to determine your situation before you enter your proposed accommodation - ask questions of your future POE before you get there. If the POE does not help you find suitable accommodation, ask EPIK at KNUE to assist you.

Question. When I joined EPIK, I thought I would be teaching students only. Now I am teaching Korean Teachers as well but I have no experience. I am only a Level 3 employee.
Answer. The contract is non specific on who you teach. You may have to teach elementary students, middle school students, high school students or Korean teachers. It does not matter what level you are employed at, Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3. In some Provinces Level 1 EPIKs are teaching elementary students, whilst in other Provinces Level 3 EPIKs are teaching Korean teachers.

Question. Will EPIK reimburse me for all the travel I do from school to school?
Answer. Under the 9/2003 contract some EPIKs will receive extra money for the inconvenience of living in rural areas. However, traveling between
schools is an expense EPIK will not pay for you. You may have to pay substantial traveling expenses in some situations.

Question. Will I receive back my payment to the National Pension fund?
Answer: Some nationalities, Australia and New Zealand do not.

Question. If I am working for EPIK in a area close to North Korea, will EPIK repatriate me out at their expense in the event of escalating tensions?
Answer: Our inquiries to date show there is no plan to consider such situation at this time.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The question is - how does one objectively evaluate the programs?
We are aware of 'black list' pages relating to the programs', however, the majority of information included therein can be categorized as subjective information that arose from 'relationship's.' No matter what contract you take anywhere in the world, this conflict will always exist. Thus these are issues we do not consider incoming to a conclusion on the legal viability of the programs.

We consider such issues as the wording of the contract, the fact that they are government supported, and the fact that on the whole the employee receives a reasonable and fair deal.

This is not to deny that some of the complaints are not without foundation, but as they go to the application of the contract, and not to the substantive law behind the contract, then they are issues that can only be resolved at the application stage. Interpretations will and do vary in all contracts, (especially where western legal theory meets eastern legal practice) but it is our opinion that to talk vaguely about a program's failings or shortcomings on anonymous 'blacklists' is not helpful, unless the evidence shows consistent failure by the authorities to rectify a perceived wrong.

We have found two of the three organizations ready and willing to enter discussions with us. EPIK and JET have been honest and helpful in their advice to us. If you have any information that would suggest there are serious problems with these contracts, please inform us, and we will put it to the organization. We thank those who have supplied lengthy information on the three programs

http://efl-law.com/epik_pages.html

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Last edited by Anda on Fri Jun 06, 2003 3:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mody Ba



Joined: 22 May 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 12:07 pm    Post subject: Long-Term-Player and Anda Reply with quote

Long-term player,your posts are excellent,and your advice to the guy asking about the cert is excellent ,too(you told him to get the agreement in EPIK in writing).The only thing is...sometimes EPIK disregards WRITTEN agreements as well as verbal agreements("Well,just a piece of paper...")

Anda...pretty DAMNED good advice you gave! No wonder you have survived with EPIK so long.

Anda,I can take issue with you on only one thing.You suggest that if an EPIK is having trouble with accommodation or other issues with the local bureaucrats,that he or she approach the people at KNUE in an attempt to get a resolution to the problem.WRONG,Anda.Those people at KNUE will disavow any responsibility once they have pushed someone's warm bod through their "orientation".They will tell the EPIK.."You signed the contract with the province,not us.Talk to the people in the province,not us.Sorry.We can't help you." Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
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adventureman



Joined: 18 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like Epik is becoming more and more hagwon-ish by the day! That's OK it still seems like a better deal than most of the hogwons. Rolling Eyes Proabably not for too much longer though! Laughing
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 4:11 pm    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

Yes the EPIK at KNUE don't help once you leave the KNUE. The articals and infomation are all from ESL.law.com. If one has a real problem like the claim by one EPIK that the local EPIK supervisor was trying to say that the 14 working days off per year included the fortnight between contracts then ESL.law.com are the people to contact not EPIK at KNUE. They seem to be asking the question themselves so posting the name of the EPIK supervisor and location of the Education Office in question here on Dave's board would be the way to go so new EPIKS could refuse a posting to work under that education office.

I'm lucky in as much as I'm able to sort everything out at a school level as my school's management is excellent and I'm liked as a teacher.

In reguard to complaints in my four and a half years working with EPIK I have never had to complain on the supplied accommodation as it has always been good. Pays I've had nothing that hasn't been able to sorted out quickly at a school level. My only real problems have been co-teacher related or student teacher related. I've never had a student class problem that I haven't been able to fix up. I am not a complainer nor am I worried about putting in a few extra hours that I don't get paid for.I have a lot of time off in EPIK so I'm flexable when they want me to do things. Give and take will get you a lot of places here so go with it. That's my advise.


Last edited by Anda on Fri Jun 06, 2003 5:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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adventureman



Joined: 18 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

..

Last edited by adventureman on Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 5:12 pm    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

In all my time reading on Dave's I've never heard anything good or bad posted on working on Jeju island in reguard to EPIK. Wondo Island however isn't supposed to be that great but for teaching.

Personally I perfer working on the mainland to Jeju as there is more to do and see.
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adventureman



Joined: 18 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 5:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Um Reply with quote

Anda wrote:
In all my time reading on Dave's I've never heard anything good or bad posted on working on Jeju island in reguard to EPIK.


"reguard" as opposed to "regard"...you are SUCH as Queen's English brat, Anda...Don't tell me that you've gone off and made yourself a P.O.M.E from living overseas for too long Smile
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 2:10 am    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

I'm actually a hybrid (an animal that has been produced from two different types of animal, esp. to get better characteristics, or anything that is a mixture of two very different things) fathered by an Englishman that was a poker machine bandit and a heavy drinker after he got married to my Australian mother that was prim and proper but a darn hard worker.
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long-term-player



Joined: 10 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anda, I like your insights but I think you are a wee bit wrong here..
Quote "Your level is decided by the EPIK office at KNUE after you arrive and not in your home country"

I actually believe - think - that your level is determined before you leave home - you get a contract and it has the salary written into it .. there have been a few reports ( I don't know if they are true) that some Epiks had their salary level changed at KNUE when they got here - namely some proved they had certain certificates which upped them - some were dropped down a peg - (but that is only third hand info)
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 5:40 am    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

Then they have changed things from when I started with EPIK as EPIK at KNUE tried to drop me a level after arriving in Korea but I told them to go to hell and after a lot of faxing for supporting infomation got reinstated to level one. Quite a number weren't so lucky however. That of course was the induction intake roughly six months before the IMF thing here. That year they had about 440 EPIK starters. I know I didn't have any signed contract prior to arriving that stated level or pay just what was said at the interview back in Oz.

They have corrected many things nowadays in the program so if one now gets a signed contract before arriving then it is a big load off one's mind.

The next fight looks like getting the stated holidays on the contract from all the education office EPIK supervisors. Most EPIK supervisors are okay but there always seems to be a couple of bad ones about at any given time. For those new to EPIK, an EPIK supervisor usually holds the position for 4 years then someone else in the education office takes a turn. They can make a big differance in regard to working conditions. For instance one year not one EPIK re-signed in Dague because of the EPIK supervisor they had at the time while over 80% resigned in Kwang-ju, due in a large part to having a good EPIK supervisor.


Last edited by Anda on Sat Jun 07, 2003 3:36 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Mody Ba



Joined: 22 May 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 11:36 am    Post subject: Advice to Adventureman...Helpful Hint to Anda Reply with quote

Adventureman,if "that certain island' you are going to with EPIK is Jejudo(it is,right?)...the word is out(from a very impeccable source,one of the supervisors down there) that they have hired thirty EPIKs for the new school year....a helluva lot at once for a relatively small island like Jejudo.And knowing EPIK(they are fond of the grandiose gesture,like hiring large swathes of people at one time),they have hired the people,but have not made adequate accommodation(and perhaps other preparations) for the people that have hired.Watch out for the accommodation issue down there.I can hear the complaining and caterwauling already.Stand your ground.Don't let them put you into a homestay,dorm,etc(unless,of course,you actually prefer such an arrangement...most people don't).They may be up to their usual tricks again.

Anda,again, very good advice.It sounds like a trifling,nit-picking point,Anda,but please differentiate between "re-sign" and "resign" in your posts.It makes a difference.And please,"regard", not "reguard"(cringe,cringe),Anda. Smile

Have a good Sunday. Smile
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adventureman



Joined: 18 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2003 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mody Ba-

The EPIK website says that the current intake of EPIKers this year for Jeju-do will be 15, not 30. Perhaps the EPIK crew changed their minds recently? Maybe they purposely over budgeted to account for the number of accepted applications who might stumble across this website before deciding whether or not to come over next fall?… Rolling Eyes Anyway, how is your accommodation? I’ve heard of a minority of people refusing accommodation on sight because of how rotten it was, but I am not sure how often this was the case or how successful the outcome of their “pleas“. Personally, I will NOT take anything but a regular apartment-style dwelling next year but we‘ll see what their version “sufficient“ housing is…. Confused

All the best.
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