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Contracts for next year and the Virus - are they worth the paper they're written on?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Luvsskiing, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. gafleecey

    gafleecey New commenter

    People, what is wrong with you?
    You aren't going anywhere in August or September.
    I hope you, all your families and older relatives stay well.
  2. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Economic necessity may dictate people have to move to new countries to find employment.

    At the present moment in time Shanghai appears to be a better prospect than London or Manchester.
  3. gafleecey

    gafleecey New commenter

    You won't be able to travel if the planes are grounded.
    Expat families will not be in the places where many schools are.
    The list goes on- this is not going to be over in a few months.
  4. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    If you check the latest news you will see airline passengers tested for C19 before they are allowed to board a plane. Passengers are then tested again when they arrive at their destination and if necessary they quarantine in a hospital or self quarantine at home.

    Plane routes are still being flown out of China to every country as this is the quickest way to ship all the medical testing kits and respirators manufactured here to the rest of the world.

    The biggest employer of western teachers in China is the bilingual private sector so no need for expat families to fill the desks.
  5. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    It’s becoming increasingly obvious that all contracts that involve someone moving from one country to another in August or September will be null and void if either party wants it that way.

    Schools will close or go into some kind of hibernation because parents aren’t going to front up the fees for a whole year, semester or term ahead if there is no guarantee that their kids will be on campus. The “tier 1” schools and many of the other good ones will survive and ride it out. Most of the rest exist for one reason only and there may no longer be enough gold for everybody.
  6. gafleecey

    gafleecey New commenter

    Please read some trustworthy journals about this.
    Citizens of many countries have been told, explicitly, to return home now while there are still flights available.
    This situation is only going to get worse.
    Visas will not be issued. Travel and health insurance will be invalid.
    You are choosing to remain abroad and may be left completely high and dry.
    I hope you stay well. Not everyone will.
  7. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    Some people in other countries will be looking at the news and thinking "why on earth would I go back to that infected cesspit?"
    If you're in Hong Kong, China, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, it may be safer to stay there at the moment.
  8. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I've had quite a few schools contact me recently looking to interview. It would be extremely risky to leave your post now and sign something else when you might not even be allowed to cross borders in August.

    If I had to leave, the only places I would consider are China and Hong Kong. It's probably the only place on earth that is still going to have a functioning economy in 6 months. Europe and the US will see complete and total collapse worse that has ever been seen in history. If you have cash savings I'd wave goodbye to them now. If you have property you'll be ok as long as you don't want to sell any time in the next 10 years.

    The fallout from this is going to be unprecedented. I'm not sure how many international schools will survive.
  9. normannobody2018

    normannobody2018 New commenter

    I'm sticking it out where I am for now and ignoring the UK government telling me to return to the UK.
    In terms of the school, all students are local (some have joint Brit / US citizenship) therefore so long as the local economy doesn't tank, there's a job here.
    The only issue I have is for the latest recruit getting here: there are no visas being issued at the moment. I'm sure that will change in the future, but there is no clarity on timescale.
    So for some, there will be no contract, no school, no job.
    For others, like at my school, there will be a job WHEN visas and flights resume.
  10. normannobody2018

    normannobody2018 New commenter

    Great to see some people taking a positive view. :cool:
  11. blitz18qb

    blitz18qb New commenter

    As a family we're due to move to Bangkok in August.....we have contract's signed etc.. but obviously it's uncertain times for everybody, where ever you are in the world. I'm well aware, that things could all change in an instant

    Still.... it was reassuring to receive an email this week from the HT staying that we are still very much involved in their plans, and hopefully we will be able to join them in August as planned. It will be getting to the point soon, where we need to hand in resignation's etc... will just be a case of playing it by ear.

    Thing's seem to be changing every 24hrs....so no point trying to seconf guess what will be happening in August. Had a birthday trip booked to NYC in the May 1/2 term....waving goodbye to any hope I had to that though :(.
  12. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Occasional commenter

    "it was reassuring to receive an email this week from the HT staying that we are still very much involved in their plans"

    Emails are free, take 30 seconds, mean nothing, commit the school to nothing extra and have no doubt been seen sent to the three hundred other people who've been offered a 'contract', telling them everything's fine. It's sensible management that's frankly worthless.

    "hopefully, we will be able to join them in August as planned. It will be getting to the point soon, where we need to hand in resignation's etc"

    I hope you know what you're doing, have a place you can stay and enough cash to get by for six months while you find another job if it doesn't work out. It would seem a tad reckless to resign a relatively safe job for a 'maybe job' in Asia at the moment, unless you can afford to take the hit if the contract is cancelled at the last moment.

    Jobs abroad will be two a penny when the virus thing really does pass, and Asia isn't going anywhere. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  13. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I wouldn't say that's reassuring at all. They're hardly likely to send an email saying "please still come even though we're probably all screwed".

    Be careful. You're in a tricky position but you at least have a job to stay in if things go wrong
  14. 1FineDay

    1FineDay New commenter

    Korea is facing a new spike in infections. While they are testing aggressively and doing a grand job of 'exposing' the virus, they are certainly being hit very hard and they are bracing for another wave.

    Some people think this will go away within a couple of months, because everyone has stayed home and the human immune systems will fight off the last remaining virions before we can all safely go back to normal life without the virus being around.

    This is a pivotal moment in history that we are living through. Modern life as we know it has been drastically altered. There will pre and post Covid19. We suffered such a hit because we were not adequately prepared and our systems were set up in a way that facilitated rapid spread. We will have to move forward with new systems in place that prevent us being placed on the back foot again - this means changes to how everything operates.

    The next milestone is the vaccine - once approved and manufactured, then the rebuilding can go on. For now, it's withdraw, defend, protect.

    It's frustrating for everyone, not just those of you who have moved abroad recently to start a new chapter, but the virus doesn't care about you nor your plans, and neither does the WHO. The only thing threatening us right now are governments who are striving to stem the economic damage, by trying to convince people that 'it's safe out there, we can go back to normal' - that's a huge risk and not worth taking until we have a vaccine.
  15. Radian43

    Radian43 New commenter

    Why? I think now, just like most other recessions/crashes, is a great time if you have access to capital.

    My experience of Int'l teaching is that you will often hear the right words that aren't backed up by the right actions. The workforce is transient by nature and so there is less incentive to maintain a good reputation.

    I think you would be mad to hand in your resignation at this point unless your school in Bangkok is one of the tier 1's that are often mentioned. That's because the tier 1's have 3 advantages - they will likely weather the storm, they try to cultivate a good reputation so are more trustworthy and the job itself (pay, conditions, opportunities) is potentially worth the risk.

    Not sure why this is being so widely criticised. It is common in many industries to get a 'signing on' bonus where there are long notice periods and non-compete clauses. A school would not have to fork out such a sum up front as insurance would step in to fill the void and then overtime would not be offered to those schools that were consistently reneging. Its actually a very nice idea. Of course, schools aren't going to volunteer to do it. Int'l teachers aren't unionised and there would never be any concerted pressure to do something like this unless that was the case.

    Based on what evidence? Wet markets will be banned in China and next time the response will be far quicker if a virus is discovered, but I can't see any other long term effects. The idea that life is going to be fundamentally different in 2-3 years doesn't seem believable. Most governments seem to think that there will be a sharp contraction in economic activity followed by a sharp rebound after the virus. If the virus becomes endemic or has multiple waves, all that changes is the time period this takes affect over. There's an argument that it will lead to a lurch to the left politically as people take a long hard look at the inequality in the world but I heard people say similar things during 2008...
    Duraz and makhnovite like this.
  16. mbarraclough

    mbarraclough New commenter

    I handed in my notice before this kicked off globally for an August start in Abu Dhabi. The job role was one that was created and my wife has been offered a job at the same school.

    All we can do is see what happens at this point.
    Luvsskiing likes this.
  17. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Occasional commenter

    If you've already resigned, then I agree. August is a long way off so if your school has a good reputation already, with a bit of luck you'll be fine. If it's a school you had to hunt for details about or to find any reviews about, I'd be slightly more nervous.

    Have you made back-up preparations, just in case? Signed on with the big international agencies (can take weeks), signed up with a few local supply agencies, CVs up-to-date, applied to a few other places etc etc?

    Hope it all works out for you.
  18. gafleecey

    gafleecey New commenter

    The world is infected.
    If you continue to stay where you are, and if you have the misfortune of becoming sick, do you think you will be prioritised for healthcare ahead of the local population?
  19. claytie

    claytie New commenter

    All too unnerving. Time to re-think, fast.....
  20. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    If I was in a steady reasonable job and had the option of staying in the job I would not be moving anywhere this year. Especially as I have a family and 2 mortgages to pay every month.

    Any international school here in Shanghai cannot in good faith predict the number of teachers required for next year due to the uncertainty of the return of expats to the city.

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