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Pay cut due to Corona virus - even though schools have reopened?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by mr1303, May 4, 2020.

  1. mr1303

    mr1303 New commenter

    Hi all

    Our school has just declared a pay cut - I won't give the actual figure but it is substantial. Schools have just reopened this week.

    Under these circumstances, would you start seeking alternative employment or stick it out until next year?
  2. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Established commenter

    It's up to you. If you're broke, what alternative do you have? If you're indignant, loaded and can go home, then walk out tomorrow for breach of contract.
    melmmow likes this.
  3. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    I'd stay put, at least in the same country, but it depends on your financial circumstances. If the new contact is unworkable for you, you don't really have a choice.

    I'll admit it's rubbish, but at least you have a job. Others may not be so lucky and you could be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

    Personally, I don't think anyone should look to move this year. Better to hunker down and stay put if you can. Of course, not everyone has that choice, some people have to find new jobs, some people need to move.

    As I said at the top, if you can find a better offer in the same country, that might be a reasonable compromise, but then the paperwork factor could be an issue. Where I am, getting the right papers would involve going back to my home country and getting a new visa - not feasible right now!
  4. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    I wonder if comments such of these are seen by and influence in any way school owners who are thinking of making such cuts?

    They might look at this and think -well why not? Most wil stay anyway because they 'don't really have a choice' and 'better to hunker down'.
    kstainsb likes this.
  5. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 New commenter

    Well you can cut the number of hours by the same %, or leave. I would sure as hell not be staying. Literally walk out of the door tomorrow.
    kstainsb likes this.
  6. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Many international schools have had parents not pay up for term 3. No exams means there is no point in y13 going in so parents see no point in paying for term 3.
    Other parents are looking for reductions in fees because they see online learning as somewhat less valuable than face-to-face learning. Again , school is experiencing loss of income.

    I know of several schools who are asking the whole staff to take a pay cut. Some are offering parents the opportunity to pay fees using a payment plan. Some schools handle this better than others. Simply being told that your salary is being cut speaks volumes about the school.

    If you are in China the school can get away with just about anything if they say that measures are necessary to keep the business alive. Personally, I would be looking for another job. Remember you need a reference. If they are the kind of school who would cut your wages they are also probably the kind of school to give you a malicious bad reference.

    There may well be a lot of international teachers on the job market before this is all over.
  7. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Established commenter

    C19 or no C19, it all comes back to the same thing about international schools (and recruiters). Trust no one, Ever. Believe no one. Ever. Do not trust contracts. Ever.

    Professionalism and ethics apply only to teachers in their eyes, not to themselves. I'm not saying don't have an international career! Do - it's a lot of fun and beats working in a UK school by and large. But you need to have your head screwed on, you need to be flexible and easy-going ideally, and you need to be able to be able stick up for yourself calmly but firmly. You also need to have a wad of cash in the bank at the earliest opportunity, enough for 6 months comfortable living behind you so you have options if you need to walk out of a job and you don't get bounced into something unsuitable out of desperation. This would be useful e.g. for the O/P's current predicament.
    kstainsb likes this.
  8. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    you must have worked in some seriously low-level schools @Luvsskiing
    missmissmiss likes this.
  9. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 New commenter

    Schools can only get away with just about anything if they don't think there will be consequences to their actions. I'd be walking out, posting something on I S R about it, and hoping they lose enough teachers to send a message to their management, as well as any other schools in the area that teachers are not little punching bags. If they think they have a hard time with parents now, they will have an even harder time with a shortage of teachers and/or 'native speakers'.
    Just requires a bit of collective action and enough teachers with spines to not take this lying down. Remember packages overall have not really gone up in the last decade so a paycut is just rubbing salt in the wound.
    kstainsb likes this.
  10. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    I do understand the indignation behind the original posters writing but, and it is a big but, a lot of schools will undoubtedly go to the wall over what is happening right now. As will some universities and a lot of people will be out of a job. My school has recently sent us all an email to say that we will all be paid in full for this year, (we are closed til September) but after that they may have to look at the wage bill dependent upon how many kids come back. I can fully understand that and agree with it, Mrs Topliss, myself and the Toplii will just have to cut our clothe according to what we have, as ever. The people who manage our houses in the UK have told us that one of our tenants has lost his job and cannot pay the rent, so we will take the hit and hope that he gets another job, would anyone suggest we throw them out? This is a worldwide nightmare and, just occasionally we all have to pull together. Stay put, teach the kids who have put their trust in you. Something is always better than nothing.....

    They rescinded the booze ban, all is well.

  11. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Established commenter

    "You must have worked in some seriously low-level schools."

    LOL. It seems like I'm being negative about international schools but I'm not. Quite the opposite. I thoroughly recommend it and am just being honest based on thirty years of experience.

    You meet great people and bonk lots of them as an international teacher, you see wonderful places, you're mostly in the sunshine if you pick wisely, and you used to be able to earn fantastic money if you were in an oil school (I'd earned enough to buy my second home, now sold, after just three years in the ME at a BP school back then), and kids were great, except for the ME. I wouldn't swap my many years in seven countries teaching, as well as in the UK, for anything. Some schools were dreadful but take the money, go with the flow, accept that these jobs were firmly about relationships and playing the game, not standards and you had a blast. The ones who didn't last were the zealous, over-keen ones who wanted to teach properly. Places like Hong Kong and Singapore: fantastic, high standards, this is where you are a real teacher in a dynamic environment and earn good money, but boy do you earn it. It's the soup of life being an international teacher and everyone should do it. It's the way to live your life. Just don't forget to invest a good portion of your earnings each month (20% at the very least), so that when your body finally gives up on you, you can pull the plug and retire!

    Just remember the Golden Rule: Trust no one!
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
    T0nyGT, kstainsb and dumbbells66 like this.
  12. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    True, but it's an honest assessment of the situation. Schools are in trouble, may not be getting the sign-ups they expected and need to make cuts somewhere.

    Likewise, teachers need to decide: stay, where at least there is a job, or go, where there may not be one.

    A lot of schools are businesses and will be run as such. While on the one hand, foreign hires may be seen as an even more "valuable" commodity right now (thin on the ground), on the other, jobs could also thin out as enrollment drops. It's supply and demand and employees need to decide what's best for them.

    I know some of my colleagues would leave if a pay cut came. That's their choice and good luck to people who decide to do that, but we don't all have that luxury. It's a huge choice to make and I, personally, would stay put unless things become completely unmanageable. And of course schools know this: the staff who are most likely to go have already done so (or made their intentions clear).
  13. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    Tell us the figure. 10% is fine, 90% could be a clincher...let us know the score.....

    They bescinded the rooze ban, ell is wall.

    576 likes this.
  14. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    If the school has had a substantial drop in feds
    This is the sort of attitude we need. Yes, some schools are rolling in cash and may see this as an opportunity to cheekily add to their pile. However, for the large majority it is an issue of money in-money out. If less parents are paying then what do you expect? The school to spend exactly the same on staffing as they did before?

    Everyone is in this together and business owners have a lot more to lose than the lowly teacher. If we lose our jobs we find another. If their school goes under then they don't just hop and TES and find another school to own.

    Look after yourself but also be understanding.
  15. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 New commenter

    Do you expect salaries to rise once the numbers head back up? I sure as hell don't.
    Luvsskiing likes this.
  16. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    That would be something all schools should make clear. That the changes are temporary until the school is in a position to be back on its feet
  17. MyOrchid

    MyOrchid Occasional commenter

    Depends on the situation, but perhaps the OP could reduce their input by an equivalent %?

    30% pay cut? Do 30% less - refuse to do all the extra stuff like reports, cover, duties, parent's evenings, set 30% less homework, marking etc, etc, etc.

    Have management taken a similar cut?
  18. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 New commenter

    The thought process will be :
    'well they stayed, and we have new teachers accepting the terms, so this is the actual market value'
    Luvsskiing likes this.
  19. markedout

    markedout Occasional commenter

    It depends on where you are whether this constitutes a breach of contract or not. In the UAE they were very quick to bring in a new employment law giving employers (in most industries/zones) the right to force staff to take unpaid leave, to reduce salaries and to terminate contracts. The employer is responsible for repatriation and all steps are to be taken in order and with the agreement of the employee, who admittedly may not have much choice.
  20. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Simple answer for the schools there - if the Term 3 fees aren't paid, then the school should simply refuse to submit the grades for the student's IB or A level results. If the fees aren't paid and in the school account by the date these have to be sent to the exam boards, then the kid gets no qualifications. School also reflects this on any reference given to universities. Result - Y13 term 3 fees appear in the school account. (This year, unusually, schools have a lot of power in this situation.)

    This is in part because of the Chinese authorities referring to the initial period of online learning as an "extended holiday". There are other ways round this - freezing fees for next year (which schools have done), offering additional support or classes, or simply pointing out the obvious that the kids have been learning and have been taught so there is no loss to them (and in the case of schools with the license to teach Chinese nationals, politely reminding parents that they were not permitted to teach new content until relatively recently compared with the full international schools.)
    dumbbells66 likes this.

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