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Teaching in Guangzhou

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by kateagos, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I do not understand this, g_l_martin. Perhaps you should ask for the e-mail address of someone who is currently teaching at the school and they could give you some reliable and meaningful information.

    A fapiao is a receipt or invoice. Some schools (and teachers) are crazy about collecting fapiaos for anything and everything, so that you will not have to pay lots of tax.

    My guess (and it is just a guess!) is that your school really is trying to keep down the tax bill for the expat teachers.

    When Mr and Mrs Hippopotamus were living in SZ, we were paying 6500RMB each month for our two-bedroomed apartment in the centre of Shenzhen. So maybe you might actually have about 18000 or perhaps 20000 after you have paid the tax and the rent. Well, that is pretty good and you should be able to have some nice holidays, as well as saving about half of your salary each month.

    In many ways, these discussions about salaries are a bit airy-fairy because what you have left at the end of the month depends on your outgoings, as well as how much you have coming in. In China, you can live very cheaply, if you really want to. GZ has an excellent (and very cheap) MTR system, so you will not have to buy or rent a car. Eating out can also be an affordable pleasure.
  2. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Mr Martin, your school doesn't sound 100 legit here!

    Looking at your figures the split will be 17k salary and 11k rent allowance as 40% is the maximum you can paid tax free/or at reduced rates.

    Basically you are going to have to negotiate a deal for your rent to reach 11k in GZ as the rents will be low, so get your internet, utility bills and maid included in your monthly rent. Else you may be able to purchase your fapiao from the local tax office for 5.5% of the rental. Ask your school about doing this, they may do this for you if several teachers ask for this service, you may have to pay 8% with commission.

    Be aware of people selling fake fapiao that are easily detected with the use of a QR code printed on the document. So basically you end up paying 8% on 11k instead of 25%. Basically the school ends up paying the tax if a fake fapiao is handed to them, my school basically said "sod it" we will get your fapiao for you!

    Most land lords don't want to offer a fapiao with the rental agreement as they then get taxed on the income from renting their property!

    As for tax, the new system will go like this;

    First 40000rmb of your salary you pay 3% tax, then you pay 10% tax till you earn 120000, then you pay 20 on the rest till 220000 and then 25%. But basically we all got a big tax cut this year to help stimulate the economy.

    Be very aware the whole tax regulations change for expats in 2022 when we will receive the same tax breaks as the Chinese.

    Rent allowance tax free reduced from 150000rmb to 18000rmb.
    Children's tuition fees tax free reduced from 250000rmb to 12000rmb.
  3. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    "I meant how can one school offer a greater amount than the other, being both in first tier cities."

    Monopolistic Competition - you're obviously not an economist!! :rolleyes:

    PS: Many first contracts in China these days are 3 years

    PPS: "In many ways, these discussions about salaries are a bit airy-fairy because what you have left at the end of the month depends on your outgoings, as well as how much you have coming in."

    Absolutely, oh legendary one, which is why some other posters on other threads are really just indulging in a urinating up against a wall exercise. But hey, it fuels their ego's;)
  4. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Signing a 3yr contract means if you leave after 1 or 2 years into the contract the school can claw back all the rent, health insurance and flight allowance money it has paid a teacher. A very nasty part of Chinese Labour Law and I know many schools with expensive rent-a-names that do this to staff who they regard as breaking a contract. So once you hand in your resignation you are been paid ZERO money till you exit the country, no salary, no rent allowance and maybe no health insurance.
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yikes! Is this three-year contract thing quite common now in the Middle Kingdom? Or is it just a few scummy schools that are trying to introduce this?
  6. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

    @the hippo , the boring witch in Shanghai gives out 3 year contracts.
  7. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    @mermy but the boring witch standard contracts in China offer a two year "break" clause, so if after the first year you hate it you can give notice by the end of October of your second year and leave. I know a number of people who have done that.
  8. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Some schools give the 'get out' option at the end of the first year, some even call it a probationary year. I am not sure I agree with the febster on this one. In my experience schools are usually quite keen to get rid of, 'unhappy', staff without too much of a penalty, as they see it as disruptive to the harmony of tianxia. Although of course many of the newer schools are more money oriented and may wish to punish errant staff, pour encourager les autres!
  9. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    When you consider that the big educational businesses in China now need to recruit over 100 teachers a year, the cost becomes significant.

    One agency I know estimates there are still 2000 teaching vaccines still to fill for the next academic year.

    So maintaining staff by whichever means becomes an important method in reducing costs.

    The cost of recruiting a single teacher is around 4.5 to 7000 USD, its why schools are happy to pay agencies fees.
  10. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    The thing is that allowing a teacher to leave if they want to go might annoy a school, but as long as it's at the end of a year it's not as big a problem as the potential disruption when a teacher does a runner mid year. I've seen it happen where a teacher was unhappy, they got a new job back in their home country, but the school wouldn't let them leave early so they ended up going anyway. That caused a lot more hassle than if the school had just let the teacher go and planned for the disruption.

    It just doesn't make sense to "force" a teacher to stay against their wishes - and, unless you have their passport, 90% of the time it will make no difference anyway. If I was in that position, I would always prefer to let the teacher go rather than make them stay - the potential problems the teacher might cause through negativity, combined with being able to plan for the disruption makes it a no brainer to me.
  11. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Unfortunately common sense and good people management are missing in a great number of private schools here in China. Then if you add in the standard Chinese businessman/woman attitude to staff welfare you get a very toxic atmosphere.

    The majority of western principals in Chinese schools are basically figureheads without any real power which is in the hands of some bureaucratic paper pusher bean counting mandarin. It is all about keeping the school running to the business plan/cash flow
    and who cares if the teachers in the school are happy or not.

    Also you have to consider the western principal is on a percentage of the profits, so forcing staff to stay as long as possible regardless of their happiness is in their financial interest. Recruiting staff late on in the year, is expensive, time consuming and not in the business plan for making large profits.
  12. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    My old school in SZ had three "no shows" in primary at the start of this academic year. It caused a lot of problems and headaches.

    I am afraid that I cannot entirely agree with february31st's rather depressing analysis. Having happy teachers does, in the log term, make good business sense, whereas disgruntled ones can lead to all kinds of problems. Is there a direct (or indirect) link between a school's reputation and its ability to stay in the black? Yes, there is, but I agree that this may not be immediately obvious.
  13. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Unfortunately Hippo dear boy we are not the ones that need convincing that ”happy cows” produce the best cream milk. With nearly 50 new ”international bilingual schools” opening in Guangzhou this and next academic year alone, they all can not be run by good old Mr Chips wearing a top hat and handing up out toasted ******* to the students every morning.

    Most of these schools are run for profit with student education as an unnecessary side issue hindering even greater profits been made.

    All of these schools will be run by hard nosed businessmen, bureaucrats with the standard Chinese attitude, attributes and morals. These financial vampires will never be seen by the likes of common teacher scum who do nothing all day but drain money from the school/investigators/owners/directors and bankers.

    Teachers are basically regarded as irrelevant to the good reputation of a school, that is provided by the gold plated name rented and nail above the door.

    Just read the ISR of all the new Bilingual schools that have opened in the last couple of years for your information.
  14. agcb256

    agcb256 New commenter

    Dear all,

    I have just begun my Search for 2020/21 after a couple of years in Egypt with the Far East in mind and I am looking at a school in the outskirts of Guangzhou with a number of vacancies already up. Salary is 48 to 52 USD with airfare up to 2100 USD and 1250 for housing. This is my first time looking at this area of the world so wondering if this sort of package is reasonable. It also has the three year contract - will most have the 'break clause' in cae my rosy vision of schools in this part of the world isn't true (I doubt it won't be but need some advice on how to pick going forward).

    Thanks in advance!
  15. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    The going rate by the look of it. See previous posts for more info.
    agcb256 likes this.
  16. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Take home pay/year after tax in Shanghai with housing allowance included 70,000 usd plus for a classroom teacher.(ex 7.0rmb/1usd) I would make sure the salary quoted is after tax!
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  17. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Not for GZ febster!
  18. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Just pointing out how cheaply some schools want to recruit staff.
    agcb256 likes this.
  19. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Of course, I am just guessing that the cost of living is higher in Shangai than GZ, and of course the market there is larger and more competitive. The numbers agcb256 quotes were the going rate a year ago and the three best schools in GZ all pay roughly the same. It will also change in the near future as the tax laws and housing allowance rules are changing as you have said elsewhere.
  20. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I find the cost of living in 2nd tier cities in China not that cheap compared to Shanghai. True the cost of accommodation is 2-3000 cheaper/month but other hidden costs soon add up. The weekly expat shop in 2nd tier cities is more expensive and less range of western foods available in the shops.

    Many of the schools are in the new town areas and a taxi ride to the one expat bar can cost 50rmb one way.

    I know western staff in the satellite towns around Shanghai catch the high speed train in to the big city once or twice a month to go shopping and have a night out in the French Concession. The same is true for teachers working outside of Beijing.

    If you work in GZ you will be tempted to visit HK as much as possible to keep your sanity, or things may have changed in the last few months.

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