Home TEFL forum Teaching in China Contract Tips For Newbie TEFL & ESL Teachers Inbound To China

Contract Tips For Newbie TEFL & ESL Teachers Inbound To China

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  • CFTU
    Participant
    8 June, 2016 at 13:19
    • Total posts: 45

    Welcome to the teaching profession which may be the most gratifying in the world, especially when you get to see one of your students graduate from a top university – that you helped to get there!

    If you are lured to work in China, you are badly needed but if you are not careful, you will be badly exploited by agents and even your own employer if you do not pay attention to your contract, visa, and business license of your employer.

    Let’s start with your contract and tell you that you should never just sign the contract you are given in China, especially if it is Chinese! Be sure that what you are signing is both fair and LEGAL.No you do not need a lawyer but you really should invest an hour of reading,because in China there is no BBB or FTC to protect you from abuses. Mostly we veterans helps the newbies and one day you will also do the same.

    So here is our advice about contracts… http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.com/2014/01/china-foreign-teachers-union-contract.html

    Visas are also extremely important, and no matter what anyone tells you, you cannot legally work in China WITHOUT A Z VISA! Yes, recruiters and agents may tell you all sorts of “exceptions” or “new amendments to the law” and other great sounding explanations, but they simply are not true. In 2015, over 2100 foreign teachers were arrested, jailed, and deported for working without a Z visa. If you doubt this just contact your own embassy or visit http://eslwatch.info/forum/China or the Chinese government website http://Safea.gov.cn.

    Do not come to China without a signed contract in your hand and a z visa in your passport. This is the golden rule ladies and gents.

    Now take your time and negotiate yourself a fair contract that you are ready, willing, and able to honor. Do not agree to let anyone charge you a “deposit” or “fee” of any sort, nor allow them to “hold” your passport. And of course, your invitation letter needs to come from the school that hires you and not a third party. To be sure of this ask your prospective employer to sen you a color scan of their SAIC business license and then match it with the invitation letter they sent you. (The letterhead and red seal should match the name on the SAIC license)

    If you have any doubts see http://chinascamwatch.org or send us an email at admin@chinaforeignteachersunion.org.

    WARNING: If you have asthma you may want to avoid work in North China where winter air pollution is often toxic.

    Safe journey and prepare to gain 10 pounds. The food and drinks here are absolutely delicious, cheap, varied, and plentiful!


    Before accepting any teaching job in China, please visit http://www.ChinaScamBusters.com Know Before You Go and get a free copy of China’s labor laws from the CFTU (Just request by email)

    Laowai Lao Shi
    Participant
    21 November, 2016 at 9:44
    • Total posts: 26

    Where can I send you a copy of the contract I was recently offered for your opinion. I cannot read Chinese and the English version has 15 paragraphs and the Chinese version has 21! This does not seem right to me and I don’t want to get cheated. Thank you.


    Want to teach in China? Great, but be sure to check http://reddit.com/r/ChinaTEFL first! Plenty of surprises for all!

    Davis
    Participant
    24 November, 2016 at 14:45
    • Total posts: 48

    You should get a contract in both English and Chinese with the English printed on the backside of the Chinese version – page for page. NEVER sign anything in a language you do not understand or you will have many costly “misunderstandings” down the road. Don’t be rushed into anything and ask as Chinese student at any university library to help you translate your contract. Most will be happy to make friends with a foreigner and help you. Good luck!


    Questions about contracts, expat labor rights, teachers requirements and visa laws for China are found at http://chinascamwatch.org

    Laowai Lao Shi
    Participant
    23 May, 2017 at 6:00
    • Total posts: 26

    I learned a lot in the last year and discovered we expat teachers in China actually have 15 employee rights and that most of the contracts we are asked to sign are actually illegal. And now that we are covered by the Privacy Act in China, the schools can no longer use our photos online or in their posters and brochures without our written permission.


    Want to teach in China? Great, but be sure to check http://reddit.com/r/ChinaTEFL first! Plenty of surprises for all!

    Why Not?
    Participant
    8 June, 2017 at 0:59
    • Total posts: 16

    Great post but you forgot to mention that foreign teachers in China must only sign an “Employment Agreement” with their direct employer – NOT AN AGENT OR RECRUITER! If you check China’s labor laws, it is illegal to sign an employment contract with any third party other than the direct employer who issued your invitation letter. Agents and recruiters get paid by the employer and have their own agreement with them. If you sign a contract with an agent or recruiter you will lose big chunk of your salary (30%-50%) to skimming. Read this https://www.scam.com/showthread.php?642187-The-Silent-Scam-Cheats-China-Expats-amp-Foreign-ESL-amp-TEFL-Teachers-Out-of-40-Of-Their-Wages&p=1819939#post1819939. The OP link is solid gold IMO.


    Know before you go to take a new teaching job by checking http://reddit.com/r/eslscams.

    Laowai Lao Shi
    Participant
    18 July, 2017 at 1:26
    • Total posts: 26

    I just went to a CFTU workshop on employment contracts this last weekend and was shocked to learn that only “full-time” teachers have employee rights in China and only “full-time” teachers get any benefits and only “full-time” teachers can even file a grievance with the Ministry of Labor! AND… get this if your contract does not say you are a “full-time” teacher, no how many hours you work you are legally considered to be a “part-time” employee! So friends, I really suggest you all use this contract which clearly identifies you as a “full-time employee” : http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.com/2017/06/cftu-urges-china-foreign-english.html

    Dont’ let the slick employers schedule you for only 36-39 hours of work every week or you will be one notch above a slave! This link is also super important; https://www.scam.com/showthread.php?642187-The-Silent-Scam-Cheats-China-Expats-amp-Foreign-ESL-amp-TEFL-Teachers-Out-of-40-Of-Their-Wages&p=1819939#post1819939.


    Want to teach in China? Great, but be sure to check http://reddit.com/r/ChinaTEFL first! Plenty of surprises for all!

    Davis
    Participant
    29 July, 2017 at 10:15
    • Total posts: 48

    Thanks for posting the contract template link Laowai Laoshi. I have never seen a better contract for protecting teachers in China over my 10 year TEFL career here. It truly is a blessing for the both newbies and veterans alike.


    Questions about contracts, expat labor rights, teachers requirements and visa laws for China are found at http://chinascamwatch.org

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