Grumbling about low wages in Kaohsiung

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Grumbling about low wages in Kaohsiung

Postby wonder » 27 Apr 2012, 13:30

I am creating this post in this section because I feel the issues relate to living in Taiwan rather than simply teaching in Taiwan. However, I understand if the moddies move it. :)

Recently, a former teacher posted a long message on the Kaohsiung Living page that specified his or her concerns and irritations related to teaching for lower than NT$600/hr at most buxibans. The post stated, accurately, that a few more schools have begun offering between NT$350 and NT$450/hr for Western English teachers.

Although I don't know anyone who teachers for less than 550/hr, I do know that Global Village paid 450/hr at one point primarily because of the lack of preparation involved. The post went on to say that most of these lower wage positions were being accepted by newbies who were only here for a year or so, opposed to some of us who have made a home in Taiwan.

It should also be pointed out here that during my 10 years in TW, the starting wage has stayed at 600/hr. So in general, I empathize with the post. I do agree that hourly wages should at least be staying at their current level rather than being reduced and that us longtimers should not accept positions that offer lower than 600/hr for fear of the hourly rate being reduced even more.

That being said, there are other issues at play here.

First of all, some buxiban supervisors and hiring officers do not like the fact that Western teachers earn almost double the wage they earn. I happen to know my former supervisor had to work six days a week, 10 hours a day to earn a salary of NT$30,000/month. She is a very qualified, well spoken woman and her English is almost at the native speaker level. That caveat may have something to do with some supervisors trying to reduce the hourly rate for new teachers and should always be kept in mind by those who wish to earn more than 600/hr for a new position.

The other issues that need to be addressed here in Kaohsiung are multiple and have a direct bearing on wages.

For example, I just quit a school that required between 6 hours and 12 hours of marking each week outside the classroom, unpaid. I understand there will be at least a couple of hours of marking but 10 hours each week is unreasonable. When it is factored into the hourly teaching wages of 600/hr, then you end up earning around NT$300/hr. I did not know about the marking until after I had been there a couple weeks and already had my work permit.

The other thing that should be addressed is the disappearing full-time jobs in the South. If one scans the local job boards and message boards here in K-town, the first thing that is realized is the overwhelming number of part time jobs being offered. Some of these are only two hours each week. But most are somewhere between six and 12 hours a week.

It has got to the point here that 50 per cent of the teachers here have to work 14 hours a week at one school and 12 hours a week at another in order to pull in a comparably decent wage. The same is true for Tainan City. I believe this is a result of the industry responding to teachers who at first wanted to earn extra money. Now, part time work is the norm rather than the exception.

So although I believe it is a good thing that some teachers are ready to form a committee here in the South to address hourly wages, there are other issues that need to be addressed either before or during the meetings that seem to be coming soon. (And no, I was not the person who wrote the post on the Kaohsiung Living board).

But here is the message link from KL.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kaohsiung ... sage/38703
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Re: Grumbling about low wages in Kaohsiung

Postby ChewDawg » 27 Apr 2012, 13:37

Good morning Kaohsiung how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your expat son,
I'm the teacher they call Canadian sticky ball man,
I'll be paid 300NT when the day is done. :discodance:
So I got an expresso and a hot burrito!
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Re: Grumbling about low wages in Kaohsiung

Postby tomthorne » 27 Apr 2012, 14:08

Supply and demand. People get what the market is prepared to pay them. Locals trying to reduce pay because they are jealous isn't a factor.
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Re: Grumbling about low wages in Kaohsiung

Postby *monkey* » 27 Apr 2012, 14:17

So, in a nutshell, "Teachering Engrish ain't like what it used to be"?

Yawn :neutral:
Floggings will continue until morale improves

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Re: Grumbling about low wages in Kaohsiung

Postby tommy525 » 27 Apr 2012, 15:05

Should there be a minimum wage set ? Or remain free market?
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Re: Grumbling about low wages in Kaohsiung

Postby sandman » 27 Apr 2012, 15:33

I only know one teacher down there. He won't get out of bed for less than NT$1,200 an hour. But he delivers the goods and they know it. He has more work opportunities than he can handle and has still been unable to find even one single person he'd trust his reputation to, so he keeps them to himself. I imagine he's not the only one.
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Re: Grumbling about low wages in Kaohsiung

Postby bigduke6 » 27 Apr 2012, 15:42

I suppose I am lucky. Both schools I work at are 5 minutes from my place.

One I work for has a few branches in Kaohsiung, and they often complain they cannot find suitable teachers. Sometimes they look for weeks and nothing.

I have also never heard of anyone working for less than 550 per hour. Never 350 or 450.

Yes, the market has shrunk, but it has also fundamentally changed. Schools tend to be a lot more strict in their selection criteria. The days of gettin a job because you have a white face and don't suffer from sticky ball elbow are over.
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Re: Grumbling about low wages in Kaohsiung

Postby Abacus » 28 Apr 2012, 11:47

I've been reading these posts on KL.com and it's just getting ridiculous. they are going as far as suggesting a union. How in the damn hell would that work? Are they providing jobless benefits? Are they including every newb that comes to Taiwan? Are they including the half drunk slackers that can't hold a job? I sure as hell won't be providing any part of my paycheck to a teacher's union.
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Re: Grumbling about low wages in Kaohsiung

Postby creztor » 28 Apr 2012, 18:08

Anyone who tries to build a life here relying solely on buxiban's is playing Russian roulette.
Lost in Kaohsiung :D
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Re: Grumbling about low wages in Kaohsiung

Postby bigduke6 » 28 Apr 2012, 21:03

The scary thing is that this applies to the majority of business sectors in todays economy.

On a recent trip home I visited my previous employer, where I held a senior position. From the time I left in 2009, 50 percent of the staff had been laid off. In the 5 years I worked there, retrenchments took place every year.
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