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