bigduke6 wrote:Silly Willy, you cannot call those who are making a life here migrant workers. There are guys like Bismark who have citizenship, guys like me married to locals, as well as those with APRC's. You cannot clump every foreigner here under one umbrella.
Those with permanent or relatively permanent status should be offered a certain measure of protection that exists in most developed countries, for permanent residents or immigrants.
This and other many other reasons make it impossible for to classify Taiwan as a developed first world economy, contrary to what many believe.
When my wife, then girlfriend, lived with me in South Africa, she had more rights as a girlfriend than I do as a husband. She got residency based on the fact that she was my life partner. No demeaning medical exams except for one x ray and a note from my doctor stating she was healthy, she had state unemployment insurance, she could apply for citizenship without having to renounce her Taiwanese citizenship, if I died after she lived with me for say 40 years, she would not be deported.
In Taiwan, the rights of foreign residents are pathetically crap.
Allow me to clarify. In my view, the profession of ESL teaching in Asia is a migrant market
. I don't know the precise numbers, but for argument's sake, lets say 95%-98% of all foreign teachers who work in Taiwan return to their home countries eventually. They are over-educated migrant labor.
Those of us who remain in Taiwan and make it our permanent home are not migrant workers, but we still work in a market dominated by migrant workers
. Foreigners holding Taiwanese citizenship, APRCs, or JFRVs, have greater flexibility and freedom in this market, making it easier to move into higher paying positions, otherwise-illegal positions (kindy), or private enterprise (own school, tutoring).
However, because of the nature of this market - dominated by non-permanent (migrant) workers - wages are set by supply and demand for ESL teachers by private business (with no government interference).
This is to the benefit of the English teaching industry (the market). It allows them the freedom to hire or fire at will. Leaving the foreigner unprotected and sometimes exploited.
bigduke6: You've got to ask yourself though, is it the nature of the ESL industry that leaves non-migrant English teachers economically vulnerable or government regulations (or the lack of them)? I would have to say it's the nature of the industry because the government shouldn't interfere in the operation of the free market.
Once you involve the government all bets are off! Generally, more regulations = Less market participation by entrepreneurs = Fewer new schools = Less new jobs for existing teachers.
Worker protection and over-regulation in developed countries have created rigid and inflexible labor markets, which lead to less new job creation compared to free markets. My advise to those of us who have "open work rights" and are planning on staying in Taiwan permanently is to make the most of it and to stop worrying about our lack of rights and protection. The free market is an amazing thing. Embrace it. It might make you rich(er).