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Q: What is the going rate for an International School?

Hello all,

 

Some assistance required, please.

 

I have been teaching in China for almost four years now.  I think I have a good idea of what I can earn in China now, particularly in Chengdu and Shenzhen where I have spent my time, and in the case of the latter, where I am now.

 

My school has, since December, been operating an International Section where the children learn all subjects in English.  It's effectively gone the Hong Kong/Singapore route.  No problem with this.

 

The problems start from what this school thinks they can pay foreign teachers to teach here.  I have another teacher in another class here ( yes, there are two of us, and she is a QT in the US) as well as me, and we both have probation salaries of 8k, 9,5k and then 11k for the first three months.  They then increase to the full 15k for each month thereafter until the end of the contract.  The 15k becomes 8k for the Spring Festival Holiday month.  They don't pay a flight bonus.  They don't pay a living allowance or provide accommodation.

 

We start at 7:30am and finish at 5pm without a break during the day.  We have to spend lunch with the children but only get paid for half of the lunchtime that we spend with them.

 

They also require us to work one Saturday a month for Open Days, and also on Thanksgiving Days and any other days which fall on weekends, for a standard hourly rate of 50rmb per hour.

 

Now, I have signed a contract from March 4th to July 15th this year.  I have been asked to come back next year because I am good, as has my colleague, but they seem to think that foreign teachers will be happy to come here for the above. 

 

I have tried explaining to them that in normal schools, where one is merely an Oral Teacher, 8k may be acceptable in places, but when one is being asked to plan each individual class (at least double the workload of a standard school), that they have to be prepared to pay for it.

 

Kindergartens, which is the class level I have (5yrs old) , pay a good 10k per month and you get two hours off for lunch there.

 

My school seems to want QTs from Native countries to come to this school, but are not prepared to pay them fairly for it.  I feel that QTs would prefer to go elsewhere for the same job, but a better quality of life and salary.

 

Sorry to involve you on here, but, I would like your thoughts as I want to be sure that I am actually talking sense and rationally, and not unrealistic rubbish.

 

This is in Shenzhen, so other Shenzheners's views would be particularly appreciated.  My colleague and I both know others that work a  lot less for the same money etc.  I don't mind what I am asked to do, but I want to be paid fairly for it.

6 years 34 weeks ago in  Teaching & Learning - Shenzhen

 
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without a living allowance for housing, its not even close to good pay, air travel and housing would put the offer barely acceptable for a tier one city international school.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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So if you renew, will you get 15,000 every month except for Spring Festival?  If so, that's probably about average or just a little below.  I think they would have a hard time to find a qualified native speaker with the probation period as they have it.  . So if they like you,you should have some negotiating power.   

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I was offered 18,000 RMB a month to teach in an elementary school in Shanghai. A common ordinary one.

And, they provided room and two free meals.

14 teaching hours and six office hours per week.

They did not provide travel expenses however above 6,000 rmb.

I think you are being cheated in this school.

Problem? I really do n ot have the patience to teach children, and as to accommodation, i could not bring a date over. No guests allowed.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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For a qualified teacher? No, I reckon they can pay considerably more. A probation period at reduced pay? No I reckon not, not for a teacher with a teaching qualification in the West. Heck, I don't think anyone should accept a reduced-pay probation period, not you, not me, not anyone. we are all initially on probation, the reduced pay is simply an excuse to save them more money. And 50 per hour for overtime or extra hours is a bit insane. My last uni paid unqualified goons 80 per hour for overtime, and that is already low. You are already there for about 9.5 hours - ten hours per day plus Saturdays. Dang. Maybe 15k is okay but with those hours and probation periods and all it's like you're playing rugby, you have the ball and they're piling on. Tell them to stop piling on. 

 

I admire you if you can even do that Monday through Friday work; even that is a lot in my opinion. I guess I simply can't be charming for more than 30 hours a week. 

angel

I don't want to sound like a jerk, Mr. Godwin, but let's just say they sound less than generous. 

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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This probation stuff is crap if you have 4 years teaching experience already in China. A school said to me once: "Come and do a class and we will see what you are like. After that, we pay you." I said I had already 2 years experience and I don't do classes for no money. You really should not be getting paid less for probation because you are no longer on probation. Do you have posyive references from other jobs?

The other aspects? Working all those hours and with no accommodation supplied certainly dilutes the 15K. They then double dip by paying you less for Spring Break. As a negotiation point I would be asking for accommodation, full holiday pay, flight bonus and leave the rest as is if you're happy enough. They will save face by saying they negotiated no monthly salary increase while you get a few extras thrown in. Win /win.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I signed new Contract for teaching at Public Primary School (grade 4, 5 and 6) in Xinjiang. 16 classes (40') per week for 8000 Rmb/ month. 1/2 salary in each of aprox. 3 months holidays, and free 2 bedroom apartment, all together around 100 000 Rmb per year.

School won't compensate any traveling tickets. I have 30 days probation period with full salary.

School canceled 'office hours' per my request. I told them, I usually work at another Schools and Kindergartens in my free time. 

 

Ask School in Shenzhen for substantially higher pay (accommodation allowance), and look for new School in the same time.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Thanks very much everyone for your answers.  Glad we're all seemingly on the same wavelength.

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Agree with pretty much everyone here.

 

For a start: yes, you may be getting twice as much as a basic kindergarten 'oral' English, but you're also doing 4-5 times the amount of work. I think saying that you're doing double the work of others is probably an underestimation. 

 

I think DaqingDevil's idea is a good one - more or less accept their salary, but bargain for a bonus, better holiday setup and to have accommodation provided. That would put you a long way in front.

 

Isn't Shenzhen one of the more expensive cities? Is 15,000 even livable?

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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You can barely live on 100Rmb a day just for eating.

 

Rent is a good 1,500 per month for a half-decent room.  You can get apartments for 2600 a month with no need for the usual 2 months deposit.  You only need one month's.

 

Bills can be around 500 per month.

 

Internet on top is about 80 a month.

 

If you have to get taxis often, they can get expensive.

 

Metro is good but avoid during rush if you can.

 

Eating is the most expensive thing here.  You can eat for 13rmb a time, but, if you fancy eating half-decently, it can add up.

 

Thanks for your input, Miss too.

 

 

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6 years 34 weeks ago
 
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