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Posts: 36

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Q: Yucai Primary School, Cixi

I'm considering accepting an offer to teach at Yucai Primary School in Cixi, ZheJiang Province. I thought it may be wise first to plumb the wealth of experience here first to see if I should be wary of anything. Recruiter is a "Maggie". 

 

Would appreciate any heads up. Thanks.

7 years 25 weeks ago in  Business & Jobs - Other cities

 
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Why use a recruiter?

 

I always think teachers should only apply to schools that advertise directly.

Shining_brow:

Simple answer - the primary school itself doesn't have the right to hire a foreigner, but about half a dozen recruitment agencies have been given the ok by Zhejiang Provincial government to legally hire foreigners, and send them out to various schools.

 

Given the government wants every school to have their own singing dancing white monkey, it's the easiest way to do it.

7 years 25 weeks ago
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ironman510:

Same hiring system in Shenzhen.

7 years 25 weeks ago
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iWolf:

Agents given the ok to hire foreigners and farm them out to various schools? (paraphased)

 

As I understand it, you can only work for the work unit that sponsors you in one location under the RP rules. I am just wondering how they get around this??

7 years 24 weeks ago
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Katet:

IWolf - I am wondering the same thing. My RP was granted in one province (company HQ), but I actually live and work in another Province (sub-contracted to an independent school). I wonder if this is flouting the law?

7 years 24 weeks ago
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Shining_brow:

"As I understand it, you can only work for the work unit that sponsors you in one location under the RP rules. I am just wondering how they get around this??"

 

The Zhejiang provincial government made an allowance for it, and gave 6 agencies that authority.. (as I heard it). This has been confirmed by a few people (including an American friend who has lawyers all over various things like recruitment, HR, hiring, etc).

7 years 24 weeks ago
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7 years 25 weeks ago
 
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Posts: 7178

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Why use a recruiter?

 

I always think teachers should only apply to schools that advertise directly.

Shining_brow:

Simple answer - the primary school itself doesn't have the right to hire a foreigner, but about half a dozen recruitment agencies have been given the ok by Zhejiang Provincial government to legally hire foreigners, and send them out to various schools.

 

Given the government wants every school to have their own singing dancing white monkey, it's the easiest way to do it.

7 years 25 weeks ago
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ironman510:

Same hiring system in Shenzhen.

7 years 25 weeks ago
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iWolf:

Agents given the ok to hire foreigners and farm them out to various schools? (paraphased)

 

As I understand it, you can only work for the work unit that sponsors you in one location under the RP rules. I am just wondering how they get around this??

7 years 24 weeks ago
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Katet:

IWolf - I am wondering the same thing. My RP was granted in one province (company HQ), but I actually live and work in another Province (sub-contracted to an independent school). I wonder if this is flouting the law?

7 years 24 weeks ago
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Shining_brow:

"As I understand it, you can only work for the work unit that sponsors you in one location under the RP rules. I am just wondering how they get around this??"

 

The Zhejiang provincial government made an allowance for it, and gave 6 agencies that authority.. (as I heard it). This has been confirmed by a few people (including an American friend who has lawyers all over various things like recruitment, HR, hiring, etc).

7 years 24 weeks ago
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7 years 25 weeks ago
 
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I'm with Scots on this; never, ever, ever use an agent. 

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7 years 25 weeks ago
 
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Obviously, do everything (and take (almost) every advice) given here...

 

Firstly, who is 'Maggie', and what company does she work for? Get full names. Even get the employment license (they can send a photo of this... won't mean much, as they can fake it... but it's better than nothing). If she works for Helen Group - say 'no' immediately!

 

read your contract very carefully!!!!! If there's anything you don't understand, get it clarified IN WRITING - and IN THE CONTRACT! (if they say 'we can't alter the contract', play tough!!! They need you MUCH MUCH MUCH more than you need them! There are SO many jobs out there for good qualified teachers (assuming you are, of course!) Your little primary school in Bumfuck Nowheresville has ZERO other teachers racing to go work there....

 

BUT... you can also make connections (if you're like that). You'll probably never get into Nottingham University (if you could, you wouldn't be looking at the jobs you have), but you can move up in the world.

 

 

Also, be aware that anything that can possibly be interpreted two ways - it will ALWAYS be interpreted into THEIR favour!

 

Chinese like to be exceptionally vague in contracts... 'poor performance', 'other activities given by the manager', 'at times'.

 

EVERYTHING can be negotiated!!!

 

Overtime is calculated by the month, not by the week! (and I've never seen it be higher than base rate, and often less!)

 

Given your situation, you'll probably find that you'll have one contract with the agency, and another with the school. The agency will (should) be responsible for payment etc, and the school for your schedule and teaching.

 

You NEED to clarify payment. Firstly, understand that your pay is likely to be low - like about 5K lower than others in the same role (even in the same school). Some agents will take 50% or more of your pay (and then some!) They'll also often come up with various 'fees' and 'reimbursements' you'll need to pay - garbage, maintenance fees, admin fees, etc (Helen's is notorious for doing this!)

 

So, if your pay is substantially lower than others, and it's what you agreed to - you have NO reason to complain, cos you accepted it! Grin, bear it, and then get a new job later.

 

 

I presume you already know that they're not allowed to hold your passport or FEC (you are required to have the passport on you at all times).

 

Some agencies will say you're in place A, but they'll try to send you to B, C and D whenever they want (and then threaten you with breaking the contract - see second point above!)

 

You've been in China long enough to know that there are only 2 things that matter - money and guanxi (and those may possibly be the same thing...). Which means, when you're asked to do something outside of the contract, one of those two things is involved for the person asking... make sure you get your cut! This is especially true for private tutoring you've been asked to do by a boss person or other .. unless the parent is paying you directly, you're being underpaid. Face jobs - the same!

 

As you know, you will be lied to to your face...try getting - IN WRITING, IN THE CONTACTS - who is responsible for what.

 

Resident's/Work permit is legally required BEFORE you start working! Probation is a maximum of only 1 month....

 

 

And lots lots more......

Katet:

I know Ive already thanked you Shining, but this is such excellent advice (and yes, logical). So I must thank you again. And again. And again, and ag...

7 years 24 weeks ago
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7 years 25 weeks ago
 
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Hi Scots and Spider. Thanks for your input. A bit off topic but can I ask you anyway, why aversion to an agent? I would think there would be less chance of you being screwed over by unscrupulous employers if you have a worthy agent in your corner. I realise this might be naive thinking and I'd like to know what are the benefits of forgoing an agent?

Shining_brow:

Agents are money-hungry!!!

 

And think of it this way - if an agent gets 10,000RMB for finding a teacher, then they're better off if the teacher gets screwed over and decides to leave, so they can earn another 10K by finding a new teacher!

 

The school wants to keep the teacher, so has less incentive to have a high turnover of FTs.

 

 

Money & Guanxi are number 1... NOT reputation!!!

7 years 25 weeks ago
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7 years 25 weeks ago
 
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Thank you Shining for such exhaustive advice - really appreciate it all. Question? I dont have my FEC right now. I have my Residence Permit pasted into my passport which I hold, but other than that - nothing. Am I going to need this FEC once I resign from my current job to go elsewhere? How the hell do I get it?

dom87:

there are no good agents (literally). You are in China after all, every man for himself, huck the rest.

Second, the more parties involved in a business, the less money you earn at the end. The costs will always be put on the lowest and the smallest fry (that is you!)

7 years 25 weeks ago
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Shining_brow:

Your FEC is directly related to your employer (and province and city). Thus, when you resign, you will have your FEC cancelled.

 

This is NOT your responsibility, and you shouldn't care less about it! (the company's HR should ask you to return it... if they don't, then they're HR is crap... so, expect not to be asked!)

 

You will apply for a new FEC when you take up your new job.

 

You should also be given a new RP, as there will be different start/end dates (as well as a new employer).

 

 

IF ECC ever got its act together, we'd have stickies, and these sort of Q&A would be up front for everyone!

7 years 25 weeks ago
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Katet:

Thanks Dom, I get it now. 

 

And to you Shining for that bit o education on the FEC. 

 

Cheers you guys.

7 years 24 weeks ago
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7 years 25 weeks ago
 
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Hi Katet! Tell me please about your experience with Yucai school and Maggie! I'm now considering her offer too.

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5 years 49 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1263

Shifu

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Gentlemen, why such animosity when it comes to agents? Just out of pure curiosity. I have dealt with a few agents in the decade I have been coming here and I have only ever had one issue with them. That was the first time I came here and the agent asked for a 'finders fee' from me for getting me the job. I have never encountered anything really off. Although that may be due to my own attitude in the first place. I don't take any shit.

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5 years 49 weeks ago
 
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