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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.

2 years 45 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.

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2 years 45 weeks ago
 
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Posts: 7206

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Why use a recruiter?

 

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

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2 years 45 weeks ago
 
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I'm with Scots on this; never, ever, ever use an agent. 

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2 years 45 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......

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2 years 45 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?

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2 years 45 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?

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2 years 45 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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1 year 17 weeks ago
 
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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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1 year 17 weeks ago
 
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