Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Contract Issue

Scott, one of the other foreign teachers at work, recently signed a contract for another year. This means he was in line for the "contract completion bonus". It's standard policy for schools to give the foreign teachers a sizeable sum at the end of each yearly contract. Well, it appears that there is some fine print in our contracts that states you have to teach for 900 hours during the contract period to get the bonus. Scott's total teaching hours came to 854, he did not get the bonus. He was not happy to get this news. He was in the process of getting a new apartment and using the bonus cash to make it happen.

I am not certain what my total hours are. I am going to make a trip to the head offices this week to find out. It ain't gonna be pretty if they tell me I don't have enough hours to receive the bonus. As most of you know, I am not passive aggressive. I will not go lightly.

What happened to Scott is just not cool. He is a good teacher and really needs that cash.

What irks me most about this situation is that we are full-time employees. None of us has ever asked for a reduction in hours. We all assumed that we were on track for the 900. It almost feels like a fix. It's as if they may be making a concerted effort to be sure we don't reach that plateau and cash in. It's a substantial amount of money, about a third of a month's pay.

I have done some figuring with the paperwork I have. According to my calculations, I should get the bonus as long as I have a normal month in September. I was mentioning this to my boss and she said that my contract with the school is different than the one the government has. She said that the school's contract started a month prior to the governments and therefore the contract that counts started in August. Well, that's not a good thing. I spent the entire month of August training and observing classes. I didn't teach at all in August. If they insist on counting August, I may be out of luck. Again, this feels like collusion on the part of my boss and the corporate folks.

To me, this is bad business. Why would you screw with the folks that pay your bills? Without good foreign teachers, a school is bound to fail. I certainly don't want this to taint my 2nd year as a teacher.

Needless to say, I am gonna raise heck if this deal turns sour.

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