- 6 years ago
- Wedding: August 2013
I’m an ESL teacher in South Korea. This country is known for doing things “last minute” but this is too much to bear.
I’ve been teaching in a (single) public school for nearly a year, and a few weeks ago, I was asked to sign a form stating my intent for the next year — I asked to re-sign with the same school. I was informed by the district last week that my form was approved, and I would have another year of the same.
The contract signing ceremony is this Friday.
There are two NETs (native english teacher) at my school – myself and another girl my age we’ll call R. R and I get along well but aren’t really close. Most schools only have one, it’s nice to have someone to talk to when everyone else is talking in Korean at work events and such.
She also was approved to re-sign for another year of the same, and both of us got a pretty awful email two days ago — Friday, at 5:10 PM.
It said that due to budget cuts, the allowance of native teachers at our school was cut from 2 to “1.5” meaning that one of us would have to do part time work at another school in addition to our current workload. The other school is NOWHERE NEAR either of our homes, and is easily a 40 minute bus ride away from the school and our apartments, minimum. Whoever does it will have to do it 2-3 days a week and neither of us are willing. Here’s what’s unprofessional about this email:
-They then go on to say “we’d like if you decided amongst yourselves.” Meaning we fight over who has to have a crappy year they didn’t sign up for. No mediation, no discussion with anyone official, just “fight to the death, winner doesn’t have to deal with this.” (In my strongly worded email back to them I called it hunger-games-esque.)
-They offer a “compensation” for the “inconvenience” that is insultingly small and mostly eaten up by transportation fees.
-When did they decide this policy? Did they only decide it on Friday at 5:10PM, when it’s too late to ask any questions before the weekend? Or did they decide it earlier and just email us so late so we couldn’t pester them about it?
-Wouldn’t the organized, professional thing to do have been to INFORM us BEFORE we agreed to work at the same school for another year, in case that changed our decision? R has even said she would have asked to transfer to another school if she had known and regrets re-signing now.
It’s not as easy as finding another job, as working at a private academy is the only other option and it woul take a few months minimum of no pay to find that job, and a lot of money spent in getting documents and visa changes and such.
I sent them a very upset email saying that it was an unfair thing to ask of us, and they should offer R a transfer or increase the compensation to a fair amount. I don’t expect them to oblige but I found it impossible to stay quiet about how I felt about this and just accept what I consider unreasonable terms. (Nobody ever got anything by not asking…)
I guess I just wanted to vent but if anyone has any input/ideas that’s fine too. (Everything they’re doing is legal, just jerkish.)