I'm aiming this mainly at teachers who have worked somewhere for at least a year, and either recruit or have the ear of a higher-up.
Nobody says you can change the world in Thailand, but it's very possible to chip away at some of the more unfair elements you find in contracts here.
Since I've been at my school, we've had the pay increased for all by a(not really) earth shattering 5k to 30k...still peanuts, but there's still room for more.
We've finally got that 11 month contract increased to 12...no sign of the bonus yet though....next project.
We've also managed to negotiate that 12th month as paid holiday...the threat to give us summer classes has vanished once the thai teachers worked out that it would eat into their holiday....serious result to the unpaid poverty of the last 3 years.
What you need to do is to keep dropping polite hints, mention what other school's give their teachers, paywise, and otherwise contractually. Casually mention that you were invited to work there. Recruiters can complain of the difficulties of attracting new teachers and can point at other higher local salaries. If you're valued enough this should work.
Keep pushing for more tiny bit by tiny bit, never demand, just suggest, make the HOD think it's her idea.
You can't change the world but you can make it better for you and your colleagues.
LDMA - Ajarn Forum Admin
Don't get me wrong - I don't want a 'serious' board but I'd like posts to be either genuinely amusing, informative and/ or thought provoking.
Ian McNamara - July 2000
A clash with the management will not serve the purpose of your inner peace and therefore will deprive you from happiness. Director of PAIS 2009
Only the bad person say the bad thing about the good thing.
Anon. Thai DOS
Last year I negotiated hard and got a good pay rise,a guarantee of a 4% rise every 6 months, a bonus as well.
I already have a 12 month contract with 30 days holidays and 20 business days as well. As I have been here a while now I also get to take a few more days here and there if needs be - such as an extra week to go home and a month of in march to study a CELTA.
This is all very well for those who have some compelling reason for wishing to remain in Thailand, and who are prepared to put up with low salaries and few other benefits in order to live there. It is not, however, a blue print for attracting, and more importantly retaining, the qualified and experienced staff (both Thai and expat) which the education system so desperately needs, if the country is to have any hope of development and adapting to the realities of the 21st century. This constant desire to hire human "software" on the cheap and then work them like coolies for the privilege, is one of the major causes of the malaise which afflicts Thai education as a whole.
good for you louie ! :smile: and get advice! (the thai way, really - subtle!)
unfortunately at my school the board now has a thai guy in charge ( who smokes a big cigar - i cannot help but think of a little man trying to compensate!)
he and the board have managed to erode many of our conditions - this year we only get a paltry 2% increase on our salaries! :sad:
we had it good for awhile so i think the pendulum is swinging the other way!
mai pen rai - has you and many other posters have said - if u dont like it ... move on!
When negotiating with Thais, don't be a dick, but don't grovel, either. If you act inferior, or diffident, or desparate, they will treat you like shit. You must be willing to leave your job or they basically got you. None of this "hinting" bullshit. They need to be told plainly, but without hostility, what it is you want. Make it clear to them that you can easily go elsewhere and be prepared to move. I keep it positive, upbeat but I speak plainly and clearly.
"Goddamn it Lord, bless oh ye this bacon..."
George Liquor American
Well, from what I hear, at my school, they don't give any raise to stay on another year. No incentive to keep a teacher, I suppose. Never mind, great school that it is, I am moving on at the end of the school year.
For some schools, Whitey that's just what they want you to do...usually the cocky ones who think they've got recruiting all figured out.