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First time teaching wanting help reviewing a contract
« on: December 19, 2021, 09:57:04 pm »
I have been looking to teach in South Korea for a few months. I interviewed with a company in the Seoul area last week and they offered me a contract.
At first glance, it looks okay but I am not certain as this is my first contract. They are pretty vague on how they will support me. There is also no specific clause relating to quarantine and COVID issues. Finally, after reading some reviews, some mention the workload and hours are quite a lot for a first-time job.
Any feedback is welcome as well as things to generally look out for in contracts.

Party A = Employer
Party B = Me

CLAUSE ONE (Contract period)
1) The period of this contract will be starting from   __   and will be terminated
on   ____. (12 months) 
2) Party B must inform party A of whether to renew the contract or not three months prior to the end of the contract, and the contract may be renewed at that time by mutual agreement.
3) Party B should prepare Party A the needed documents for legal instructor registration in Korea. Party B is responsible to pay the fees that occur during the registration process.

CLAUSE TWO (Salary)
Monthly Payment of 2.1mil. won and a messing allowance of 100,000 won
1) Party A will pay a monthly salary of 2.2mil. won to Party B.
2) Party A will pay 90% from the minimum wage according to the Labor Standards Act during training period to Party B. Party B has the training period of less than two weeks.
3) With application of Korean Labor Law, Korean Income Tax and Medical Insurance, Pension will be deducted from the monthly salary. Under the Korean Labor Law. All foreign teachers working in Korea must have the pension contract.
4) Party B's salary shall be paid on the 10th each month. If this day falls on a national holiday, Saturday or Sunday, the salary will be paid on the immediately preceding business day.
5) Upon completion of the contractual period, Party B will be received the amount of one monthís salary as severance pay. If Party A and party B renew the contract, Party B will be received the severance pay at the end of the final contract, according to the Severance Pay Law (revised 2017). At that time, Party B will be received all severance pay at once at the rate of Party Bís final year salary.

CLAUSE THREE (Working hours)
1) Party B does not work more than 35 hours from Monday to Friday. Party Bís working days are approximately 20~21 days per month. Normally the class time will be 2:00-9:30 PM. (Wed. 2:00-8:30pm)
2) Classes and teaching will be scheduled in accordance with the needs of Party A.
** If we cannot do the offline teaching like the COVID-19 situation, Party B will do the online teaching.
3) The Employer may require the Employee to work teaching overtime classes in addition to normal workdays and working hours. In this case, overtime pay of 20,000 won per hour will be provided. This does not include term test paper preparation time, monthly reports preparation time, essay correction time, and time for new studentsí interview.
4) Working hour should not exceed over 7 hours a day. (Break time, preparation time for class included. 30 minutes Break time can be divided into 5 minutes or 10minutes.)

CLAUSE FOUR (Holidays)
1) Party B shall enjoy 10 days of annual paid vacation.
2) The paid vacation will be 10 days but 5 days at a time. Party Bís first usage of vacation (5 days) is possible after 3rd month from the first day of employment. The second usage of vacation (5 days) is possible after 7th month from the Employeeís first legal working day.
3) Party B may be required to obtain approval from Party A to take a 5-day paid vacation. In principle, the paid vacation will be on term vacation.
4) If Party B resigns before the contract termination, the number of vacations will be estimated due to the case below
① If Party B resigns or leaves for the reasons solely attributable to the Party B within six months from the day Party Bís contract is active, the paid vacation is not provided. If Party B already used the vacation for his/her own private matters, the days are counted and the number of days are paid back to Party A. The same applies to the second paid vacation. If the contract becomes null in the middle of the contract, Party B should pay as much as the amount of the days back to Party A.
5) If Party B does not make use of the paid vacation, Party A should pay Party B as much as the days of vacation.
6) There are no extra sick days.

CLAUSE FIVE (Airfare for a one-year contract)
Party A will pay one-way fare of total 700.000 won to Party B. Party B will be received the amount of 400.000 won when Party Bís the first payment. The rest of the amount 300.000 won in is included in the last payment of the contract.
If Party A and party B renew the contract, Party B will be received the rest of the amount 300.000 won at the end of the final contract. Party B should purchase one-way ticket from his/her country. The receipt must be provided to the employer.

CLAUSE SIX (Accommodation)
1) Party A will provide an apartment or a flat to Party B. Party A will provide a bed, a gas stove, a refrigerator, a washing machine, and an air-conditioner.
2) Party B as the tenant will be responsible for paying the bills for the gas, electricity, water, maintenance fee etc.
3) Upon the first arrival in Korea, it may be necessary for Party B to stay in a motel temporarily before his/her residence is prepared.
4) Party B is responsible for any damage of the provided residence. For any damage done, Party B is to fix the damaged product or provide fee required to prepare a substitute product to Party A.
5) In case of that Party B already has a residence in Korea, Party A will provide the accommodation fee every month with his/her salary.
The accommodation fee is 400.000 won.
The accommodation allowance will be treated as a genuine welfare; therefore, it will be not go with severance pay.
6) The accommodation is provided according to Party Bís demand; Party B canít change the accommodation arbitrarily into his/her own residence. If Party B change or find his/her own apartment arbitrarily by him/herself before the completion of the housing contract, Party B must pay for the monthly rent fee Party A provided Party B at the beginning of the contract by the end of the contract.
7) If Party B resigns before the termination of the contract, Party B is to pay 1 month rent and real estate fee (240,000 won).
8) No pets.

CLAUSE SEVEN (Party A's obligations)
1) Party A will introduce to Party B, the Party A's school policies and regulations concerning work conditions.
2) Party A will provide Party B necessary working and living conditions.
3) Party A will provide textbooks and other teaching materials.
4) Party A will help Party B as best as possible with any problems in living in Korea.

CLAUSE EIGHT (Party B's obligations)
1) Party B shall observe Party A's school policies and regulations concerning teachers and shall accept Party A's arrangement, direction, supervision, and evaluation in regard to his/her work.
2) Party B is not allowed to work for any other organization including private tutoring without party A's prior consent.
3) Korean law stipulates that no full-time instructor may work at two or more institutions at the same time. Failure to observe this regulation will result in immediate dismissal.
4) Without Party A's consent, Party B shall not render service elsewhere or hold concurrently any post unrelated to the work agreed on with Party A.
5) Party B is responsible for the implementation of the school's curriculum, grading and evaluation, and attending occasional teachers' meetings.
6) Party B must behave in a professional manner during class or when socializing with students after class.
7) Party B can be required to interview new students and evaluate their placement level.
8) In principle, copyright on all videos, textbooks, and test papers provided to Party A shall be vested in Party A. The license in this regard also belongs to Party A.
9) While Party B is away during paid vacation, Party Bís lessons will be run by different instructors. Hence Party B must prepare necessary lesson plans before the vacation. If necessary, Party B will be asked to substitute for other instructor while he/she is away for the vacation. In this case, if Party B is substituting for classes within the working hours, he/she is not paid overtime pay.
10) Party B shall not be absent without Party A's permission and at least 7-days of advance notice.
11) Party B shall not sexually harass the students in his/her care.
12) No form of physical punishment to students must be used by Party B.
13) Party B should follow Party A's teaching methodology.
14) There must not be any photographing or any form of physical harassment which does not abide by Child Abuse Law in Korea.
15) There is a dress code as a teacher. No wear shorts, a short skirt and revealing clothes.

CLAUSE NINE (Revision, cancellation of the contract)
1) Both parties should abide by the contract and must refrain from revising, canceling, or terminating the contract without mutual consent.
2) This contract may be renewed upon agreement between Party A and Party B three months prior to its termination; otherwise, this contract will be terminated.

CLAUSE TEN (Termination of the Contract)
1) Party A may terminate or cancel this contract upon occurrence of any one of the following events:
a)   If Party B violates the laws of the Republic of Korea.
b)   If Party B fails to perform or unsatisfactorily perform any of the duties stipulated in this contract
c)   If Party B fails to perform continuously his/her duties for more than three days without any excuse.
d)   If any of the information provided in Party B's application is neither true nor accurate.
e)   If it is determined that Party B is prevented from or incapable of performing his/her duties set forth in Article 2 hereof for a medical reason, whether it is a physical or psychological ailment. (If requested by Party A, Party B must be immediately available for a medical examination.)
f)   In case Party B has received more than three times of written warnings from Party A
2) In the event that this contract is terminated pursuant to the foregoing 1), discounting the days of employment, Party A shall pay Party B a prorated salary based on the number of days actually worked by Party B. In this case, Party B's visa will subsequently be cancelled. In such event, the employee shall be responsible for the return flight to his/her home country. Moreover, Party B is to fully pay back the air fare paid by Party A. Party B is responsible for the returning air fare.

CLAUSE ELEVEN (Resignation)
1) If Party B resigns before the termination of the contract, severance pay will not be provided to Party B.
2) If Party B resigns before the termination of the contract, Party B will pay utility fee and the residence fee for one month. For the case Article 6 Ė 5), the payment of residence fee does not apply.
3) If Party B resigns before the termination of the contract, Party B is to pay back 100% of the air fare fee.
4) If Party B resigns before the termination of the contract, the release letter will not be provided to Party B and Party A is not obligated to provide the release letter.

CLAUSE TWELVE (Matters not explicitly stated in the contract)
Matters not explicitly stated in the Contract shall be determined by Party A by taking Party B's concerns into consideration.

CLAUSE THIRTEEN (Indemnity)
Party B shall indemnify for and keep Employer harmless from any liability or damages arising from or in relation to any negligent, intentional, or illegal activity of Party B during the Term of Employment under this Contract.

CLAUSE FOURTEEN (Governing law and venue)
The terms of this Contract and the rights and obligations of the parties hereto shall be construed, interpreted, and determined in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Korea.


  • Kayos
  • The Legend

    • 2334

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: First time teaching wanting help reviewing a contract
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2021, 09:23:01 am »
To start off with in terms of covid quarantine. E-2 visa's, which you'll likely be on, last for 13 months, so you can come to the country early, and leave a little after your contract ends. You'll need to do 10 days quarantine on your dime.

Clause 2:
1) 2.1 is pretty low, this looks like a hagwon contract, and hagwons are known for having a very high work load, if it was public school, this would be an alright starting salary (depending on where you are from, usually low for US people, good for NZ / Aus people thanks for the exchange rates).
3) get clarification if it's the national health insurance.
5) I believe for severance they have to follow some calculation for severance, it's usually around a months pay, but can be slightly more, I'd get clarification on how they calculate it. I think the method is: your average pay over the last 90 days times the number of years worked.

Clause 3:
1) 35 hours per week - get clarification if that 35 hours is teaching hours + prep time and other duties added after. If it is teaching hours, you are going to have ****A LOT**** of work, and will likely be staying at work late / coming in really early (unpaid) to prepare and do the extra stuff, and for 2.1 it's definitely not worth it.
3) By labor law, you have to agree to any paid overtime work, make sure they add that in; also, it sounds like they will make you spend all your time teaching, and then they'll ask you to prepare / do that extra stuff in your own time.
4) I believe the 30 min break has to be a solid block of time, as they have to give you enough time to eat a meal. It sound like they will be working you so hard, you won't get enough time to eat/drink/bathroom.

Clause 4:
2) That's basically another way of saying: 5 days in the summer and winter.
4) the way it's worded it strange, vacation should be prorated if you work less than the entire contract. If you worked a full 6 months and used 5 days vacation, I don't think you legally have to pay them any money, however, if you worked less and used 5, I think they can claim some of your wages, the amount would vary, if you done 5 months, and used 5 days vacation, and they only needed to provide 4 days vacation for that time, then they can claim a days wages, and then your pay for the month should be prorated, and a days wages deducted.
5) coupled with the fact you have to request, and can be denied, PTO, its good that they will pay you for any unused vacation time, but it sounds like they want to work you as much as possible.
6) No paid sick leave - I'd hard pass the contract for this alone, 3 is pretty normal for a hagwon, and I find even that too low.

Clause 5:
700k is well below the norm. Usually 1.3mil is the norm, but this has been coming down lately, I think 1mil has become the new norm for hagwons. And I think they are required to pay the full amount up front. The fact they have it in the contract that they don't, is they likely experience people doing a midnight run frequently (quitting the job by leaving and not giving any notice to the school right after a payday).

Clause 6:
1) Based on what they provide, it sounds like your living space is going to be extremely tiny. Typically: TV, table, and chair are on the list of things they provide.
3) Who pays for this - if your apartment isn't ready by the time you are there and ready, they should foot the bill, though I'm not sure legally.
4) While normal, they could put you in an old building that is already damaged, make sure to get pictures the moment you get into the place, and the moment you leave.
5) This is a bit contested at the moment, but I think if you get the housing allowance it is taxed, so they legally have to calculate it into severance if you leave.
6) I think this clause is illegal, cause if they put you in a really run down, health hazard of an apartment, I think they have to let you find a more suitable living space (happened to me in my first year of Korea).
7) I also think this is illegal.

Clause 8:
5) I'd find out how frequently, and when, stuff like: meetings, and extra obligations happen, they can often happen on a Saturday, giving you 1 less day off per week.
9) this is the first time I've seen you have to prepare the stuff for another teacher, and also surprised that they don't pay you overtime for doing the extra classes. As you'll likely be doing classes when other teachers have classes as well. And it's very unlikely you'll get to use vacation outside of when the school goes on vacation.
10) You can't always give 7 days notice, especially if you get sick.

I'm not even going to read the rest. This entire contract screams that you'll be greatly overworked, and greatly unpaid.
And a lot of the way things are worded feels like it would be in favor of your employer if problems arose.
I would hard pass at this.

My advice is look for a public school position. My region's co-ordinator recently stated, that they are struggling to hire enough teachers for the public school positions, so it'll likely be easy to get one. With public school, you don't get much of a choice where you will end up (you can request areas, but not guaranteed to get them), but you are capped at 22 teaching hours per week, pay issues are much rarer, and a lot more vacation time and sick days.
It's rare to find a decent hagwon to work at, most tend to offer low pay / high work loads, and they like the high turn over to keep the wages down, and they've been cutting back their benefits a lot over the last 1.5 years.


  • Renma
  • Veteran

    • 129

    • September 01, 2014, 06:09:42 am
Re: First time teaching wanting help reviewing a contract
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2021, 03:23:24 pm »
This contract is wild. It's so bad lol.  Kayos summed it up well, only thing I'd add is that rent fee - 240k including maintenance fee (these are typically around 50k a month). What kind of apt in Seoul is 190k a month??

35 teaching hrs a week (7 a day) which doesn't include 'term test paper preparation time, monthly reports preparation time, essay correction time, and time for new studentsí interview'. They even tell you you wont have time for a 30 minute break. And somehow you'll have to do more (unpaid) hours anytime a coworker is on leave.

What I want to know is what do all the people posting these contract reviews end up doing? Do they take the job anyway, or accept a marginally better contract? We never hear any follow ups. I hope the reviews are helpful for others doing research at least.


Re: First time teaching wanting help reviewing a contract
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2021, 04:29:09 pm »
What I want to know is what do all the people posting these contract reviews end up doing? Do they take the job anyway, or accept a marginally better contract? We never hear any follow ups. I hope the reviews are helpful for others doing research at least.

Yeah, me too. A bit of feedback would be interesting. People should basically ignore 80% of the hagwon contracts that are being touted around. They are just so insulting. Many hagwon owners don't care if you burn-out and quit. It saves them money. They'll pay you slave wages, work you to the bone, bitch about how you teach, and then demand more.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2021, 04:50:50 pm by Kurt Sorensen »


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 4900

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: First time teaching wanting help reviewing a contract
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2021, 03:10:46 pm »
This contract is wild. It's so bad lol.  Kayos summed it up well, only thing I'd add is that rent fee - 240k including maintenance fee (these are typically around 50k a month). What kind of apt in Seoul is 190k a month??

35 teaching hrs a week (7 a day) which doesn't include 'term test paper preparation time, monthly reports preparation time, essay correction time, and time for new studentsí interview'. They even tell you you wont have time for a 30 minute break. And somehow you'll have to do more (unpaid) hours anytime a coworker is on leave.

What I want to know is what do all the people posting these contract reviews end up doing? Do they take the job anyway, or accept a marginally better contract? We never hear any follow ups. I hope the reviews are helpful for others doing research at least.

190K a month?  Either they paid a very large deposit or you are living in a real run down slum in a basement to boot. 


  • krystallos
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • October 30, 2020, 01:49:44 pm
    • Gimhae, South Korea
    more
Re: First time teaching wanting help reviewing a contract
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2021, 12:56:11 pm »
To start off with in terms of covid quarantine. E-2 visa's, which you'll likely be on, last for 13 months, so you can come to the country early, and leave a little after your contract ends. You'll need to do 10 days quarantine on your dime.

Clause 2:
1) 2.1 is pretty low, this looks like a hagwon contract, and hagwons are known for having a very high work load, if it was public school, this would be an alright starting salary (depending on where you are from, usually low for US people, good for NZ / Aus people thanks for the exchange rates).
3) get clarification if it's the national health insurance.
5) I believe for severance they have to follow some calculation for severance, it's usually around a months pay, but can be slightly more, I'd get clarification on how they calculate it. I think the method is: your average pay over the last 90 days times the number of years worked.

Clause 3:
1) 35 hours per week - get clarification if that 35 hours is teaching hours + prep time and other duties added after. If it is teaching hours, you are going to have ****A LOT**** of work, and will likely be staying at work late / coming in really early (unpaid) to prepare and do the extra stuff, and for 2.1 it's definitely not worth it.
3) By labor law, you have to agree to any paid overtime work, make sure they add that in; also, it sounds like they will make you spend all your time teaching, and then they'll ask you to prepare / do that extra stuff in your own time.
4) I believe the 30 min break has to be a solid block of time, as they have to give you enough time to eat a meal. It sound like they will be working you so hard, you won't get enough time to eat/drink/bathroom.

Clause 4:
2) That's basically another way of saying: 5 days in the summer and winter.
4) the way it's worded it strange, vacation should be prorated if you work less than the entire contract. If you worked a full 6 months and used 5 days vacation, I don't think you legally have to pay them any money, however, if you worked less and used 5, I think they can claim some of your wages, the amount would vary, if you done 5 months, and used 5 days vacation, and they only needed to provide 4 days vacation for that time, then they can claim a days wages, and then your pay for the month should be prorated, and a days wages deducted.
5) coupled with the fact you have to request, and can be denied, PTO, its good that they will pay you for any unused vacation time, but it sounds like they want to work you as much as possible.
6) No paid sick leave - I'd hard pass the contract for this alone, 3 is pretty normal for a hagwon, and I find even that too low.

Clause 5:
700k is well below the norm. Usually 1.3mil is the norm, but this has been coming down lately, I think 1mil has become the new norm for hagwons. And I think they are required to pay the full amount up front. The fact they have it in the contract that they don't, is they likely experience people doing a midnight run frequently (quitting the job by leaving and not giving any notice to the school right after a payday).

Clause 6:
1) Based on what they provide, it sounds like your living space is going to be extremely tiny. Typically: TV, table, and chair are on the list of things they provide.
3) Who pays for this - if your apartment isn't ready by the time you are there and ready, they should foot the bill, though I'm not sure legally.
4) While normal, they could put you in an old building that is already damaged, make sure to get pictures the moment you get into the place, and the moment you leave.
5) This is a bit contested at the moment, but I think if you get the housing allowance it is taxed, so they legally have to calculate it into severance if you leave.
6) I think this clause is illegal, cause if they put you in a really run down, health hazard of an apartment, I think they have to let you find a more suitable living space (happened to me in my first year of Korea).
7) I also think this is illegal.

Clause 8:
5) I'd find out how frequently, and when, stuff like: meetings, and extra obligations happen, they can often happen on a Saturday, giving you 1 less day off per week.
9) this is the first time I've seen you have to prepare the stuff for another teacher, and also surprised that they don't pay you overtime for doing the extra classes. As you'll likely be doing classes when other teachers have classes as well. And it's very unlikely you'll get to use vacation outside of when the school goes on vacation.
10) You can't always give 7 days notice, especially if you get sick.

I'm not even going to read the rest. This entire contract screams that you'll be greatly overworked, and greatly unpaid.
And a lot of the way things are worded feels like it would be in favor of your employer if problems arose.
I would hard pass at this.

My advice is look for a public school position. My region's co-ordinator recently stated, that they are struggling to hire enough teachers for the public school positions, so it'll likely be easy to get one. With public school, you don't get much of a choice where you will end up (you can request areas, but not guaranteed to get them), but you are capped at 22 teaching hours per week, pay issues are much rarer, and a lot more vacation time and sick days.
It's rare to find a decent hagwon to work at, most tend to offer low pay / high work loads, and they like the high turn over to keep the wages down, and they've been cutting back their benefits a lot over the last 1.5 years.

Don't believe the hype. Public schools are getting worse.

I've been off and on in this country for a total of 8 years mainly working in a public school under a language program.

At first my vacation was 32 days with a week increase per renewal contract, 14 days of sick leave, free lunch, and you could leave when school was let out for the day.

They asked if you wanted to renew or transfer and gave you paperwork to figure out where you would like to go which was always honored. For 5 years that remained the same.

Came back. Been in a other public school under a language program. Starting vacation was 26 days with no weekly vacation increase per renewal contract, 11 days of sick leave, no free lunch, and you having to remain at school until 4:30pm (new clause in 2021).

They naturally assume you will renew and transfer only after 3~4 years. Been in this program going on 2 years.

There wasn't any "in your face" contempt on the first run I did. Very little issues with pay and budgets. But back then, we had a foreign administrator who fought for our rights. Around the 2013-2014 mark the contempt crept in but then most of us left in 2015-2016.

Now, there is  good bit of contempt here. Our Korean counterparts do not care to watch how they communciate with us. I've been accused of drinking when I had overslept during an break in semesters as well as when I had acid reflux.

The admin department for this section of the language program I'm in has stated that since our accommodation is free and we are paid well we should accept our contracts or kick rocks in 2021 and now in 2022...

So guess what I'm going to do? Kick rocks in a shiny new job back home that pays double or one whole month's salary and half, get that employment bonus, maybe finagle them paying my rent rather than giving me tuition assistance rather than be exploited more and more in a positon that USED TO not be that way.

So no, the public school positions under a language program are becoming hagwonized and for me to even consider entertaining the thought of coming back to this lovely country again they would have to have our E2-E1 visa sponsorships under a western entity rather than  native one.

The chances of explotation are rife.
 :-[


  • Kayos
  • The Legend

    • 2334

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: First time teaching wanting help reviewing a contract
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2021, 01:30:33 pm »
Don't believe the hype. Public schools are getting worse.

I've been off and on in this country for a total of 8 years mainly working in a public school under a language program.

At first my vacation was 32 days with a week increase per renewal contract, 14 days of sick leave, free lunch, and you could leave when school was let out for the day.

They asked if you wanted to renew or transfer and gave you paperwork to figure out where you would like to go which was always honored. For 5 years that remained the same.

Came back. Been in a other public school under a language program. Starting vacation was 26 days with no weekly vacation increase per renewal contract, 11 days of sick leave, no free lunch, and you having to remain at school until 4:30pm (new clause in 2021).

They naturally assume you will renew and transfer only after 3~4 years. Been in this program going on 2 years.

There wasn't any "in your face" contempt on the first run I did. Very little issues with pay and budgets. But back then, we had a foreign administrator who fought for our rights. Around the 2013-2014 mark the contempt crept in but then most of us left in 2015-2016.

Now, there is  good bit of contempt here. Our Korean counterparts do not care to watch how they communciate with us. I've been accused of drinking when I had overslept during an break in semesters as well as when I had acid reflux.

The admin department for this section of the language program I'm in has stated that since our accommodation is free and we are paid well we should accept our contracts or kick rocks in 2021 and now in 2022...

So guess what I'm going to do? Kick rocks in a shiny new job back home that pays double or one whole month's salary and half, get that employment bonus, maybe finagle them paying my rent rather than giving me tuition assistance rather than be exploited more and more in a positon that USED TO not be that way.

So no, the public school positions under a language program are becoming hagwonized and for me to even consider entertaining the thought of coming back to this lovely country again they would have to have our E2-E1 visa sponsorships under a western entity rather than  native one.

The chances of explotation are rife.
 :-[

Sounds like issues with the language program rather than public schools.
Now we get 26 days vacation per year (still more than the 8 - 10 hagwons offer), 11 sick days (more than the 0 - 3 hagwons offer - and easier to use them in a public school), lunch I think is like $20 a month, and you can opt out of it, I either bring my own, or go home for lunch, and when I bring my own lunch, I'm usually still given some of the good bits even though I'm opted out; may not be able to leave early during the year, but that's not really a bad thing, in most jobs they don't let you leave early - I've been here since 2016 or so, and I've always had to stay the full day except when the school is in vacation mode.

Transfers are still asked where they would like to go, but a position has to be open in that location, and if too many people want to go there, there will be some who can't go there. I've also been at the same school for just over 5 years now, and my new principal asked me to renew again last month, and my renewal isn't until May.
There is often less issues with pay and stuff in a public school compared to Hagwons. As for being treated poorly or with contempt, I know this happens, but my co-workers and principals have always been lovely to me, in fact, I've found them to be really kind and accommodating to me. I know the opposite can and does happen, but it seems you're more likely to get good co-workers in a public school position compared to a hagwon. In fact, my experience with a hagwon, was even the English natives who climbed up past teacher started treating the native English teachers poorly.

I still think, a person is likely to be treated better, and have a fairer contract, in a public school vs a hagwon though.


  • krystallos
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • October 30, 2020, 01:49:44 pm
    • Gimhae, South Korea
    more
Re: First time teaching wanting help reviewing a contract
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2021, 05:13:26 pm »
Sounds like issues with the language program rather than public schools.
Now we get 26 days vacation per year (still more than the 8 - 10 hagwons offer), 11 sick days (more than the 0 - 3 hagwons offer - and easier to use them in a public school), lunch I think is like $20 a month, and you can opt out of it, I either bring my own, or go home for lunch, and when I bring my own lunch, I'm usually still given some of the good bits even though I'm opted out; may not be able to leave early during the year, but that's not really a bad thing, in most jobs they don't let you leave early - I've been here since 2016 or so, and I've always had to stay the full day except when the school is in vacation mode.

Transfers are still asked where they would like to go, but a position has to be open in that location, and if too many people want to go there, there will be some who can't go there. I've also been at the same school for just over 5 years now, and my new principal asked me to renew again last month, and my renewal isn't until May.
There is often less issues with pay and stuff in a public school compared to Hagwons. As for being treated poorly or with contempt, I know this happens, but my co-workers and principals have always been lovely to me, in fact, I've found them to be really kind and accommodating to me. I know the opposite can and does happen, but it seems you're more likely to get good co-workers in a public school position compared to a hagwon. In fact, my experience with a hagwon, was even the English natives who climbed up past teacher started treating the native English teachers poorly.

I still think, a person is likely to be treated better, and have a fairer contract, in a public school vs a hagwon though.

I'm glad you're happy with 26 days of vacation, rather than 32 days and having to pay for lunch at a public school. And I am equally happy your school doesn't have budget issues and treats you with respect.

But from where those benefits came from, how things were set up, and where the rules of engagement were it's not ideal.

No argument needs to be had there. I still have contracts from 2011-2016. I think a couple are still on one of my drives. If you ask to compare, you'll see the differences.

And that isn't to do with it being under language program or not. In actuality, most public schools are under language programs and not what you are currently under.

You are lucky and I am glad for that, but make no mistake, your situation is rare and mine quite common.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2021, 05:20:29 pm by krystallos »


Re: First time teaching wanting help reviewing a contract
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2021, 09:02:44 am »
I guess the reality of Korea is now catching up with the privileged Western Teachers as well now. Native English Teachers that were once respected guests and treated well with free lunches, plentiful vacation days, and honored renewals/ transfers, are now being seen as just another "contract worker", to be exploited and taken advantage of, especially in the Hakwon sector.


  • krystallos
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Re: First time teaching wanting help reviewing a contract
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2021, 05:11:35 pm »
I guess the reality of Korea is now catching up with the privileged Western Teachers as well now. Native English Teachers that were once respected guests and treated well with free lunches, plentiful vacation days, and honored renewals/ transfers, are now being seen as just another "contract worker", to be exploited and taken advantage of, especially in the Hakwon sector.

I dont think the word 'privileged' would fit for E2 visa holders. I think it's more like fairly-treated to mistreated. But for western F visa holders, especially if they  married a South Korean citizen meaning they didn't get their permenent visa the hard way by earning points and learning the language but regardless enables them to therefore avoid a lot of these grievances spoken about on this website by E2 visa holders, the word association is quite spot on.

I wonder why those particular privileged westerners whould ever complain about any sort of treatment within the job sector, to the point of an uprising, when they can really quit and move on to the next positon, work independently, open a language school, do something completely different in the country, etc as their visas are not bound by their employer.

Then I doubly wonder why they would complain on their used-to-be colleagues like it would earn them a goal star? They too were E2 visa holders stuck in some form of exploitation yet they complain on their used to be peers complaining about their treatment here?

Does being a married foreign person complaining about E2 visa holders matter in their position right now?

I mean if they are foreign and they have to explain foreign mistakes as they are married to a South Korean and thus are around a slew of South Koreans and feel they have to represent the entire group for their family and thus have to put on a "those damned foreigners.." stance, I can see but I don't think their family is active on social media like that and therefore would care.

Would it help them in getting a job? But that wouldn't make any sense either. They can open a Teachers Pay Teachers account, post videos on YouTube, get a Patreon, post all of that to Naver or Daum or work with K-Doc, EBS, etc..

So yeah I think you're spot on with those types of priveleged western teachers. 100% accurate.

 :smiley:
« Last Edit: December 31, 2021, 07:08:40 pm by krystallos »


Re: First time teaching wanting help reviewing a contract
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2022, 04:15:07 am »
I ended up rejecting the offer. I had similar concerns to you all and decided against them. I have another job offer in Daegu, but I am not sure if I should post it on this thread.


  • hangook77
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Re: First time teaching wanting help reviewing a contract
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2022, 07:44:47 am »
2.2 million?  Ask for 2.6 or more or walk away.  You and every new teacher are getting ripped off.  Korea's a lot more expensive than you think.