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  • stewacide
  • Waygookin

    • 17

    • July 26, 2012, 04:38:05 pm
    • Cheongju
how usual are 'variable' wages?
« on: July 03, 2015, 09:39:06 am »
I've taught in Korea two years before, and have always had a fixed wage.

This time around I have an offer that works like this:

- 2.1m 'base pay' 30 hours
- bonus for marking essays which they say will add up to 200-300k a month
- they will subtract 20k per hour under 30 hours during middle school exam periods

This seems crazy to me, but maybe something like this is more common than I think? Otherwise the school is what I'm looking for. I doubt it would amount to much difference in the end (vs. just taking a job that pays ~2.3 strait-up) but seems like a lot of unnecessary uncertainty.


  • jamonamagnet
  • Expert Waygook

    • 610

    • April 01, 2015, 10:09:26 am
    more
Re: how usual are 'variable' wages?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2015, 10:03:37 am »
Sounds like a scam.  I hope the actual contract is more detailed and that you are just paraphrasing.

Your 2.1m base pay is not guaranteed if it can be reduced during exam periods (are those dates specified in the contract?).  What happens if you get no classes for a week?  That's -600k.

Your 200k-300k is also a bit vague.  How long will it take you to mark essays?  So, how much is that per hour?  Also, if you get no marking you get no bonus.  Is it guaranteed that they will give you marking?  If they give you too much marking per month the extra pay might not be worth it.

Basically, this is weaselly wording that will allow them to fiddle with your pay and justify their actions.


  • stewacide
  • Waygookin

    • 17

    • July 26, 2012, 04:38:05 pm
    • Cheongju
Re: how usual are 'variable' wages?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2015, 10:18:31 am »
The job seemed good until I saw the sample contract they sent me (that someone had just signed apparently). It's a YES Youngdo franchise and the grading bonus is apparently standard with them as stated here:  https://www.yesenglish.com/yesyoungdo/english/jobs/salary.jsp

But I'm much less concerned with that then the non-guaranteed hours/pay. I told them and the recruiter that it sounded ridiculous and told them they'd have to guarantee salary and/or hours but they played it off as not unusual which is why I'm asking here.

I noticed a few other nuggets in the contract like 2-hours prep before first class (again, is this usual? because it seems excessive to me) and "required" overtime (with no limit), although they said they'd modify those parts. Talking to the 'foreign head teacher' for the interview it sounded like a pretty chill gig and it's a pretty big school (~7 foreign teacher they say).

Maybe I've been spoiled up 'till now.


  • jamonamagnet
  • Expert Waygook

    • 610

    • April 01, 2015, 10:09:26 am
    more
Re: how usual are 'variable' wages?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2015, 10:29:45 am »
I noticed a few other nuggets in the contract like 2-hours prep before first class (again, is this usual? because it seems excessive to me) and "required" overtime (with no limit), although they said they'd modify those parts.
This is another thing that crops up.  Start time is X, finish time is Y, so that's what your salary covers.  However, you have to be there 30mins, 1 hour, 2 hours before X for "prep", and maybe an hour or more after Y for marking/tidying up/whatever, so that reduces your effective hourly rate.

I have only worked at public school, which is essentially fixed hours and fixed pay (and no messing about).  I would be wary of a placement that is not basically that.

Oh, are they paying healthcare and pension?


  • stewacide
  • Waygookin

    • 17

    • July 26, 2012, 04:38:05 pm
    • Cheongju
Re: how usual are 'variable' wages?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2015, 10:38:45 am »
Yes they pay pension, healthcare (although I've opted out at past jobs to save the cash on my end), and airfare both ways. I've worked at hagwons before, but I really only have my experience to gauge by (where ~7 hours in-and-out was usual). A lot of jobs seem to advertize with ~8 hours working days, but I'm not sure if they actually demand that?


Re: how usual are 'variable' wages?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2015, 11:00:49 am »
If they say they will subtract from your base salary for teaching less than 30 hours a week then that sounds like maybe you could find a better place to work at.


Re: how usual are 'variable' wages?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2015, 01:47:35 pm »
If they only want to pay you for hours you work, then they should pay you an hourly wage.

Also I'd omit the school name from the post. The defamation laws are a bit troublesome.


  • donuts81
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1364

    • October 20, 2010, 10:23:37 am
    • Korea
Re: how usual are 'variable' wages?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2015, 04:52:10 pm »
I've heard of this before but never taken a job like that. Sounds dodgy to me and anytime I've been at an academy when classes were cancelled I still got payed in full.

If you're happy though..

Twice a year you are going to have your salary reduced. You need to find out by how much and  can you leave to go home if you aren't teaching.
"You can't hurt me now, Mr Lee. I've lost all feeling"