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  • matieu
  • Veteran

    • 83

    • November 01, 2010, 01:21:24 pm
    • Geoje Do
Change to EPIK contract??
« on: February 08, 2011, 09:07:12 pm »
Hi guys,

So I have an issue regarding my contract renewal. My school asked me back in November if I would be renewing my contract and I said yes, this current contract ends next month. My school had told me on many occasions that I would get a 2 week vacation at the end of my current contract and before the start of the new contract in order to go home. In fact it is stated in the 2010 contract article 10:

In the case of renewal of this Contract pursuant to the foregoing clause , the Employee shall be
given two weeks paid leave which shall take place during the last two (2) calendar weeks prior to
the end date specified under Article 5 hereof until the day immediately preceding the
commencement of the renewed term. This two-week leave will be counted as part of the contract
term, and, accordingly, salary will be paid as normal for these two weeks.

I have been asking since December for some definite dates in order that I can book flights and have always been told that I would definitely be able to go back at this time and that they would get back to me on specific dates, anyway my co teacher told me today that as of the start of this year the contract has changed and I can no longer take the additional 2 weeks in March (at the end of my contract) it has to be in August during school vacation times. I personally feel that this is unfair of them to lay this on me at such short notice, after I had been led to believe for months I could go home in April, and had been planning for and looking forward to it and had told my family I would see them at this time. I just had my winter vacation and purposefully didn't go home as I thought I'd be going back in April, had I known this previously I would have traveled back last month!

I just want to know if any one else is aware of this contractual change? Also do you feel that it is worth arguing this case? I have always had good relations with the school, but I really had my heart set on going back, I know my parents are dissapointed by this and I think the last minute change is quite unfair. I have never had to debate any contractual terms so far but if anyone has experience of this could you tell me how lenient or rigid the education board are in their bureaucracy? ie is it common to be able to argue a term and get what you want, or is the bureaucracy very rigid and therefore not worth the fight.

Any opinions and advice on this matter would be kindly appreciated.


  • GEK
  • Veteran

    • 223

    • January 20, 2011, 09:29:56 pm
    • Incheon
Re: Change to EPIK contract??
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2011, 09:14:04 pm »
Have you seen a copy of the new contract?  Is the specified 2 weeks vacation omitted?  curious.

  • matieu
  • Veteran

    • 83

    • November 01, 2010, 01:21:24 pm
    • Geoje Do
Re: Change to EPIK contract??
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2011, 09:20:38 pm »
They are going to show it to me tomorrow, all they've said so far is that it's been changed so that the additional vacation can only be taken in August/January. I understand the logic behind it in terms of not having teachers away during term time, I just disagree with them only alerting me to the change a month before I was hoping/expecting to go back for a visit.

  • Stella
  • Adventurer

    • 25

    • May 25, 2010, 05:48:16 pm
    • Korea
Re: Change to EPIK contract??
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2011, 09:29:31 pm »
The change that your co is talking  about is only for the new 2011 contracts. According to the 2010(old) contract the renewal leave should be taken the last 2 weeks before the end of the contract. you are still in your old contract and is thus entitled to your leave.

Re: Change to EPIK contract??
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2011, 10:13:17 pm »
Hello OP,

This must be your 1st year teaching.  Anyway let me get right to it.  That clause only applies to people who come before the semester begins, which is late Feb or late Aug.  I think there should be another clause in your contract that states you can only go home when school is NOT in session, meaning you can take that 2-week vacation during your winter or summer vacation.  Remember that this is Korea.  In my opinion, Koreans don't interpret or rely on contract unless it benefits them; they have it for the sake of paperwork.  I'm sorry to say, it looks like you can only visit your family in August. 

« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 10:21:55 pm by Girlygirl »

Re: Change to EPIK contract??
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2011, 10:14:08 pm »
The renewal leave is entitled but on the condition that it does not interfere with any scheduled classes.  This is old news and justified under other clauses.  Simply if you started on the first day of school, and renew, you won't be able to take the 2 weeks break until the next vacation period.  There are some things that are omitted from contracts in jurisdictions where that term is implied.  In Korea it is implied and accepted to be so that a teacher should not take a leave of absence from the scheduled classes.

Re: Change to EPIK contract??
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2011, 11:02:42 pm »
And remember, the English part of your contract is not binding... its the Korean part

  • malfsu1
  • Waygookin

    • 13

    • September 09, 2010, 02:55:58 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Change to EPIK contract??
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2011, 07:28:31 am »
I know it's little notice, but why can't you take the two weeks from February 13th-27th....the kids aren't in school, and it's usually when renewing teachers go home.  I don't understand the problem here, unless you work at a hagwon?? Do they expect you to go into school while the kids aren't there for those two weeks, because that's really crappy.  If you're contract ends with this school year than you are legally allowed to take the two weeks before the new school year to go home...according to what your contract states.  Your new contract only applies to next year if you want to renew, they have to honor this years contract.

  • 7Suarez7
  • Adventurer

    • 53

    • November 01, 2010, 12:45:06 pm
    • korea
Re: Change to EPIK contract??
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2011, 07:42:30 am »
ShelleyDee is right i'm afraid, it's the korean part of your contract which is binding, the English part is just for your translation. Best bet is to talk 'very nicely' to your school and hope they change their mind.

  • Eros
  • Super Waygook

    • 380

    • September 01, 2010, 02:43:24 pm
    • Korea
Re: Change to EPIK contract??
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2011, 07:45:28 am »
Somebody mentioned it earlier but just to reiterate, unless you signed a subsequent contract it is the original contract that is binding. The contents of later contracts are of no consequence because you have not entered into such a contract. What is binding is the contract that both parties signed. Therefore you are entitled to your leave.

Just imagine the situation if once a contract was signed, any party could just change it without the other parties consent!?

If you signed a subsequent contract, it should give dates when it is in effect from and to. Therefore it should avoid any conflict with your former contract. I.e original contract runs to end of Feb and then new contract takes effect from then to a year later.

That being said, I learned that contracts aren't worth the paper they're written on. It seems the powers that be refer to it as binding when it suits them but when it does not they turn a blind eye to it.

  • addiee12
  • Explorer

    • 9

    • April 20, 2010, 11:56:34 am
    • Jeju, south korea
Re: Change to EPIK contract??
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2011, 09:14:24 am »
I agree with Eros.  You are absolutely entitled to go home at the end of your contract and I know this, because I was in the same position as you last year.  I came to Korea to fill in for someone who abruptly left their position, so my contract started on April 21st.  It is not your fault that your contract is not insync with other teachers.  The 2011 contract does not apply to you, only your current one.  Your current contract actually expressly states that you are to take your two weeks vacation two weeks before your new contract ends and at no other time.  Your school seems to be taking the line of argument that you should "follow your contract," but they are choosing the 2011 contract that doesn't apply to you.  So tell them, that you are do not want to breach your contract and want to follow exactly what it says and if they say otherwise, remind them that they are then in breach of your contract. 

Last year, I was told on Feb. 15th that I should be taking my vacation and by that time it was too late and two expensive to get a plane ticket home.  You have to fight for what is in your contract and do not stand down.  They will be sour about it at first, but will get over it.  You  have a co-teacher anyhow, so your co-teacher will continue to teach the classes like they always do.  Try to minimize the classtime you miss and to make them feel better, offer to take on more classes in one week to make up for the ones you miss or do to after-school classes.  Assert that you will not wait for 1 1/2 years to go home and see your family.  My school also tried me to wait until August too.  So, I went above them and spoke to the head of the POE.  Although Koreans are cavalier about contracts, a contract is binding.  When your contract says that you can take your vacation if it does not disrupt typical classtime, that only applies to your 18 calendar days of "vacation," not your "leave" to go home.  That is in a seperate clause and the most glaring thing about your 2 weeks leave is the contract, I'll say it again, explicitly states it must be within the two weeks before the close of your contract.  Go to whomever you have to and work out a schedule with your school for the time you'll miss.  FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS! haha

  • tu2
  • Newgookin

    • 1

    • December 01, 2010, 12:33:50 pm
    • Sangju
Re: Change to EPIK contract??
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2011, 09:54:55 am »
Unfortunately...Giv ing notice is a foreign concept here. My Winter vac was chaged on a Friday to start a week later, when it was was supposed to start that Monday...and there was nothing I could's what the school wants. If you notice, whatever the contract states, what follows is..."if it's ok with your school."I know your grievance is purely the lack of notification...but that's how things work around here  :(

Re: Change to EPIK contract??
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2011, 10:26:35 am »
You all seem to be missing the basic point that the entitlement is only just when it does not conflict with a working schedule.

There has been no change, there is no reason to argue or be upset.  It is clearly stated as so.