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Background (EPIK, elementary):

I teach eight afterschool classes a week (50 minutes each) and have 21 regular classes. At the beginning of this year, I was told I have to pay 5% of my overtime back to the school, but that I would be paid at a higher rate than my contract stated, at 37,500 per extra hour. I confirmed this with my coteacher and the head of the afterschool division.

Since the first pay period, I was paid significantly less than what I was owed, but since I am so rarely paid on time and in full for these classes, I decided to accept what I was being paid in exchange for not having the fifth conversation of 2015 about these classes.

Last week, my head coteacher informed me that I had been overpaid by one hour and would have to pay back the "extra" money. When I showed her the document stating my pay rate and the bank book with statements that didn't match, she told me that 37,500 was what I was being paid per day for those two, extended classes.

She told me that the school would "make a document" (ugh, that phrase) and withdraw my money themselves. Just now, she informed me of the total (it's not very much, a little more than 150 thousand) and asked me to pay cash. Tomorrow.

I wanted to make a bank transfer, but she disagreed.

I have fought the 5% bullshit and the lack of compensation for the class extension to the point where I can fight it no longer, but I feel that this is their error and they want the money back without leaving a trail of their stupid mistake. It's a specific sum of money down to the penny, so I don't think they're trying to shake me down for more money than they already steal, but I am not happy with the idea of paying cash.

They also told me that my coteacher for those classes (who made the intial error) has to pay "so much more" money that she's not going to pay them back now. When I pointed out that she has 20 hours of regular classes, as opposed to my 21, and that her payment should therefore be double mine, my coteacher just went, "Oh, no, it's much more and she can't pay back." Said afterschool coteacher (who is responsible for this mistake) lives with her parents and I know for a fact that she has no expenses other than entertainment, shopping, and similar, so I really doubt she doesn't have 300k lying around.

Does anyone have any insight? They want the money tomorrow. I am so fed up with this bull, but I feel like I have pushed back so hard that I can't push anymore.


Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 03:11:55 pm »
your school sounds legit crazy, I would honestly contact your local office of education and tell them about the problems that you've been having and the fact that you're OWED money.  See what they say.


  • krissyboo75
  • Expert Waygook

    • 638

    • September 27, 2011, 01:01:39 pm
    • Gyeongsanbuk-do, South Korea
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Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 03:16:18 pm »
Background (EPIK, elementary):

I teach eight afterschool classes a week (50 minutes each) and have 21 regular classes. At the beginning of this year, I was told I have to pay 5% of my overtime back to the school, but that I would be paid at a higher rate than my contract stated, at 37,500 per extra hour. I confirmed this with my coteacher and the head of the afterschool division.

Since the first pay period, I was paid significantly less than what I was owed, but since I am so rarely paid on time and in full for these classes, I decided to accept what I was being paid in exchange for not having the fifth conversation of 2015 about these classes.

Last week, my head coteacher informed me that I had been overpaid by one hour and would have to pay back the "extra" money. When I showed her the document stating my pay rate and the bank book with statements that didn't match, she told me that 37,500 was what I was being paid per day for those two, extended classes.

She told me that the school would "make a document" (ugh, that phrase) and withdraw my money themselves. Just now, she informed me of the total (it's not very much, a little more than 150 thousand) and asked me to pay cash. Tomorrow.

I wanted to make a bank transfer, but she disagreed.

I have fought the 5% bullshit and the lack of compensation for the class extension to the point where I can fight it no longer, but I feel that this is their error and they want the money back without leaving a trail of their stupid mistake. It's a specific sum of money down to the penny, so I don't think they're trying to shake me down for more money than they already steal, but I am not happy with the idea of paying cash.

They also told me that my coteacher for those classes (who made the intial error) has to pay "so much more" money that she's not going to pay them back now. When I pointed out that she has 20 hours of regular classes, as opposed to my 21, and that her payment should therefore be double mine, my coteacher just went, "Oh, no, it's much more and she can't pay back." Said afterschool coteacher (who is responsible for this mistake) lives with her parents and I know for a fact that she has no expenses other than entertainment, shopping, and similar, so I really doubt she doesn't have 300k lying around.

Does anyone have any insight? They want the money tomorrow. I am so fed up with this bull, but I feel like I have pushed back so hard that I can't push anymore.

I don't know your POE but I live in Gyeongbuk province and my contract says under Article 7 "Employee's class instruction hours per week shall not exceed twenty-two (22) hours. If, however, the Employee's actual weekly class instruction hours exceed twenty-two (22) hours due to supplementary class instruction, the Employee shall be entitled to supplementary class instruction pay of 25,000 won per hour.

Perhaps your overtime pay is more. Regardless it is not per day that you should be paid overtime its per class. So if your class hours are meant to be 22, then 7 of them should be paid overtime, so you should be getting paid much more than 37,500 a day for those classes.  If you aren't I would go to the education office about it if they aren't willing to change it and do it right.


  • Timo
  • Super Waygook

    • 392

    • May 21, 2015, 02:47:36 pm
Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2015, 03:17:21 pm »
Sorry to hear this.

It really depends on your relationship and level of figs given at this stage. I recall that you're leaving Korea this year (think it was you?), so if you're not scared of burning the bridge:

Speak to POE/MOE. Tell them about the situation. Say you have no money, etc. Worst case, they'll suggest it comes out of your next pay and they'll look stupid. Best case, they'll argue your case and you'll end up getting paid correctly. 150,000 isn't a small amount of money at the end of the day.

You probably know your co-ordinators and staff pretty well, so I'd go with your gut - I know that my Gyopo guy in the education office really fights for the native teacher when push comes to shove, so I'd definitely have no hesitation in taking this to him.


Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2015, 03:17:44 pm »
I have complained about this to the MOE before and gotten "budget, please understand" as a response. Even when I proved, by showing them editing screenshots from facebook, that other NETs in my city don't do it, they just told me "the law has changed."

I have a friend who is a lawyer and works at the MOE, and I know I could run it by him, but I'm hesitant to make things uglier than they already are. I am basically at war with the idiot coteacher who made the initial error (not from this, she said some very ugly and abusive things towards me when I refused to make a fifth PPT for one class at 4:30 PM...no, I am not exaggerating) and the whole debacle has caused bigger ripples than I wanted. Not to mention, I cannot prove that I was told this rate because I was never given anything to sign and the discussion happened verbally.


Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2015, 03:19:58 pm »
Background (EPIK, elementary):

I teach eight afterschool classes a week (50 minutes each) and have 21 regular classes. At the beginning of this year, I was told I have to pay 5% of my overtime back to the school, but that I would be paid at a higher rate than my contract stated, at 37,500 per extra hour. I confirmed this with my coteacher and the head of the afterschool division.

Since the first pay period, I was paid significantly less than what I was owed, but since I am so rarely paid on time and in full for these classes, I decided to accept what I was being paid in exchange for not having the fifth conversation of 2015 about these classes.

Last week, my head coteacher informed me that I had been overpaid by one hour and would have to pay back the "extra" money. When I showed her the document stating my pay rate and the bank book with statements that didn't match, she told me that 37,500 was what I was being paid per day for those two, extended classes.

She told me that the school would "make a document" (ugh, that phrase) and withdraw my money themselves. Just now, she informed me of the total (it's not very much, a little more than 150 thousand) and asked me to pay cash. Tomorrow.

I wanted to make a bank transfer, but she disagreed.

I have fought the 5% bullshit and the lack of compensation for the class extension to the point where I can fight it no longer, but I feel that this is their error and they want the money back without leaving a trail of their stupid mistake. It's a specific sum of money down to the penny, so I don't think they're trying to shake me down for more money than they already steal, but I am not happy with the idea of paying cash.

They also told me that my coteacher for those classes (who made the intial error) has to pay "so much more" money that she's not going to pay them back now. When I pointed out that she has 20 hours of regular classes, as opposed to my 21, and that her payment should therefore be double mine, my coteacher just went, "Oh, no, it's much more and she can't pay back." Said afterschool coteacher (who is responsible for this mistake) lives with her parents and I know for a fact that she has no expenses other than entertainment, shopping, and similar, so I really doubt she doesn't have 300k lying around.

Does anyone have any insight? They want the money tomorrow. I am so fed up with this bull, but I feel like I have pushed back so hard that I can't push anymore.

I don't know your POE but I live in Gyeongbuk province and my contract says under Article 7 "Employee's class instruction hours per week shall not exceed twenty-two (22) hours. If, however, the Employee's actual weekly class instruction hours exceed twenty-two (22) hours due to supplementary class instruction, the Employee shall be entitled to supplementary class instruction pay of 25,000 won per hour.

Perhaps your overtime pay is more. Regardless it is not per day that you should be paid overtime its per class. So if your class hours are meant to be 22, then 7 of them should be paid overtime, so you should be getting paid much more than 37,500 a day for those classes.  If you aren't I would go to the education office about it if they aren't willing to change it and do it right.

Mine is 20,000 per hour for overtime.  -_-

Sorry to hear this.

It really depends on your relationship and level of figs given at this stage. I recall that you're leaving Korea this year (think it was you?), so if you're not scared of burning the bridge:

Speak to POE/MOE. Tell them about the situation. Say you have no money, etc. Worst case, they'll suggest it comes out of your next pay and they'll look stupid. Best case, they'll argue your case and you'll end up getting paid correctly. 150,000 isn't a small amount of money at the end of the day.

You probably know your co-ordinators and staff pretty well, so I'd go with your gut - I know that my Gyopo guy in the education office really fights for the native teacher when push comes to shove, so I'd definitely have no hesitation in taking this to him.

You know last day of training, when you go into a room and sign the contract and find out where your schools are? We met our coordinator that day. He said not to contact him for any reason. Hell, I know a guy here whose coteacher was stalking and sexually harassing him- she followed him and his wife ON VACATION- and the MOE was just like "lol u r adults fix ur own shit." Useless.


  • nomadicmadda
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1585

    • July 01, 2014, 06:49:40 am
    • Seoul, formerly Boseong
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Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2015, 03:22:50 pm »
I don't know your POE but I live in Gyeongbuk province and my contract says under Article 7 "Employee's class instruction hours per week shall not exceed twenty-two (22) hours. If, however, the Employee's actual weekly class instruction hours exceed twenty-two (22) hours due to supplementary class instruction, the Employee shall be entitled to supplementary class instruction pay of 25,000 won per hour.
If her classes are being conducted after 5PM, even if she has only 21 hours during the regular 9-5 work day, the after school classes would still be considered overtime.

OP I agree you should contact your POE/MOE and go from there.  I respect that a lot of transactions are done in cash and bound by word alone, but that always just feels wrong and shady to me.  Leave a paper trail; the schools have more defenses than we do, and the mistake that was made on their part doesn't sound like a huge one anyway.


Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2015, 03:27:08 pm »
I don't know your POE but I live in Gyeongbuk province and my contract says under Article 7 "Employee's class instruction hours per week shall not exceed twenty-two (22) hours. If, however, the Employee's actual weekly class instruction hours exceed twenty-two (22) hours due to supplementary class instruction, the Employee shall be entitled to supplementary class instruction pay of 25,000 won per hour.
If her classes are being conducted after 5PM, even if she has only 21 hours during the regular 9-5 work day, the after school classes would still be considered overtime.

OP I agree you should contact your POE/MOE and go from there.  I respect that a lot of transactions are done in cash and bound by word alone, but that always just feels wrong and shady to me.  Leave a paper trail; the schools have more defenses than we do, and the mistake that was made on their part doesn't sound like a huge one anyway.

Yeah, I'm kind of feeling like it's not enough to raise hell over. They initially told me it would be about a million won and I quite rudely just burst out laughing in my head coteacher's face as a response...I'm honestly sure that she has done some wheeling and dealing on my part, so again, I don't know if I should blow it up and make things worse. I have two months left and I want things as peaceful as possible...I've cried enough over my school. I'm ready to be done.


  • aemann
  • Veteran

    • 75

    • March 01, 2011, 05:41:52 pm
    • Busan
Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2015, 03:27:42 pm »
If you don't want to deal with fighting about having to give them money: Wire transfer the money to them. When they get upset, ask for them to pay you back that money in cash. Hand back said cash to them.


  • nomadicmadda
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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    • Seoul, formerly Boseong
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Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2015, 03:36:21 pm »
If you don't want to deal with fighting about having to give them money: Wire transfer the money to them. When they get upset, ask for them to pay you back that money in cash. Hand back said cash to them.

:laugh:       :laugh:       :laugh:       :laugh:       :laugh:       :laugh:      :laugh:       :laugh:       :laugh:       :laugh:       :laugh:       :laugh:     


Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2015, 04:03:36 pm »
That's ridiculous!

I teach at a private high school through EPIK, and last semester I taught 1 evening class (7:20-9:20 pm) for 40,000 won an hour for two hours every Monday. This semester the head teacher wanted to confirm my pay rate with our POE. The normal woman who handles the EPIK program is on maternity leave, and her temp informed my school that I could not be paid more than 4,000 won an hour (the "required to be at school above 40 hours but not teaching" pay rate). Both my co-teacher and I flipped out.

The POE finally agreed my school could pay me what they wanted, but ultimately the class this semester never came to fruition. The school announced my class on a Friday, and the deadline was the following day to sign up. Balls. I really enjoyed that additional 800,000 won to teach my favorite subject, writing, last semester.

It shucks to be shafted when you're already going above and beyond your contract.... Maybe tell them you've sent all your money to your home country for the month?


  • Timo
  • Super Waygook

    • 392

    • May 21, 2015, 02:47:36 pm
Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2015, 04:13:36 pm »
I lol'ed at " don't contact me ever". If you know this lawyer type guy at the POE/MOE, you could contact him on a "don't do anything official, but what should I do?" kinda basis?

Best of luck anyway. 2 months left, I'd be fighting this rather than laying down. Other than a letter of recommendation (which they have no right to withhold) you've got nothing to lose pretty much.

FIGHTING!


  • Fanwarrior
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1081

    • June 06, 2011, 09:19:35 pm
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2015, 04:21:18 pm »
If you are at work. You are working. People need to realize that just because you're in your office, doesn't mean you're not working. If your school requires you be there from 8:30-5:00 you work 9.5 hours a day. You might only have 4 or 5 classes or whatever during the day, but they can't pay you different rates because you're at your desk vs teaching kids.

I always get a kick out of these tools on the facebook sub teacher group:

"So you're offering 10,000 won per hour for your sub? Which you need tomorrow? In the middle of nowhere?"
"No no, I know you have to be there for 12 hours, but there is only like 3 classes, so it's actually 40,000 won per hour"
"so I can do what I want and go where I want between classes?"
"No you have to be in the office..."
"So then I'm working"
"No, you aren't teaching"
 :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

4,000 won per hour is less than minimum wage and the person was either mistaken or an idiot.

OP your school is trying to pull a fast one.

Go to the labour board, contact the POE and sit back and watch the fireworks before you leave.




  • smackle3
  • Adventurer

    • 47

    • October 23, 2013, 02:41:32 pm
    • Incheon
Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2015, 09:10:19 am »
I know keeping the peace is important but gosh darn it! you've worked hard for that money. You should get paid what you're owed/have earned.


  • jamonamagnet
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    • April 01, 2015, 10:09:26 am
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Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2015, 11:19:00 am »
Ask them for a statement which clearly shows you have been overpaid.

I don't see how you can get this, as I don't think you or the school have been keeping accurate records.

In my contract, if I teach over 22 hours during my regular hours (08:30 to 16:30) then I will get 20,000 won per hour.  "hour" and "class" are used interchangeably of course.

If I teach anything outside of my regular hours then I get some amount per hour, but the figure is not noted in my contract.  I'd expect this to be at least 20,000 won, but probably more.  I can choose not to do this, so I can reject a low figure.  This is also independent of the 22 hours per week figure.

If I am required to be "at work" outside of my regular hours but not teaching then I get "supplementary overtime pay", which is also not specified as a figure, but I expect it's not very much.

So, you need to have a record of what classes you taught, whether they were during normal work hours or not, and how many regular classes you had that week.  Then you can calculate what you are due to be paid.  Every month, you can get a payslip which tells you what you were actually paid, which should match what you expect.  Sometimes the school will pay supplementary pay separately, which makes it much clearer.

I don't understand the repayment of 5%, unless they are money-laundering.  They should simply pay you 5% less, or just tell you the per-hour figure.


  • nimrand
  • Super Waygook

    • 489

    • April 07, 2013, 07:40:28 am
    • Lawrence, KS
Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2015, 11:33:11 am »
So, you have some undocumented, spoken deal with them about your compensation for afterschool classes.  They're paying you less than you think they agreed to, and now they're telling you that you owe them money.  Not only that, but they don't seem to have any idea how much you owe (going from a million to 150,000 won, really?).  This reaks of sloppiness.  For all you know, they're just making stuff up to see how much they can get from you.

Compensation for contracted work shouldn't be a negotiation after the fact.  There is exactly one amount of money that is owed for the work you have performed.  If they have paid more than that, you owe them back money.  If less, they owe you more money.  Since the only documented agreement you have with them is your contract, I'd go back to that and figure out what you should be getting paid for that overtime work.  If they are paying you LESS than that, I'd force the issue and definately not pay them back any money.  If you're getting more than that, even after paying back the 150k won, I'd pay it back and be done with it (but leave a paper trail).

Quote
I don't understand the repayment of 5%, unless they are money-laundering.  They should simply pay you 5% less, or just tell you the per-hour figure.

Dido.  Paying you and then forcing you to pay it back makes no sense.  Someone is doing some creative book-keeping.  They might not be laundering per-se.  They might just be trying to recoup their budgetary shortfall while making it look like their fulfilling their contractual obligations.  Someone also might be outright stealing money.  Either way, this isn't legit accounting practice, and the fact they want you to pay it back in cash smells like shit.


  • tamjen
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1180

    • June 19, 2013, 08:08:14 am
Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2015, 08:56:36 am »
I wrote a post here recently about how my school tried to dick me around for money.

Basically:
a) My area was declared non-rural in Feb. 2013. The PoE no longer gave the schools the 100K/month rural allowance for FT's

b) My school paid me the 100K/month rural allowance for 2 complete contracts

c) March 2015, my school tells me I owe them 2.4 million Won for 24 months worth of 100K/month which they shouldn't have paid. They also tell me I am not getting the 100K/month for this contract (March 2015 - Feb. 2016)

d) I flip out

e) I call local Office of Education and Ministry of Education

f) The school has no legal standing

g) I tell school I am not concerned about the 100K/month for this contract but I am NOT paying the 2.4 million back. I told them I called the PoE and the MoE, gave them names, dates and numbers

h) I am extremely unhappy and told my CT I am actively looking for jobs and will quit when I find one I like - this is about 6 weeks into my new contract and my 5th year with the school

i) About 2 weeks ago the VP sits in on my after school class in the library. It was a Thursday.

j) The following Tuesday my CT tells me I will get my 100K/month rural allowance retroactive to March and will not have to pay back the 2.4 million. She apologized profusely for the school's error and hoped I would stay

k) I am staying and everything is 100% back to normal

Lesson: Stand your ground!!!! The school is wrong!!!!!!

If they refuse to amend their error, walk away.
Hail Caesar


Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2015, 06:45:47 pm »
I actually have a friend who worked EPIK in a rural town, it's a long story but the gist is this: the local office of education ran out of money mid way through her contract and told her, "well, sucks to be you I guess".  She ended up hiring a lawyer, finished her contract, got all of the money owed to her, and got the hell out of there. 

OP you have two months left, if you don't get this taken care of they're going to screw you when it's time to leave, if you give into this you'll give into them taking more money from you.  Figure out what you're originally owed, contact your office of education and your school and tell them what they owe you and that if it's not given to you then you'll be hiring a lawyer since you have a signed document of what you're supposed to be paid and you haven't been paid it.  Your school has a lot of creative accounting going on and I doubt they'd want a lawyer involved.  Will it be uncomfortable for the next two months?  Sure, but I'd take the money over hurt feelings.


  • ART55
  • Adventurer

    • 72

    • August 29, 2012, 01:11:00 pm
    • Pohang
Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2015, 07:41:19 am »
In Cheonan and Seoul, the supplementary class pay rate is 40,000 an hour.  My contract states 24 hours a week, but I only teach 22.  The supplementary class hours should not count towards your contract of regular school hours.  So for teaching one 90 minute class, I'm paid 80,000, and taxes will be deducted along with my monthly salary.  Even in Pohang, the pay is 30,000 a class hour.  45minutes = 30,000.  90minutes = 60,000.  There is no possible way that any region of Korea still pays less than 25,000 an hour for supplementary classes!

Your school is definitely ripping you off!

« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 07:43:24 am by ART55 »


  • tamjen
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1180

    • June 19, 2013, 08:08:14 am
Re: School says they overpaid me and wants the money back in cash...?
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2015, 08:26:16 am »
Ask your self this. Why does the school want the money back in cash? The only reason I can think of is there is no paper trail that way and thus no accountability. They may as well just ask you to pay for the next school party or dinner.
Hail Caesar