There are no horizontal steps on my current pay scale. As a 12th year teacher, I am paid the same as the first year teacher on my team (whom I mentor). A copy of the pay scale is not given to new hires, I didn’t know this until I received my contract for year 2 and the increase was 4% (of salary, not housing, etc.) for the country mandated cost of living raise. Also, I have only major medical (accident and emergency) insurance in the country of the school only. Lastly, no retirement.
We do not get the end of contract payment required by local law.
When I signed my contract…it had the basics in it…but not all the added policies that I was agreeing to as a member of the faculty. Teachers need to ask to see the handbook of policies of their school before signing their contract as when you sign that contract, you are agreeing to abide by all them
Lack of re-signing bonus, no consistency from year to year in resigning offers and bonuses – low pay, low housing allowance, no annual flights, no flight home at end of contract extension – no amendments to counter lower salaries due to decreasing value of local currency and US currency
Medical insurance is poor.
We must let the school know before Christmas that we will be leaving the next year, low pay, housing allowance not proportionate to the rent in town, therefore no possibility to move out of the school accommodation, no promotion possibilities and no payment or title for responsibility jobs.
No room for a pay increase after 1 year. Locked in. Money was presented verbally in my currency but written in the country’s currency…the amount is less. There is a part that says “teachers may be asked to perform other duties which they must” (that could be anything). Missing dress code. Although hired by a director who left the school after hiring me I have to obey contract and the school doesn’t honor it because the director is new.
It was misleading.
The contract is generally very good. They have just increased our shipping, which was probably the only other part of the contract which needed addressing. Housing, however, is a major issue. Some members of staff have much better housing than others. The school decides who gets what housing, and the quality is highly variable. This leads to bad feelings amongst staff members. My housing is extremely dark and depressing and there is no outdoor living whatsoever. Some members of staff are leaving because of this.
There are many vague clauses which the manager could not explain. *The new contract (which I have not signed) is different and states that the teacher can be told to leave without compensation if she arrives in September and the work “is reduced”. *It is a fixed-term, one-year contract with a clause that says the teacher may not resign during the school year – so they have an “out” but we do not. *The “medical insurance” is only access to local clinics, not international hospitals. *The contract gives the employer the right to renew it by June of the following year – this is too late for us to apply elsewhere. *The owner can transfer the teacher to any of his schools! *Housing is now to be shared.
I work in a country with a poor exchange rate versus the dollar; the school advertises one salary, but given the exchange rate and the high cost of living, you make far less than what is advertised.
Last year with another school there was not sufficient funding for health insurance. I was misled into thinking there was a group insurance rate.
Low pay (around 30% less than other schools here), no medical insurance, no shipping allowance, no days off for recruiting.
We do not get copies of our actual contract because it must be written in Arabic but no one at the school will translate it for us. Specifically, I have heard that some information in the Arabic written contract is not what we are informed about resigning dates.
Medical could be better, especially since we live in a country with VERY high medical costs, more dental. Housing allowance needs to be improved and the ‘gap’ between administrators and teachers needs to be lowered – too much hierarchy is fostered by the HUGE pay and benefit differences for admin at ALL levels.
I am a licensed teacher from the United States and I have two masters degrees plus two classes taken at the PTC. Because I live in the country I am not allowed to have a housing and airfare allowance. I am qualified so I should be compensated equally, no matter where I was hired.
Salary, not adequate to live well in current situation. School is cutting salaries and benefits and increasing work loads of already overworked staff and faculty.
I was not given the contract until I had been working for about a month. According to the board notes which I did not get a full copy of—teachers who break contract were to pay recruitment and previous travel fees though this was not in the contract. Also it was quite vague about teaching load or what one was asked to teach should one be asked to teach a different subject or more classes per week. Some expat teachers were on a higher salary scale with more benefits and the current scale for expats was lowered several steps when the school was in “dire straights”. I did not find this out until the second year. Was never given proper explanation of health benefits, in fact, lied to about certain coverage.
Pay scale has been manipulated by some employees; limited retirement package; taxes of country are not explained in detail and the taxes are very, very high; was led to believe I could live well on the salary when in fact I can’t
Current housing in city is very expensive and the supplement covers less than half cost.
The salary has devalued by over 20% since I got here. It is also about half what the rest of the schools in the country pay. There is no pension and we have to pay a significant portion of our salary towards accommodation. No support for living in the countries and dealing with local problems. Poor shipping allowance.
Salary and financial benefits are very poor. Housing is atrocious, and shared if you are single. No shipping allowance. Flight arrangements are controlled by the school and not most direct route, but cheapest one for the school. Overall, very poor and not a contract one would consider renewing. Very little support with visa or other documentation related issues. Pretty much a “once we’ve got you, you’re on your own” treatment.
1) We signed a two-year contract, only to be told after our arrival in the DR that the board has decided to only issue 1 year contracts. They then took it upon themselves to copy our electronic signatures onto a 1 year contract.
2) The board has put a 30 notice clause into the contract by which either party can be released from the contract with no grounds, by giving 30 day notice.
3) The health benefits are only local.
4) No shipping, housing, transportation or even settling-in allowance.
5) The pay is subsistence level and does not even come close to compensating for the cost of living here.
Salary, relocation $, teaching hours.
No Pension. No Dental, No Job security.
Very poor pay scale, utilities benefits are limited and designed for single teachers. No room for salary improvement since scale is limited. Shipping allowance and travel allowance are insufficient.
The keeping of the last month’s salary if you break the contract. You worked all year for that salary and should be paid for your work.
Salary for beginning teachers was still 18,000 for beginning teachers and 22,000 for experienced this year, shipping allowance for personal AND professional was a grand total of $200! NO teacher flats and no help or even suggestions finding one. Most flats shown to beginners by independent agents were VERY dirty and dumps at extremely inflated prices, we learned from locals. Usually the owners spoke only Arabic and new teachers were at a disadvantage when trying to negotiate.
Contracts are obsessed with specifying salary, housing, flights and settling benefits but often ‘forget’ what is equally important: 100% payment of child tuition, number of contact hours per week + additional for extracurricular activities, meetings and the like, the title and specification of the position and its duties, days off, sick leave policy etc.
It is a “fixed-term” contract and we had to initial sections of it agreeing that we may not be re-hired at the end of it for any reason. It has been used as an unfair method to terminate people without any due process or even an attempt to redress any possible weakness in a teacher. It has been altered slightly for next year, but still allows the school full latitude for an unfair dismissal.
I would like better insurance. We are provided with very basic insurance and pay out of pocket for better coverage. Benefits for dependents – our school does not provide medical coverage or airfare for kids. No shipping allowance. We have to pay taxes on our annual tickets home. Low housing allowance.
1. I am employed at one of the lowest paying schools in Kuwait. The school doesn’t want to recognize that salaries are low or to raise them (will cut into profits) 2. The cost of living has dramatically increased in Kuwait and salaries do not reflect the cost rise. I.e., my dinar does not go very far any longer. 3. The Canadian Dollar is very strong against the KD. Consequently I do not make anywhere near what counterparts make in Canada. 4. Live-out allowance has not changed in 10 years. With dramatic inflation the stipend does not go far. 5. School housing is inadequate – it’s very far from the school, in an unsafe location, and full of insects. 6. Acquiring a driving license required “influence” from a friend of mine. The school would not help expedite the process. Resident visas took a long time to process as well. 7. Flights home are on the cheapest airline and usually involve several stops. It’s not very pleasant when you have to go to the other side of the world, literally. 8. No retirement scheme.
The salaries were not taken into account when assigning housing. I ended up being placed in a place that takes up 1/3 of my salary. I was given a rent range for a 2 bedroom and figured that they would find something in the middle. Instead I placed in a house that almost exceeded the maximum dollar range for a 2 bedroom. Also the transportation allowance was inaccurate and did not enable me to buy a car as I was told would be possible. Basically, they hadn’t adjusted the allowance for inflation.
Items not listed that were promised in the interview.
Flights home every two years, children not included in flights or medical insurance.
Only three sick days. Days missed before and after weekend count double.
Salary is low compared to cost of living. Flights home are only beginning and end of contract. Medical is local but seems to do the trick if you don’t get sick. No shipping allowance. Sick days minimal (3 days).
Framework for evaluation is not clear and there has been no assessment. My contract was not renewed based on my “chemistry” with a small clique on staff. Not much you can do about that I suppose.
All of the American and British Schools in the Middle East are horrible. They are owned by Abushakra. He breaks contracts, lies, threatens to fly you out of the country that night if a parent with money is upset, has “watchdogs” watch every move you make outside of work, and has a violent temper. He is scary! Low pay and benefits. Housing poor. Lies about what is in the contract. His schools are business oriented. If parents have the money to pay HE lets them pay extra so their child can stay no matter what.
No shipping allowance. Salary is supposed to be the equivalent of US dollars but isn’t. Additional costs to employee for trips to and from school for non-teaching compulsory attendance at functions without compensation — placed under “other duties as assigned”. Personal days are tied to attendance bonus and can’t be taken in a row so that personnel can’t take time to go to recruiting fairs without losing this bonus.
There is no settling-in allowance. The shipping allowance is far too low. The medical aid is insufficient. The teaching hours are longer than any school in the region. Increases are arbitrary and can only be negotiated every second year. No transport. Class sizes – only verbal agreement. Other duties (non-teaching) are vague and at management’s discretion.
Very low shipping allowance and no flight home until two years are completed. High tax rate.
No cost of living adjustment, although devaluation has been over 12 percent.
Travel home paid in local, non-convertible currency at end of contract, when one has no chance to spend it. No real faculty input on school council.
Even though I am satisfied with my contract, there are other factors to be considered, such as the safety factors, friendliness of colleagues, effectiveness of administrators, etc.
Housing allowance is below cost of what is available; shipping allowance is minimal, no settling-in allowance.
Too vague: they say little so they can form policy about your employment as they go
No annual written performance review, penalties for leave, no family emergency leave, no housing that is clean, quiet, and near good transportation.
The shipping allowance is minimal and we only receive half airfare home each year.
There are dubious statements designed to fool host country authorities for tax advantages.
The salary is quite low compared to the other major school in the area and because it is paid in USD, many teachers have lost money on the conversion.
What Don’t You Like About Your International Teaching Contract ?
Those with non-teaching spouses and children don’t get jack for them (other than 100% tuition for
kids (2). No airfare, no health insurance, etc.
Very poor shipping allowance for a location that has access to nothing; flights home are extremely expensive; five preps is more than can be handled well; no real retirement outside of a token amount each year; only partial utilities paid in a location where everything is extremely overpriced.
1. Should have dental and life insurance 2. Should come in at full experience level and education level.
1. Pay has not kept up with inflation. 2. Moving allowance is inadequate. 3. The medical coverage can be cancelled unilaterally by the insurance company. 4. There are too few holidays in the school year. 5. Teachers are often required to be at school on weekend days.
Salary is lower than it should be for the region, there is no repatriation package, the school makes no assistance with national tax which results in near 50% loss in wages, it was not in the written contract but when hired I was told I would be teaching a certain age range and when I arrived I was given younger students.
Housing is pathetic.
Housing is terrible for children, no place for them to play and no transportation for school age children to get home after school, also no transportation for teachers, it is a 25 min. drive each way.
Disparity between single and couple benefits -salary not in line with cost of living.
Poor insurance policy; inadequate housing allowance; salary tied to the dollar which is falling, so our salary is devaluing. Salary low compared to other international schools nearby. Tax rate is higher than was reported.
Actual teaching assignment can vary from what was discussed and what actually is expected once the teacher walks in the school door.
No cover of school fees. No professional development. No medical coverage for children and no flight coverage for children.
Medical insurance is through a local insurance company. Treatment in country or work is covered well but treatment in country of origin or any where else in the world attracts a hefty surcharge.
1. Shipping allowance was reduced once I was in country. The school did not feel obliged to honor the shipping allocation in my contract. 2. Actual housing promised is inferior to housing promised at recruiting
I don’t get paid for vacations, but this was only explained to me after having signed it.
Insurance – half paid, would like all paid as this increases substantially annually. Sick days (10 a year) do not accumulate.
My contract is good overall, but there are many areas that are vague and hard to understand. Also, the information about teaching assignment is very vague; when I first arrived, I was assigned to teach areas outside of my certification and experience, although this is not what I was told would happen at the interview.
I could write a book. This school ‘nickel and dimes’ the teachers every step of the way. Health insurance is virtually non-existent – emergencies ONLY. The deductible in country is 500.0 and out of country 5,000 (still only for emergencies). There is NO shipping allowance. Nickled and dimed again on flights in and out of this forsaken place. Housing is shared (by people 30+). Teaching supplies are not ample. I could go on but won’t.
“Failure to comply with any order from an immediate superior” will result in immediate termination.
Salary is low=high relative to economy but very low for a person who has responsibilities in North America. There is no protection for worker in the contract. Everything is organized around protecting the owner of the school.
My salary is pretty low. I have signed a new one for the next academic year and I will get a 28% pay increase next year.