End of Contract Surprises

Transplanted from the ISR Forum

I was just told I don’t get return airfare of my home of record. Last year, some teachers got it, others didn’t. There is a very unclear, selective policy happening here! Honestly though, I’m not surprised. BLECH!!! Anybody else getting some last minute surprises???

I was promised there’d be a job for me by my principal who said he cleared it with the superintendent. On Monday I found out the other principal had promised it to someone else who is reportedly writing lesson plans already. I love those mornings when you wake up and find yourself in the center of a mine field…

My school hit me with these surprising details for foreign teachers who will be departing: The salaries for June-July-August months will be paid on regular salary days. So I’m leaving with the school still owing me two salary payments. If they chose to default, what then!? Nice, huh?

25 Responses to End of Contract Surprises

  1. Sad says:

    Are most of these International Schools not IB recognised? Are we teachers not there to impart ideals that would mean living in peace and harmony? I think, especially the IB schools should have their recognition taken away as soon as they treat one member of staff in such a manner!


    • Thomas says:

      it always goes back to the administration being professional caring about quality or about money and profit.


  2. Alia says:

    I agree with Amy. The comments here have put me off working there too.


  3. Alia says:

    Last year, my school paid us 5 days before term in cash and I got everything, including the school bonus, except for $1,000 which was withheld for “damages.” It was paid to me by the director, after checking to see I hadn’t trashed the place,as I was literally leaving for the airport.

    This year, they kept us in suspense until the last week when two days before end of term the bank they now use, came to the school and paid out or wire transfers or cash salaries and government bonus, but not school bonus. That was to be paid out to us on the last day of term in cash. As expected, the school stiffed me for $250 of this bonus. No explanation given. I could have gone up to the company director and asked for one, but saw no point as I knew they would not change their minds.

    I needed to go to the bank that day to send all monies including cash to US. The amount was too large to carry or Western Union. First I was jerked around for half an hour, but was finally able to get a school driver to take me there after begging and screaming as it was 1:25 and the bank closed at 2:00. We made it with 10 minutes to spare.

    Far worse is the $1,000 they withheld. When I mentioned it to the school director, she said “Oh, you’ve been paid that already”. I now hear that she is leaving tonight (a Saturday) so who is going to pay me that money when I leave?
    Have tried calling the offices of accountant, etc.and no one answers. Being stiffed for $250 is one thing, but $1,000?

    Never will I work at this school again (International School of Choueifat-Erbil and I don’t recommend it to anyone else as others have lost large sums too and getting paid is a game of Chinese water torture.


  4. i think it’s one of the most important issuses because unfortantily some international schools they end the contract of some teachers surprisly without informing them before, it will surly affect the professincey of that school and it will bring down its performance, i hate the schools which do that with its stuff


  5. InQ8 says:

    IPE A Takamul Kuwait- not paid May rent, June July or August- flight allowance absent…………..


  6. Anonymous says:

    Annual return airtickets…
    This year staff had to buy their own airtickets. The school promised a refund. They would get 3 quatations and then pay the mean air fare price to staaf.

    Well,well…surprise! Staff got refunds, but just more than half of the actual air fare. Quotes were also based on cheap flights where staff with small children had a 24 hour stopover at an airport.

    The director told staff in a meeting “If you don’d like this, you know what to do.” Implying to leave and find another job.


  7. ladyM says:

    All staff hired this school year was offered a two year contract, by previous director, but were made to sign a one year contract with a letter attached. Old director is fired no more two year contract. Is it worth to sue for damages?


  8. Curious says:

    All of the previous messages illustrate the fact that schools SHOULD write all these issues in contracts. The school I am leaving had me sign a ‘contract’ when I first started, but in reality it was only a sheet of paper. And over the years conditions have changed but that begs the question… Am I entitled to changed conditions. The school I am heading to, in China, has EVERYTHING written in the contract…. before I signed it. So it is possible and it is so handy to know what I am heading for.


  9. Contract Switch says:

    The contract I signed at the start of the year in the UAE was in English. About three weeks into the semester we were asked to sign what we were told to be the exact same contract but in Arabic. I never gave the second contract a thought until we approached the end of the school year and I discovered that I had given the school permission to deduct from my final pay check professional development, health insurance and other benefits I thought come with the job. We were simply lied to and cheated by this organization. Now what? Workers have little if any rights here.


    • Anonymous says:

      The only contract in the UAE that is legal is the Arabic one. Be careful. Go tot he Ministry of Labour and ask for a copy. Insist your school gives you an Arabic one and take the time to have it looked at. My husband signed an English, we got the Arabic (never offered by the school) and it WAS different! To make it even worse….guess whose signature was on the Arabic copy? HUBBY’S!!!! How did this happen? Take a guess. No wonder the school did not want to show us the “true legal arabic copy.” The English said 6 months professional probation. The Arabic only 60 days (good for us right) but…the time required to give notice on choosing to leave the school was 30 days in English but 45 days in Arabic. Not so good. If this really happened you need to take the English contract and the Arabic to the Ministry and mae a case. This is a BIG problem!!!


  10. Gypsy says:

    Desertcat…are you leaving a school in China where I am about to start? Please state which school so that others can be forewarned.

    And TEXAS……it’s easier said than done to get admin to pay up July/Aug in advance. A ministry of work does not exist where I currently teach.


    • Steve says:

      Texas is right. I’m leaving a school that pays the final salary and bonus end of July and I’m not too worried, just a little.

      It depends on the school.


    • Home Soon says:

      “I’m not too worried, just a little.”

      I don’t understand this? I’d be exploring that “worry” a bit, especially in this economic climate.

      To each their own I guess.


  11. Texas says:

    Our school did that last year and all teachers were paid as promised. Just depends on the school you are at I suppose. Ours is a good one.


  12. KHALIL says:



  13. red says:

    Are you teaching in India? If so, what school? I am actually heading there next year, and that is a big chunk of money if we don’t get it back!


    • Nitu says:

      There are many Schools in India who claim they are International Schools but once you work there the truth unfolds. Make sure what exactly your take home money would be in your monthly salary. In my experience I was promised something and they deducted a huge sum saying it was Govt tax, Providend fund, etc., I never got back the money though.


    • Desertcat says:

      All schools in India have to contribute to the Provident Fund, so it doesn’t matter which school it is, international or not. I just happen to be at one where the expats are very vocal about monies due. This is an Indian Gov’t thing, not a school thing, but the irritation is that the whole contribution payback thing was never thought out or followed through by administration until a lot of us started questioning it.


    • Anonymous says:

      Have spent two weeks just trying to get permission for my family to leave. School seemed equally paralysed when confronted with the monolithic incompetence of Indian bureaucracy. Much better countries to work in than this, not particularly welcome or valued in India. Unless you have some higher purpose…don’t teach in India.


    • Amy says:

      I had always wanted to work in India. Not sure why….just always been curious. I think I am starting to reconsider. Not too many people say it was wonderful or easy.


  14. desertcat says:

    Our school is telling us we have to leave our bank accounts open for repayment of the Provident Fund (a so-called savings plan set up by the government), but we have no guarantee of any kind we’ll ever see the money. Two years of contributions and it will end up in someone else’s pocket and no recourse for any of us. One couple that left last year still haven’t received their money. Pretty sad really.


  15. Ate it in Guatemala says:

    I had an awful experience in Guatemala many years ago. It was so long ago I won’t mention the school, as I know it has improved tremendously since then. What happened is that on the last day of school we had a faculty breakfast and the board and director fired all ten of us foreign hire teachers. There we were, stuck in Guatemala with our cars and furniture and personal belongings and no shipping allowance or housing allowance. They just cut us off. Fortunately the credit cards we all had were guaranteed by the school. I charged shipping; airfare, food and you name it. Months after I was back in the States the school contacted me to say they would be happy to reimburse me for my air fare and shipping allowance if I would just pay for the credit card bill, which was about equal to what they should have given me in the first place. Interesting…. they hadn’t responded to any of my ten emails until they got the credit card bill. I know other teachers that did the same. Such places do exist. It’s such an awful feeling when it happens to you because you feel just so helpless.


    • Anonymous says:

      Know the feeling. I was also in Guatemala and can vouch or the fact contracts are NOT honored. They are broken constantly and not only at the end of the year, also midyear. Airfare in my case was not given either. Such a lovely country and it only takes a few to ruin the image and experience.


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