How Do You Get Paid…or Not?

Getting your monthly paycheck from an International School can be as easy as 1, 2, 3, or a cliff hanger you’ve come to dread. Most schools pay like clockwork, others a bit late & still others always have one excuse followed by another for why the money is not appearing in your bank account.

Granted, unforeseen political situations, changing banking regulations & poor technological infrastructures can make transferring money into your personal bank account a difficult task for even the most well-intended schools. However, the good ones always find a way to get it done! Excuses are of little consolation for teachers with loans &/or mortgages to pay.

International Schools have a responsibility to pay on time so schools situated in politically unstable areas of the world may ensure they meet this responsibility by parking the bulk of their finances in a country with stable political/economic foundations. They then simply wire-transfer salaries from these accounts into teachers’ accounts. The only excuse for failure to pay on time is poor planning, a hidden agenda, or both. Which brings me to my next point…

As a result of Covid-19, droves of International Educators returned home for health/safety reasons & continued teaching their students remotely. With foreign-hire teaching staff now thousands of miles away from campus, there’s few repercussions for a school that sends out an email saying, “We’ll TRY to get your money to you next week,” as did a school just recently in Myanmar. If a school has a history of late paying or cheating its teachers out of money, ISR School Reviews & the ISR Member Forum are where to find out!

ISR Asks: How do YOU get paid….or Not? Wire transfer, cash, local bank account or combination of local & your back-home account? Do you get your salary on time each month? Does your school owe you money? Please scroll down, NAME YOUR SCHOOL & Share your experience with colleagues who may be considering your school for a career move.

Please scroll down to participate in this ISR Discussion

25 thoughts on “How Do You Get Paid…or Not?

  1. JEINS schools in Jeju, South Korea.
    Bank transfer to Korean account on 23rd of each month, or earlier if it falls on a weekend. Even during the summer months. This is useful for those (me) who would spend the entire two-month summer salary in 4 days if they got it at once.

    Payslips are emailed every month and annual tax returns are aided by HR.

    Like

  2. BISU Ukraine have a dubious way of paying staff.
    You’re always docked wages for unexplained reasons, with large amounts missing each month because of apparent tax reasons (all a load of utter ****!)
    Then some money is routed via Cyprus and you pay processing fees for this.
    Common figure among staff is about $2000 missing per year. Yes, two thousand dollars, a year missing in wages.

    Like

  3. As mentioned above, the International School of Myanmar (ISM) has failed to pay us on time MANY times this year.

    In addition, they have breached the contract on several occasions (even before the Military Coup). They did not pay teachers their flight allowances on time, they made last-minute schedule changes to the calendar resulting in a shorter summer break, they did not evacuate us from Myanmar (as stated in the contract, in the case of political unrest, but instead told us it was our own responsibility), and I could continue on.

    Like

  4. Westminster International school In Tashkent. They have, over the last few weeks, found ways to refuse payments. For those who have resigned this year, many have had contracts cancelled early so that school does not feel responsible for their last 2 months salary. Local staff have been fined 40% of their salaries as punishment for speaking out about unfair working practices. This have been engineered by the CEO, Mr Ravshan, the operations manager, Muhammad Ali and the Expat heads, husband and wife team, Clare Stephens and David stephens. The school, which is in Uzbekistan, has also refused to pay for flights that they are contractually obligated to pay. They school also have refused to pay staff, who have left, into international bank accounts. Instead said that they will only pay in local currency into the local account, which is impossible to access from abroad.

    Like

  5. I wish to report the dishonest practices that I, and many other foreign teachers experienced with Canadian Trillinium School in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

    Like

  6. Once worked at a school where it became necessary to check every single payslip carefully due to HR incompetence. Even though errors would eventually get corrected, that got old real fast.

    Like

    1. This sounds like the American International School of Mozambique. They nickel and dime you for each little thing and make mistakes when it’s time to pay. Happy I no longer have to deal with them.

      Like

  7. Find it interesting none of my former colleagues have mentioned the debacle in GEMS-CIK… the GEMS organization decided the school would close, and notified all of us the first full instructional day of this last school year. For the next months, up until the closure on 31 December 2020, pay was late, anywhere from 10 to 28 days. The corporation unilaterally imposed with no notice a 7 work day “grace period” where they pay deposits could be late deposited, and even that was never made on time, and the transparency was non-existent. Teachers’ Ugandan-mandated retirement contributions were withheld from pay, but contributions stopped being sent to the agency early in 2020. To date, I am not sure if all teachers have finally received the moneys they were due, and I doubt the lost interest due to payments being made to the retirement fund were ever paid. Be exceptionally careful signing on to a GEMS school. While the GEMS corporate people were patting themselves on the backs talking about how we received four months notice, that is not what the contract specified. Buyer beware (or in this case, teacher beware). Oh, and by the way, I DID submit a review of the situation in January. It was NEVER published-that is concerning, given I have written and audio evidence documenting every claim I made.

    Like

  8. Global Jaya School in Indonesia under new leadership is not really doing great. They have not given due increments to expatriates for the last two years. Sad situation. Frustration is rising.

    Like

  9. International School of Tanganyika in Dar es Salaam paid on time every time and always correctly. Could deposit a percentage locally and the rest to a home bank account. Reimbursements for anything were never an issue. Finance department east to deal with

    Like

  10. Tsinghua International School in Beijing paid on time all through COVID no matter where we were in the world. Normally salary is direct deposited to our Beijing accounts but the school made arrangements to transfer money to foreign accounts if needed or to other accounts in Beijing (due to WeChat connections so we could pay our rent). One teacher who didn’t come back after COVID had some issues getting money out of the country that friends are still working on.

    Like

  11. Garden International School Thailand pays on time. However, end of year bonus paid in September, which means you have to keep your Thai bank account open when leaving for another teaching location.

    Like

  12. I worked for a time in Spain (Maternity Cover) but the whole staff got about 50% pay on a payslip taxed and the rest cash in hand untaxed. Is this common practice? If it is no wonder the Spanish Govt. is short of money

    Like

    1. I also work in Spain, in Barcelona, and we get paid 100% through our bank. My sister in law used to work in a school in Malaga and like you got 50% cas and 50 in a bank. Super dodgy! My husband taught one year in Mallorca and got all the bonuses in cash.

      Like

  13. St Josephs Institution International Singapore, pays one day early from the contracted date every months since I have been here, straight by bank transfer.

    Like

  14. Canadian International School Bangalore stopped paying employees 16% of their contract pay in September. The monthly bank deposit was often in question on WhatsApp Teacher Group – frantic questions of missing deposits followed by reassuring emails that “due to some issue or another” the paychecks would be deposited on a different date, instead. End of contract pay was much the same, with excuses for not paying out leaving employees before they left the country, which is VERY problematic, because transferring funds and dealing with banking issues is HUGELY DIFFICULT in India, so a gamble when you leave the country…the business office and board lack the integrity of sound business practices, to treat employees fairly when it comes to salary and pay dates.

    Like

  15. The Codrington School, Barbados- handed me an envelope of money when I asked for it. No salary slips, no accounting. Watched book keeper take money out of a number of piles. So strange.

    Like

  16. Rowad AlKhaleej International School in Saudi-

    Salary playdates vary month to month anywhere between the 1st -15th.

    Due to Covid they cut all teachers to 60% salary during the summer of 2020. After seeing all the $ they saved then, they forced all the Saudi teachers to take unpaid leave or come in every day during the summer to work 9-5pm. They have hoes of trying to force all teachers to do this in the future years

    This year they did did not pay out: resigning bonus, raises, they reduced flight money, and did not pay visa money. Many of these things are in the contract or in the employee handbook. They are also trying to not pay any teachers end of service benefits by making them stay till September or October to get it. All the qualified teachers are leaving because they don’t have retention or the employees best interest in mind. Ultimately this is a company worried about the money. They are opening many schools but not maintaining schools, getting resources, or worried about teacher retention.

    Like

  17. Karachi American School. On-time, although I wish they would implement direct deposit. Instead, you receive a check from a US Bank every month and can either DHL it to your bank yourself (at your cost) or use online banking . The only “late” payment is at the end of the school year – you receive your May and June pay and any stipends on the last day of school, which can be a week or two later than the normal payday.

    Like

  18. International School of Myanmar: According to the contract ISM was supposed to pay us our June and July salary during checkout. Instead, they told us they would remit our salaries June 20th and July 20th and deactivated our email accounts to limit communication. It is June 24th and we still have not been paid. ISM is unable to pay their teachers in Australia, and while the Australian teachers have given them other bank accounts in the US and UK, they still are missing their April salaries. All the teachers who broke contract due to the military coup have been charged $1,500, even if the finished their 2 year contract. ISM has stated they are trying to get visas for returning teachers to get back in the country in July, because as the director said in an April meeting, “Myanmar is safe.”

    ISM did not pay overseas teachers their flight allowance, although it is stated in the contract. ISM did not evacuate teachers, did not give them their flight allowance in January (as per contract), and teachers had to pay their own way out of the country. Teachers were listening to shootings and military men break into houses fearful of leaving their apartments. All other international schools evacuated their teachers, ISM did not. Meanwhile, Scott (HR), was charging teachers for textbooks and library books he couldn’t find in the school, which added up to hundreds of dollars per teacher.

    Admin is ignoring all emails from teachers and we are in a panic. What is happening in Myanmar is devastating, but how teachers were left alone and bullied in such a scary situation is downright terrifying.

    Tax money is something we are all uncomfortable with, and if they are paying taxes (which is being taken out according to our pay slips) it is funding the Myanmar military.

    Like

    1. Many international schools in Myanmar are funded or run by military connections. Don’t work at international schools in Myanmar if you have any morals.

      Like

    2. International school of Yangon (ISY) did not evacuate its teachers. Don’t believe the narrative that the ISY director spins. Teachers are bullied at ISY. Those who felt the coup plus covid environment was unsafe were terminated. Flights home and shipping were not paid.

      Like

  19. Concordia Shanghai International School ….excellent and always on time. Went beyond expectations during Covid and even doubled travel.stipend …tax free.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.