Vacation time

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Turlbo
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Joined: 04/17/2012 - 10:22
Vacation time

Does anybody have any idea why the jobs which I am seeing posted now offer such little or short vacation time?  This even seems to be so with the public school positions.  They want us to come from our native countries, but yet they do not seem to understand for us to go back there, since it takes so long traveling, we need about a three week stretch for it to be worth. 

teachkorea21
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Joined: 05/24/2010 - 11:16
Re: Vacation time

For getting on 10 years now, they all seem to be offering the same 2 weeks... that said, sorry for saying that...sad

BusanGuy
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Joined: 08/16/2010 - 17:30
Re: Vacation time

If you want more vacation time...
1) Apply to Epik...public schools (at least two 4 week vacations)
2) If you have a Masters and you're already here...Apply to the Universities for the March and September Semesters, at least two 2 month paid vacations (Must be here most of the time)
3)Do a full year contract at a hagwon, then take as much vacation as you want, then come back for another contract.
4)Depending on your visa, just come here and work part time jobs and take vacation(unpaid) whenever you want.

Honestly, when signing a one year contract...10 consecutive days plus a ton of national holidays is nothing to complain about...if you renew your contract, many schools will give you more vacation time and more pay. It's not a charity.
 

sinparam
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Joined: 03/08/2011 - 13:16
Re: Vacation time

The guy thinks because he's a white folk coming from a far away country he deserves more vacation time. Hmmm, interesting point of view

dude777
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Joined: 04/08/2012 - 20:14
Re: Vacation time

A bit harsh, Sinparam. I have many Korean friends who despise the work ethic here but they afraid to challenge it as there is so much fear about being seen as 'lazy'. 

A half decent report on the BBC pretty much concluded what we all know and see - that the Koreans do not produce more, they just sit at desks more. Yes, they are hard workers but even they cannot be effective without decent rest and relaxation.

The only way change will happen is if people challenge things.

Won't be easy though - very much part of the culture here to appear as if you are working. Even falling asleep at your computer is better than falling asleep at home.

 

Paul Gaasenbeek
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Joined: 08/25/2009 - 15:04
Re: Vacation time

Agreed Dude. Korean do not work hard-they just do the same things over and over again to look busy or just do things without thinking and realize it was wrong so they have to correct it (haha).

As for vacation time, more important than that is how inflation here and the poor exchange has made Korea not really the place to go anymore. The cost of living has skyrocketed but wages have barely moved in the 10 years I have been here. Minimum wage has nearly doubled in that same time.

As for vacation time, why do people only get 10 days for vacation at hagwons (universities and public schools offer more but even that is skrinking)? Parents pay schools on a 20 day a month system. Simply, count up all the extra days in a month over 20 and it usually equals somewhere between 10-15. These days are where you vacation days and sick days comes from. That said, people, take your sick days. If not you are working for free.

sinparam
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Joined: 03/08/2011 - 13:16
Re: Vacation time

"As for vacation time, more important than that is how inflation here and the poor exchange has made Korea not really the place to go anymore. The cost of living has skyrocketed but wages have barely moved in the 10 years I have been here. Minimum wage has nearly doubled in that same time."

Welcome to the 21st century. This is happening all over the world my friend. It's all over the news: the declining middle-class in the U.S. (and I would be inclined to say in Canada too), the austerity in Europe, and so forth. During the past decade, the sole reason why household consumption hasn't dramatically decreased in North America is because household debt has been slowly creeping up to new heights. And if Korea is not really the place to go anymore, then why are Westerners flocking in record numbers to teach English (among other things) there? Had the supply of English teacher not dramatically increased, the wages would be certainly better than what we are seeing now (2~2.3 million a month).

Concerning the 10 days vacation, I think it's a pretty standard, "international" average. Here in Canada it's the same for the overwhelming majority of jobs: after working a full year, you get 10 days (and here we don't have as many vacation days as in Korea, such as Chuseok, lunar New Year, etc). After about 5 years (working for the same company), you can usually get 3 weeks. It sucks, but this is the norm. Europe is the exception, yet look at their rates of unemployment (23% in Spain...).

Lastly, I agree that in terms of productivity per worker, many studies have shown that Koreans don't fare that well. I'm not defending their excruciatingly long working days and so on; I certainly think that overworking brings severe decreases in productivity, and that it's better to have shorter work weeks where workers are in better shape and more attentive, and thus more productive. But the point I made was in regard to vacation days. And I think the person's argument in the first post of this thread is quite funny, as if coming from far away would entitle you to longer vacation time.

crudler
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Joined: 04/03/2010 - 14:28
Re: Vacation time

Parents pay schools on a 20 day a month system. Simply, count up all the extra days in a month over 20 and it usually equals somewhere between 10-15. These days are where you vacation days and sick days comes from.

 

I just checked my calendar to make sure, and, yep, the longest month is still only 31 days.  If you're counting up the extra days in a month, it always adds up to between 8 and 11.  Eight of those days fall on the weekends, so most people aren't working on those.  That leaves us with 0 to 3 extra days per month, most months having 2 or 3.  Over the course of a year, there are a total of 29 days that fall outside of the four-week cycles that parents are paying for.  Of course, 8 of those days also fall on weekends, so we're left with 21 days of extra work per year, or 1.75 days per month.

But this isn't really meaningful anyway.  This is how many days per month you're working for which the parents aren't directly paying the hagwon.  They're not days for which you are working without pay.

Paul Gaasenbeek
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Joined: 08/25/2009 - 15:04
Re: Vacation time

Wow! Obvioulsy weekends are not included nor are National Holidays. You get the holidays on top of you vacation time. Man, I did not think it was that tought to figure out. The number is right. So simply for you Crud, take away weekends and National Holidays and count up the extra days above 20 that kids go to school. Schools work on the 20 day a month payment system and the extra days are your holidays-again, generally speaking. It varies year to year due to when the holidays fall. I think this year the number is about  13. Try for yourself and ask how parents pay at your school. They do not pay for the month-they pay for 20 days..

 

crudler
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Joined: 04/03/2010 - 14:28
Re: Vacation time

Man, I did not think it was that tought to figure out.

You wouldn't think so, but you're the one who didn't provide an accurate answer to 30 or 31 minus 20.

The number is right.

True, 10 and 11 are between 10 and 15 (though 8 isn't).

Try for yourself and ask how parents pay at your school. They do not pay for the month-they pay for 20 days.

Actually, they pay by the semester, but a fair number of my students have scholarships.  Not sure why you're repeating this since I said nothing to disagree with it.

Paul Gaasenbeek
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Joined: 08/25/2009 - 15:04
Re: Vacation time

The number of days in a month does not matter. It is the total number of days over 20 each and every month added up over the year. So some months have 0 extra days and some may be have 3. But by the end of the year you have your 10 vacation days and 3 sick days. That is all I am saying. Nothing more. Peace.

Turlbo
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Joined: 04/17/2012 - 10:22
Re: Vacation time
Re: Vacation time

The guy thinks because he's a white folk coming from a far away country he deserves more vacation time. Hmmm, interesting point of view                                                                               

Sinparam, I have been thinking about this whatever makes you think that I am some whilte folk? 

mattsid
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Joined: 09/15/2009 - 15:13
Re: Vacation time

To go back to the original post and what Busanguy said. Not all univesities require a masters degree, although it helps. Also vacations at universities difer depending on the university. Some do have the mentioned 2 months, some less. Some require you to work some kind of vacation camp or extra classes, but these are often paid at overtime on top of your regular salary.

Regardless if you can secure a university position they are often one of the best contracts around.

Travis Kemp
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Joined: 12/21/2009 - 17:58
Re: Vacation time

not all EPIK is created equal. i worked for epik for 3 years, admin of that school determined whether you had 4 weeks off or not. and that for me was just the first year. every year subsequent to that, new principals and admin, made me sit at a desk and only had 10/11 days off per term. didn't do a lot of work then either. just some 'camps'. 4 weeks holidays per term was probable i'm sure, but mos def not unilateral.

teachkorea21
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Joined: 05/24/2010 - 11:16
Re: Vacation time

I think that pay would be less an issue if the treatment of workers was a bit better... just sayingfrown

Turlbo
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Joined: 04/17/2012 - 10:22
Re: Vacation time

Well now what I was referring to with it taking longer to go to our home countries what I was trying to get at is that most of the locals get to see their families quite often, everyday sometimes.  Perhaps this does not mean anything to some but it does to me.

Now I have previlously worked in universities so I am aware of the amount of time vacation offered, it is just that this does not seem to be the right time of year for getting on with them.  Also I was with EPIK for four years, and know what it is like there as well.  This was usually good but my last year there they started telling us where we could go on our time off, which to me really did not seem to be any of their business.

Also by the way I did see one posting for a teaching position in Japan offering five weeks of vacation a year.  

sinparam
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Joined: 03/08/2011 - 13:16
Re: Vacation time

So why aren't you already in Japan by now my friend?

I still don't understand why you are expecting your employer to care about the fact that Koreans might see their families more often than you do. During the past 5 years I've met my parents twice; I sure wish I was entitled to longer vacation days at work. Maybe I'll come up with this argument next time I see my manager.

Turlbo
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Joined: 04/17/2012 - 10:22
Re: Vacation time

Well Sinparan, I have applied for this job in Japan.  Also they are not asking for all this double proofing which there is in Korea now.

Also I certainly hope that you do bring this up with your manager the next time you see him. Then please be sure to let us know how far it gets you. 

Paul Gaasenbeek
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Joined: 08/25/2009 - 15:04
Re: Vacation time

Sin-you claim to be living in Canada so I suggest enjoy it. You have never been one to support the expat community here-meaning you are always pro-Korean-so why bother coming on here? Just curious why you come on this site to disagree with expats when you live in Canada. Seems odd. I know you were always rah rah Korea when you were here (if you have left) but now, when in Canada?

The reality about Korea is not what is used to be in many ways. Corruption, suicide, car accidents and so on are still as common as ants on the ground but for teachers, days are getting longer (many jobs now 9-5), pay is shrinking big time, and things are getting pricy. Wanting a little more vacation time is hardly something I would argue against. Most of us sacrifice a lot to come here so I dont think a little more consideration about our families and so on is much to ask. We are leaving our lives for 2g a month-that is hardly worth being a slave over. It is the individuals choice to do so asking that a boss be flexible and, I know this is a strange concept, but actually trying to have happy employees, doesn't hurt. 

That said, people, you can change your contract. I always re-wrote parts of mine to make sure it was what I wanted. I never saw myself as an employee. I always looked at teaching here as a biz. I help them, they do this for me. Of course, this is why I had 5 e2 visas and finished one of them. Every school tried to lay the boom on me and I would not have it. It is 2g a month. Are you on crack boss man? Bye. So even though Sin has a point to his questioning people wanting more out of  their jobs, there is no harm in asking for whatever you want. We may not see changes on a wide scale but you as an individual may get what you want. Negotiating a contract is business. Dont blink. Ask for what you want. If you dont get what you want, keep looking. Where you end up is on you, however. Good luck.

sinparam
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Joined: 03/08/2011 - 13:16
Re: Vacation time

Paul, the points you are making are all relevant. If you find it curious that I interact with the expat community on a Korean website while living in Canada, the reason for this is that I like to read about Korean current affairs, social issues, and political economy through blogs, news, and websites such as this one. If this website is only reserved for people actually in Korea presently, and no out-of-country people are allowed to share their views, let me know and I'll take it into consideration.

Additionally, I do not feel I am "against" the expat community, I am simply against a common-held attitude among expats that consists of narrow-mindedness, cultural arrogance, and the feeling that you are entitled for more because you are white. All I am trying to do is to add some counter-balance to some of these attitudes and to bring in a different point of view. Remember that you guys are getting paid more than fully qualified Korean English teachers who work in the same schools as you do and who have more responsibility on their shoulders than you do. How do you think THEY feel? Once again, try to open your mind, see things from different perspectives, and put yourself in other people's shoes.

You did not respond to my points anyway. I totally agree that the pay for English teachers is getting low, and that sometimes contracts can be abusive. If this is the case, I welcome any of you to forward your complaints to your manager. But to ask for better working conditions, you need better arguments than "I'm coming from far away". And if the pay is low, this is because market forces are working their magic. If you feel you can't find a good job with your current qualifications, instead of blaming the system or the country, it would probably be time to look at your own self and start thinking about gaining additional education/qualifications that would make your time more valuable. Once again, nobody forced you to come to Korea.

The truth is that most of you guys probably came to this country because you were pretty satisfied with the money offered, and probably also because you hardly could find work in your own country. Let's be realistic: if working conditions here are so bad and the money so small, why do you stay here then? Why not go back to your own country and start making 5 grands a month? Oh wait, that won't happen. Because you are not worth 5 grands a month. And because if you go back to your own country you'll probably end up earning a similar or lower salary, especially after taking into account that you'll have to pay for your rent and cope with higher living expenses.

To be honest, an apartment's rent paid + 2.2 grand a month (with virtually no taxes withheld) is really not that bad. Food and alcohol in Korea is pretty reasonably priced, along with cultural events, public transportation, and other such things. If I compare this to Vancouver where I'm living at the moment, where rent for a 1 bedroom apartment is at the very least 1000$ a month, and where tax rates are around 25-30% of your meager salary, this is the equivalent of over $45,000 a year.

In any case, I find it sad that people come all the way to Korea to end up hanging out with a bunch of other white folks in the same two or three bars and whining about their salary, all the while sticking to their narrow-minded view imbued with a superiority complex and ignorantly commenting on a society they do not understand. Yes, Korea has lots of suicides, accidents, drunken ajuhssis and social problems. Every society has its issues. Whining about it on an internet forum won't change things. Adopting a positive attitude in life, being respectful of others, and understanding that you are all enjoying tremendous benefits, will certainly help more.

Have a good one.

Paul Gaasenbeek
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Joined: 08/25/2009 - 15:04
Re: Vacation time

Fair enough. Cheers!