Wednesday, January 29, 2014

China Foreign Teachers Union - Contract Suggestions Save You Time, Money, & Grief

 Were you looking for...

First and foremost... if you are coming to China to work in any position, for any company or school, you absolutely must have two things in your hand BEFORE you even buy your plane tickets...

1)  A signed and sealed contract

2)  A work visa (Z visa)

If you come to work in China without either of these you will easily be exploited and cheated. To understand why you can visit and read  This post will talk about important clauses that you should add to your contract. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN ANY CONTRACT SENT TO IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THE WORDING, TERMS, AND CONDITIONS.  If agents and recruiters tell you differently - ignore them. Do not sign contracts that are vague, ambiguous, nor unclear. If you were promised something verbally or in an email, make sure it is included in specific terms in your contract, or those promises will be forgotten and you will simply be told "You Misunderstood".  If you have a Skype interview, we suggest that you record that interview in case there is any future "misunderstandings" after you arrive in China. You can download free Skype recording software from this link below:

VERY IMPORTANT - Do not sign any contract that is not in English, no matter if you are assured that the contract says "exactly as we discussed".  If you sign a contract in Chinese or any other language that you do not understand, you will be cheated and have plenty of unpleasant surprises.  Make sure every page of your contract is signed dated and has the corporate red seal of your company/school or pages may be switched on you later.


If your school/company is licensed and registered.  Below are the 12 key clauses you should insert into your contract before signing it.

So here are the 12 clauses every foreign teacher should insert into their contract before signing it.

"The teacher shall be provided an invitation letter at no charge by the school/employer at least 15 days to their arrival date in China"

"Within 72 hours of termination, for whatever reason(s), the principal of the school shall provide two original, signed, and sealed release letters free of charge to the teacher.

"Any proposed changes to the teacher's work schedule must be made in writing via email to the teacher at least ten working days in advance of the proposed changes, and the teacher may accept or decline proposed changes within 24 hours of receipt of same notice without penalty."

"Assigned hours of work shall be from ____:00 am to ____:00pm from ______day  to ______ with days off being the two consecutive days of ________day and ________day.  If asked to work on these days off, the teacher shall be paid at the rate of _______yuan per hours spent on the school premises, not just actual class time."

"Any and all images of the teacher may not be used online nor in any poster, brochure, advertising, newspaper, magazine, nor newsletter, without the express written permission of the teacher, and violation of same shall incur a fine/penalty of 20,000 yuan upon the school/principal by default per incident."

"The teacher is not required to participate in any marketing and/or sales activity organized by the school nor any other organization and if asked to do so may decline or accept based upon a negotiated special compensation for said activities."

"The teacher is not required to work on any National Chinese holiday nor on the following foreign holidays (list)."

"The teacher will not be asked to make any purchase or expenditures from their own personal funds for any supplies or school activity(ies)."

"The teacher shall not be asked to perform any task nor assignment that is not specified in their written job description attached hereto as "Exhibit A".

"The teacher shall never be asked nor required to make any false statement nor representation about any school, company, service, nor product."

"The teacher will work only on the school premises and if needed to participate in any activity not on the school premises the school will provide full round-trip taxi or air fare in advance and not ask the teacher to take a bus nor a train."

"The teacher retains any all IP rights to any lesson plan and/or PPTs created by the teacher and same cannot be used without the teacher's express written consent. Violation of this clause shall result in an automatic penalty/fine of 20,000 yuan per documented incident."

"If the teacher is not paid in full for services rendered on the normal designated pay day nor within 24 hours of same, the teacher may, at their sole discretion, exit their contractual obligations without penalty nor further obligations."

This page will be updated twice monthly as we receive feedback from other teachers working in China. If you are already a teacher working in China and you want to suggest a clause, by all means send it to Legal[at]  You can also obtain a free copy of China's Labor Laws by request to the same email address. In China, the more you know, the smoother you flow!  Be prepared for the unexpected or you'll end up like this fellow below...

 Were you looking for...

China Expat Wage & Salary Charts     China School & Agent Blacklist     Current Scam Alerts
If you are a CFTU member, please see this link below:
Also see:

Here They Are!

© Copyright 2010- 2018 by CFTU - Reproduction with Source Credits Authorized

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

List Of Direct Employers For China Foreign Teachers Now Available From CFTU

Tired of scanning countless ads at and and dozens of message boards only to find that the ads are either fake or the posters of the ads are pretending to be HR directors, Principals, or Direct Employers when in fact they are all agents who want a big slice of your pie?

Then when you you send in your resume your inbox begin to mysteriously fill up with spam with people trying to sell you really awful jobs, travel insurance, visa assistance, and even escort service?  Worse yet you end up like this gal here...

Dangers Of Job Applicants In China 

Truthfully there are indeed some honest recruiters and agents in China. Then there are some that are scams and others that are well... just plain greedy.  See here...

But it is your life, your career, and your money and you can do as you please.  If you want to apply directly to schools and universities and you have some one who can draft an email and resume for you in Chinese, you can get the list of 6,812 direct teacher employers (only for Beijing and Shanghai at this time, but we are accepting listings for other schools around China that our staff will verify and update every month)  So if you want to apply directly to employers send for your list to  See Beijing sample below...

If your school is licensed to hire foreigners and you wanted to be included on the CFTU direct employers list, please send an email to  Be sure to include all of the following which will be verified:

* School Name
* School Address
* School Telephone Number
* School Web Site Address
* Principal's Name
* School HR Contact Tel. No. (No Mobile Nos.)
* School HR Contact Email
* Nearest Subway Station

Please note that none of the above information will be published and only the School Name, Subway Stop, and HR Contact email will be included in our directory for teachers. 

If you are okay with agents and willing to roll the dice, at least use the below form letter and you will be better protect from abuse. Do not send any personal data or passport scan BEFORE you get this letter back from your agent and you verify the information. Likewise sign no contract BEFORE you visit and read


Here Below is the CFTU Agent Reply Form Letter You Should Use To Protect Yourself:


If you are a CFTU member, please see this link below:

Here They Are!

© Copyright 2010- 2018 by CFTU - Reproduction with Source Credits Authorized

Sunday, January 19, 2014

CFTU Conducting China Foreign Teacher Agent & Recruiter Survey

At the request of a dozen of our members we have recently undertaken to identify all the licensed and unlicensed recruiters and agents advertising jobs in China and asking them to declare their fees and costs. Thus far this is what we have received via teachers who have used these agents and recruiters in the past. We are told that almost all of these companies/entities also charge a one-time processing fee or application fee and the companies in red, actually refund that fee when you complete you contract.  Of course, as always we do not make any recommendations, especially since some of these agents have been blacklisted more than once in the past and even currently. Some of these agents have very few or even no current complaints pending. So buyer beware...

Best HR – 25%                                       
Foreign HR – 30% 
Fesco – 20% 
Antal – 20%
China ESL -50%-66%
Gold Star Teachers – 40%                            
China Job Central – 10% – 20%
Crossroads – 25%
Footprints – 35%
Red Dragon HR – 15%
China - 20%
Match Dragon – 25%
ESLCafes – 30%                                      
ESL China – 25%                              – 40%                                  
ESL Jobs - 30% - 35%                                                – 15% – 30%               – 20% -40%                         – 25%                         – 35%                    – 30%                             – 40% – 30%    – 20% – 25%                      
Michael Page – 25%         

We would be remiss not to share these three links with you ...

If you are a CFTU member, please see this link below:

Here They Are!

© Copyright 2010- 2018 by CFTU - Reproduction with Source Credits Authorized

Monday, January 13, 2014

China Foreign Teachers Union Releases 2014 School & Agent Blacklist & Whitelist

First the good news... There are less black hats out there this year thanks to your cooperation in 2013 in reporting and identifying the scammers. The bad news is that the black hats have now disguised themselves very well as legitimate agents and have been posting hundreds of fake ads at,, and a dozen other ESL & TEFL forums and message boards.There are also many fake posts on those forums from agents pretending to be teachers praising themselves and of course, recommending them to others. BEWARE or be sorry friends.

We urge every ESL & TEFL teacher looking to work abroad (not only in China) but anywhere overseas, to utilize our Agent Reply Form Letter to protect yourself in the new year. The form letter is below and if you want a pdf copy to share with all your teacher friends, just send us an email requesting the form to  Any agent or recruiter who refuses to complete and return this form to you should be avoided and definitely should not be given a copy of your resume nor passport. If you still do not know why, read this article:

If you still don't know how to find your own job directly without the risk or expense of using an agent, you only need to educate yourself and you can start at  You can also get a copy of our new 2014 Whitelist by sending a request by email to

If there is a specific school or agent you want to check on, you can google them by their name and phone number and email (do all three to be safe) or you can visit our Blacklist page at: 

The lists have just been updated as of January 10th, 2014. Last but not least, don't delude yourself into believing that all the shady and greedy agents out there are Chinese. In fact, now 40% of them are fellow foreigners!

If you are a CFTU member, please see this link below:

Here They Are!

© Copyright 2010- 2018 by CFTU - Reproduction with Source Credits Authorized