Sunday, May 25, 2014

CFTU Issues Tax Scam Alert To China Expat Foreign Teachers In ESL & TEFL Programs

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Notice to fellow-teachers working in China. We have received about a dozen emails from members and non-members alike that a clever tax ruse has been used to obtain more money back from foreign teachers by dishonest school administrators. In essence these unethical principals and administrators are deducting up to 30% from teachers pay for "taxes" that are collected but never paid to any tax authority!

If you work for a Chinese public school or university, or a foreign-owned international school, you need not worry about this scam. If however you work for a private Chinese company, or get paid through an agency you need to pay attention and ask for the following:

On pay day when you are asked to sign for your pay, ask for "an itemization of all deductions including tax".  If no itemization is provided to you, send an email to the schools administrator and if you get back anything that shows a deduction for "taxes", reply with another email asking "Are these municipal, provincial, or central government taxes?"

If you get no cooperation at all from your school, send us an email in confidence, and we will check with the tax authorities without using your name in any way. If you want to know what you should legally be paying in tax here in China as an expat employee please use our free tax calculator at the below link, and remember, taxes vary by region.  http://salary.directhr.net/


In an unrelated matter, please be aware that a fake white list is being circulated by Angelina's ESL Cafe showing all of the schools they work with as being "safe" and "endorsed by SAFEA".

http://china.eslteachercafe.com/topic3880-angelinas-esl-cafe-scam-agent-use-fake-white-list.aspx

Be advised that SAFEA does not "endorse" any school, nor does SAFEA publish any "white list". This is just a shameful marketing ploy 


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




For a copy of the 2016 update please send us an email at admin@chinaforeignteachersuniopn.org or click here:
http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.org
Copyright 2010-2016 By CFTU - All Rights Reserved


Thursday, May 15, 2014

How to check out the reputation of any China foreign teacher job agent or school recruiter for free in 1 day...


Okay gang...due to hundreds of emails every month asking about this girl or that guy, we have decided just to show you how you can DIY - for free!  Let's face it, no agent or recruiter is going to tell you that they are not registered nor licensed to do business in China. Likewise they will not tell you that they are collecting 30%-50% of your salary from the school where they place you nor that the principal is in on the ruse for a kick-back.  They will never tell you their real legal names - unless they are honest and legitimate. All of these things you will usually find out on your own, AFTER you lock yourself into a contract with an agent or recruiter and you notice on the first pay day that your colleagues are making a lot more money than you!

So to avoid this grief, you need to avoid the bad apple agents and recruiters and depending on whether or not you are already in China or still abroad will determine what you need to do. If you follow the below instructions you will be 98% safe and secure against agent fraud. 

1)  If any agent or recruiter tells you to come work in China but does not provide you an invitation letter for a work visa ("Z" visa) they are dishonest and you need to ignore their calls and emails. So once you get past this initial litmus test here is what you do next if you are in Beijing. If you are anywhere else, just follow steps five and six below:

2) Visit Bldg. 6 of the Friendship Hotel complex (bring your passport or the guards will not let you go in). Go down the long corridor on the first floor until you pass the bathroom. The very next door opens into the international office of SAFEA and a woman named "Song" speaks English and will look up your recruiter in their system. She can tell you in five minutes if they are registered as a recruiter. 

3) Go to the Tuanjiehu or Liangmaqiao subway station (line 10) and go just West of the Canadian International School you will find the government licensing building and on the first floor they have a reception desk for Chinese and one for foreigners. If you give them the CHINESE name or the license number of the recruiter, they will look them up and tell you in a few minutes if they are legitimate and how many complaints have been filed against them.

4) Visit this website with a Chinese friend and enter the license number of the recruiter http://www.saic.gov.cn/ and see what comes back and see if the addresses, names, and telephone numbers match.

5) Visit this link and see if you find the recruiter blacklisted. For them to be on this list, three or more people would have had to file a complaint within the last year that did not get resolved (no I don't know what "resolved" means - I forgot - sorry). http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.org/2012/12/china-foreign-teachers-union-posts-esl.html

6) If you are in a hurry or to lazy to do all of the above, just send the agent the below letter and ask them to fill it out completely then it becomes much quicker easier to know just who you are dealing with.




Please don't be foolish enough to think that only the Chinese agents will cheat you.  About 30% of the scam recruiters are in fact foreigners.  To learn about all their deceptions and what questions you need to be asking them, visit htttp://www.ChinaScamBusters.com . Good luck and welcome to China!

Were you looking for...

     China Salary Charts          China School & Agent Blacklist          Current Scam Alerts
China Foreign Teacher Requirements         Breaking A China Teacher Contract


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

   
For a copy of the 2016 update please send us an email at admin@chinaforeignteachersuniopn.org or click here:
http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.org
Copyright 2010-2016 By CFTU - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Three New "Clever" Scam Alerts For China Foreign Teachers...

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Received from one of our members - Too good not to share...

Three basic scams to watch out for. Not that these will necessarily make or break your trip but it's probably a bad sign. The smart money says just don't take the risk when confronted by any of these things.

1. "How quickly can you get here?" Not proof positive that bad things are about to happen but if they're trying to rush you, like any relationship someone too desperate who doesn't care who you are can be a red flag for two reasons.

One is that this tactic may be used to pressure you and get you to rush on over before you've had a chance to think things through. Two, it's also a bad sign because it may mean the previous teacher left in a hurry without notice. This may not be the schools fault but few of the employers I go on interviews for back here in the states care enough to give me the benefit of the doubt. It is important enough for you to have at least a decent experience and there are enough schools in China that you can be a little picky. Make sure a school treats you right and doesn't ask you to hop on a plane after the first date.


2.  "Let me hold that for you." This should go without saying. Never let your boss 'hold on' to your passport. Without it you kinda can't leave or have difficulty doing so at the least. Obviously they will try to hold it so you don't run away from them when you realize how horrible the school is. You may need to hand your passport over to get visas and other documents. Make sure you get it back and in a reasonable amount of time. A slightly related scam is they'll tell you to come here with a tourist visa and we'll get you a residence permit which may or may not ever happen. If they can legally get you a residence permit they should be able to get you the Z visa before you go there.

3. "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you" Another scam I've heard is that they'll try to force you out around the nine month mark or even right up to 10- 11 months. This is because after 12 months they have to give you another 7k-10k RMB for your return flight, but if you choose to leave because they're treating you badly or they are now all of a sudden unhappy with you then they save some money and they were bringing someone new in shortly anyway. Sucks to get that far and have a bad time. One advice is mind your p's and q's, don't give anyone any excuse and be strong for a little longer. You could possibly even take the hint and go. You might lose some money (and feel like a failure) but you're not leaving yourself vulnerable to who knows what.

This could jeopardize your contract though too, I know how legal these contracts are and if yours has penalties if you leave before a year. I'll say that it seemed like then, and still seems now that you are worth enough and have enough prospects for work that you can go without a contract. Unless there's something really wrong with you and you have a bad attitude from the start you'll likely be fine. You don't need a contract securing your right to work. Even if you did have a contract and you turned out to be that bad, I'm sure any sufficiently creative boss can and will get rid of you anyway, contract or not.

Skip the contract completely, don't mention it, if they bring it up tell them you'd rather not have one, or write your own contract if it is required by the state for a visa or RP. Keep it simple, "i work for you and you pay me this much each month." If they want to push you around later and renegotiate our verbal contract then you are free to walk without worrying too much about your lack of knowledge on Chinese law.

They will still want you to have a decent enough apartment that will keep you there, they will still have to pay you to keep you teaching. There's not much in your contract besides shelter and payment anyway, maybe work hours but again, we're adults we can reach a reasonable agreement and if you're unreasonable... well i guess with Chinese visa laws you can't just go somewhere else to work, even though there's plenty places, not without a release paper but you can go home. I don't know how legal these contracts are anyway nor if one is required for the residence permit. Going or staying both have some risks if someone is trying to push you out after 9 months it's because they don't want to pay you.

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



For a copy of the 2016 update please send us an email at admin@chinaforeignteachersuniopn.org or click here:
http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.org
Copyright 2010-2016 By CFTU - All Rights Reserved