Wednesday, December 31, 2014

CFTU Santas Spread Holiday Cheer With Ms. World To Autistic Students & Orphans This Year...

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In keeping with our annual tradition, this year our CFTU volunteers threw on their red and white furry suits to join China Ms. World 2012 (Yu WenXia) to put smiles on the faces and laighs in the air for about 500 autistic and orphan children this year.

The Anhui orphans were shocked to see the fuzzy Santa who handed out candy and then sang and dance for them. For most this was the first time they ever saw a real live Santa and many cried when he had to leave. Most of the children lost their parents to some tragic events, and some were abandoned by their parents due to some minor birth defect like a cleft pallet, or missing fingers.

Yet a third Santa visited random Hutongs in Huairou where stares were common and kids did not know how to respond. Slowly they warmed up to Santa and were quickly singing "Ding Ding Dong" - the Chinese version of Jingle Bells!


Here They Are!

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

Friday, December 26, 2014

CFTU Identifies 3,500+ Identity Thieves That Scam China Foreign Teachers & Other Expats...

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With the help of China Scam Patrol we have been able to identify over 3,500 identity thieves who covet and then buy your resumes, passport scan, and photo from unethical expat forums and ESL/TEFL message boards where many fake ads are posted.  Although they may then pass along your resume to Tier 2 or 3 China job recruiters, they already got what they want - your personal data.

Now they will open email, banking, and credit card accounts and go on a shopping spree. In 3-9 months you WILL find out about these guys the hard way when the Visa and Master Card security people have the police serve arrest warrants on you for "your" unpaid bills.  Of course you will be able to sort it all out, but you may have to spend a few days in jail, and spend about $10,000 on a lawyer to help restore your good credit (that takes about a year).

So to avoid this expensive disruption in your life read the three links below and NEVER ever send nor upload your resume/passport scan to unlicensed agents or ANYONE who is not a direct employer. To learn how to verify a direct employer, read the links below...

On the list below, the bad guys are listed in the left column, the emails they use in the center column and at least one of their victims in the right column.

To obtain all 49 pages of the complete list, please send an email request to 

Here They Are!

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

Friday, December 19, 2014

Surprise! You have Employee Rights In China As A Foreign ESL - TEFL - AP Foreign Teacher!

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There is nothing like a gift of good news for holidays, and we are happy to share it with you and all of our nearly 30,000 teacher colleagues now working in China. No matter what rumors or horror stories you may have heard in the past, you DO in fact now have the same employee rights and labor board protections as a manager of Huawei, ICBC, or Sinopec thanks to labor law amendments made over the past two years.  Granted, prior to 2012 you could nothing but complain or quit when forced to stand on the street handing out flyers, or forced to work unpaid overtimes.  Thankfully, those days are now gone. Here are some of the rights you are now guaranteed if you are holding an Foreign Experts Certificate (FEC):

* You have the right to receive an original hard copy of your contract that is signed and chopped (red sealed) at the time you sign an employee agreement.

* You have the right to receive a written job description prior to signing your contract. It is up to YOU to make sure that job description is specific, in English, and not so vague that your hours, working days, work location, pay rate, holidays, bonuses, visa costs, air fare reimbursement, release letters, etc are clearly spelled out in no uncertain terms.

* You cannot be compelled nor forced to do anything not specified in your job description (which you should insist becomes and exhibit to your contract and also gets signed and chopped. This stops you from being used as a marketing monkey in shopping malls on the street handing out flyers).

* Your probationary period cannot exceed one month for each year of your employment contract.
So if you are asked to sign a one year contract, your probation period should not exceed one month. If however, you sign a contract that specifies a 3 or 6 month probationary period, you are implicitly waiving your right on this issue.

* If you hold an FEC (Foreign Experts Certificate) you cannot be compelled to work unpaid overtime hours without your consent.
This one protection alone is worth about 5,000 - 10,000 rmb every month to some expat teachers in China

* You have the right to receive both an invitation letter and release letter free of charge (These are both legal requirements and administrative duties of the employer)

* You have a right to a Z visa if employed in China (Again, this is a legal duty of the employers and if anyone tells you that you only get a Z visa after you complete your probationary period they are surely a scam operation to be avoided).

Now the bad news...  If you are not holding a Z visa in your passport, you are not entitled to any of these rights, and are subject to arrest and deportation as an "illegal alien". If you are not aware of these rights and others, some unethical recruiters may try to persuade of the following lies...

A) "You will only be paid 50% of your salary for your 90 day probationary period"

B) "You don't need a Z visa until after you complete your probationary period"

C) "If you don't do well on your evaluation, your probationary period will be extended to 6 months at reduced pay until you pass your evaluation."

D) "Since you don't have a TEFL certificate nor 2 years previous teaching experience, you will work 6 months as a teacher intern at 50% salary, and then 3 months at 75% of full salary, and your last 3 months of your first year you will collect full pay".

E) Because you are not a native English speaker, you have to work a 6 month probationary period at reduced pay.

We recently did a quick poll of 500 expat teachers in China and found that 70% of them were totally unaware of the above employee rights and have all been working unpaid overtime for months, and 32% for more than a year. So if you add up all the skimmed money from the unpaid overtime, the monthly $300 hair cut, the bogus 50% internship and/or probation period money, the employee is being robbed of about 40% of his/her total pay - maybe even 50% if they throw in the lie about the "20% China automatic income tax deduction"!!! When dealing with China job recruiters, silence in China is indeed golden! If you don't ask there are many things they will not tell you.  Now you can understand why the CFTU gets bashed and trashed so much by recruiters pretending to be fellow teachers recruiting on ESL & TEFL message boards or expat forums, after being outed as one of the above skimmers. And the sad part is... they are not all Chinese! See the below links:

Foreign teachers in China are the lowest paid expats in the country, yet they are the most targeted by the fraudsters and ID thieves. Teachers are supposed to be teaching lessons to others. But in China they are the ones learning them - the hard way. If you are one of them, we suggest you visit and make yourself scam-proof in a hurry.

If you want a free copy of China Labor Laws in English, Please send an email request to  

H A P P Y    H O L I D A Y S    TO    ALL!

Here They Are!

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

Copyright 2010-2016 By CFTU - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, December 14, 2014

CFTU Warning!!! - Newbie China Foreign ESL & TEFL Teachers Fooled With "Probationary Period" Pay Fraud...

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This scam alert is for every expat working or seeking employment in China and can cost you about 10,000-20,000 rmb in lost wages. Every Chinese employer strives to save money and some do it legally. But other do it this way...

New hires and job applicants aboad are falsely told that during their 90 day probationary period, they will only receive 50% of their pay.  Some expats are not even told but the they find out on payday the hard way - with shock and awe. When they read their contract they either find a sentence or two about "probationary pay" or no mention of not at all (usually the latter). Currently more that 70% of China foreign teachers polled were not even aware of this provision of China labor law! This ruse is 100% illegal and violates China Labor Laws which say the following (translation is rough)

"Employee probationary periods are limited to one month for each year of the contract term"

So, for you to have a "90 day probationary period" your contract would have to be 3 years in duration. Most employee contracts in China are 1 year, and legally the probationary period can not exceed 1 month accordingly.

Currently more that 70% of China foreign teachers polled were not even aware of this provision of China labor law! However, if you waive your employee rights and agree to different terms the employer puts in the contract, you must honor the contract.  Therefore, on any contract you sign in China, you should insert a sentence or clause that says the following...

"Party B, the employee does not waive any of his/her employee rights granted in accordance with China's labor laws for any period of time during the duration of this employment agreement"

This one clause will also ensure that you are paid for overtime and are not charged money for a release letter when you leave the company. In recent years, expat employees were granted the same employee rights as local employees and courts have got much more impartial and diligent in enforcing the laws, so disregard the horror stories from the past about "not wasting money on a lawyer, because foreigners never win in Chinese courts".  In the last year alone, 27 foreigners claimed major victories from 32 claims filed in Beijing and Shanghai. To get your own free copy of China's labor laws and visa laws in English, just send an email request to ChinaLaws 

Here They Are!

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

Thursday, December 4, 2014

2015 CFTU China School & Recruiter ESL, TEFL, & AP School & Recruiter White & Blacklist - Please Help Us With Updates!

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As another year comes to a close it is time to update our ESL - TEFL & AP China School & Recruiter White and Blacklist.  And of course, without YOU, these lists could not exist or help advise others how to work safe in China. If you are in China use this link:  2015 China School & Recruiter Survey. If you are outside of China, just scroll down...

Since 2010, the CFTU as served as an early warning system for all of you willing to take the time to investigate with whom you entrust your teaching career.  We have exposed 79 scams, 87 scam recruiters, 23 identity thieves, and best of all, found 897 honest and reputable schools that are now on our current 2014 white list.  Although our blacklist is updated every 90 days, our white list is an annual affair (much more comprehensive and tedious for our volunteers to deal with).  We count on YOU - the actual China ESL, TEFL, IELTS, TOEFL, SAT, GRE  & AP teaching community to keep us informed of the good, the bad, the ugly, and of course, the best.

Contrary to all the BS and rumors spread by our beloved China job agents and recruiters that we have exposed in the past, no amount of money will add any school to our white list nor remove any entity from our blacklist. If five or more actual teachers endorse a school where they have actually worked for one year, and complete our survey below, the school is added to the whitelist, if we can confirm that 1) They are properly licensed to hire foreigners in China and sponsor Z visas, 2) Have no more than 1 unresolved complaint on file, and 3) Agree that a a CFTU rep can randomly visit the the school and privately interview up to 3 teachers selected by the rep.

Getting on the blacklist is not so difficult.  If a particular agent or school receives more than 3 complaints in one year it triggers an investigation by the CFTU to determine if 1) The agent/recruiter is properly licensed to do business in China, 2) Willing to provide their true legal identification, and 3) willing to resolve outstanding complaints in a fair and reasonable manner.  If they balk and show no interest in resolving complaints or refuse to show proof of licensing, and present a verifiable government citizenship card or passport, they are blacklisted.  Grounds for immediate blacklisting aside from those above include:

* Caught selling or buying resumes from third parties

* Proven affiliation with identity theft rings

* Charging money for invitation or release letters

* Advising teacher applicants that they can legally work in China without a Z visa or bachelor degree

* Caught selling fake diplomas, TEFL/TESOL certificates, and/or fake referral letters of recommendation

So, now comes the part where we ask you to invest 10 minutes of your busy day to help advise, warn,  or  recommend the agents, and recruiters you have used, and schools where you have worked for at least one year.  You name/email will never be revealed and you will never be spammed by the CFTU (We don't sell, promote, nor advertise any product nor service) For schools, this is what we need to know:


1- Your email and first name for any verification issue or clarification (especially if a complaint is involved)?

2- Name and location of the school?

3- Dates of employment?

4- Name of the Principal, FAO, or Headmaster?

5- Was their contract fair?

6- Were you provided a TA?

7- Were you paid for overtime hours?

8- What was your salary?

9- Were you paid on time and in full?

10- Was housing provided and was it clean and heated?

11- How many teachers lived in your shared apartment?

12- Was your contract honored in full?

13- Were your bonuses and holiday pay provided in full?

14- Were you provided an invitation and release letter free of charge?

15- Did your school require you to take TEFL or TESOL training and if so, at whose expense?

16- Did your school insist that you work with a specific recruiter and if so who?

17- Did you have to pay any deposits and if so for what and were those deposits refunded to you?

18- Were you provided practical and standardized curriculum or did you prepare your own?

19- Were you treated fairly, professionally, and respectfully by the staff?

20- Were you ever fined and if so, why and how much?

21- Did your school make any false representations to you, and if so please explain in 5 sentences or less

22- Did your school ever retain your passport for more than 3-5 days?

23- Did your school sponsor you for a Z visa and if so, at whose expense?

24- Did yur school ever ask you to lie to parents, students, other teachers or make a fake review?  Explain if the answer is yes.

25- How would you rate this school on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being "excellent" and 1 being "unacceptable".

Send your answers to this survey to

Regarding recruiters that you want to recommend or expose as being unethical or dishonest, just send an email to and be specific and civil please.  Reports that merely say "Li Peng is a greedy bastard" will be ignored.  We need specific examples and all the contact info for the recruiter and the name they provided you and their real name if you know it.

Since 2010, complaints from teachers have dropped 12% and the white list has expanded 18%.  So your feedback has definitely been making a difference. Our goal for 2015 is to build our white lst to at least 1,000 licensed schools, universities, kindergartnes, and learning centers that hire foreigners. We thank you for your continued support and cooperation. Our new white and blacklists will be published no later than January 10th, 2015.  To learn more about our many free programs and resources, please visit

Happy Holidays To All!

The CFTU Volunteers

Here They Are!

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