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Implied Contract from School not honored


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Not sure if this is the right place to post this, if not, please more it.

 

I have worked for a small International School in Bangkok for 2 years.  

During lockdown, the school sent contract renewals on 21 June with a return to school on 17 August

The contract bridged the old contract and was 13 August - 31 July 2022.

 

I asked the school for an update to my schedule on 7 August.  No reply about anything wrong with my schedule)

 

On 17 August (1st day for Welcome back to school), the Headmaster sent me an email that instead of using the salary contract they sent me in June, they want to pay me a low hourly wages (no pay for holiday or sick leave).  It amounted to a 45% reduction in average salary. I replied with my objection.

Their justification - low student numbers for the highest level math and physics classes (1 student dropped since June).

 

Although they did not sign the contract, they were definitely expecting me on the 1st day.  I arranged my flight to Thailand and quarantine to be ready on the 1st day of school. I would have delayed my return to Thailand if they told me about their new idea for my salary before I departed.  

There was no mention of any changes until the 1st day of school.  I feel strongly I was deceived by the promise of their contract proposal.

 

By a twist of fate, on the 4th week of school, a new student signed up with the school that needs my special subjects (A-Level math and physics).  Starting with the 4h week of school, they say they will resume my regular pay - but cut out a month of holiday and the end of the contract).  I offered to have my pay reduced for the 1st 4 weeks by 25 % instead of 45%, but no response.

 

I feel their actions are unprofessional, unethical, and likely violate Thai labor laws..  

 

Opinions?

 

 

 

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You need to post your contract, that neither you nor the school seemed to have signed, if you want serious opinions about that contract, otherwise you'll just get speculation for 79 pages. 

Edited by Liverpool Lou
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Thank you  - I was hoping to hear something different - but this is what I expected.

The contract was not signed - they waited until the last 2 weeks of school to send it.  

I guess I was hoping for a slight amount of integrity.

 

I guess there is no such thing as an implied contract.  There was definitely an agreement - but no contract

 

I care about the students, but if the school is not reasonable, then it is not my fault- I am not teaching for free.

They are preparing for international exams in April - but I guess that is not my concern anymore. 

 

Not sure if I should tell them - or just not show up for online class on Monday.

 

Again, Thank you

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2 hours ago, brianp0803 said:

Thank you  - I was hoping to hear something different - but this is what I expected.

The contract was not signed - they waited until the last 2 weeks of school to send it.  

I guess I was hoping for a slight amount of integrity.

 

I guess there is no such thing as an implied contract.  There was definitely an agreement - but no contract

 

I care about the students, but if the school is not reasonable, then it is not my fault- I am not teaching for free.

They are preparing for international exams in April - but I guess that is not my concern anymore. 

 

Not sure if I should tell them - or just not show up for online class on Monday.

 

Again, Thank you

Possible points to consider ,

The fact that the contract was sent to you , is an intent of the conditions offered by the school . No signature is just an administrative omission,  

The recipient (You) not signing the contract is regarded as non acceptance of the contract.

The issue of you starting work in the knowledge of the new/altered conditions is an implied acceptance on your behalf of the new contract.

 

Also need to note if the contract allows for the conditions to be waived or adjusted in any manner

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The contract was sent the last week of school and we were in an online environment.  No chance to sign it.  I did have communication with the headmaster of the school about my schedule 10 days before school started.  I had several emails with the school about my medical insurance that would cover the Thailand entrance requirement - and they provided a letter for medical insurance (bought me medical insurance for a year).  I sent the office my vaccination certificate.  

 

Upon getting the email of the payment change, I immediately sent a reply that it was not acceptable and follow-up emails saying not acceptable but they were all ignored.  As long as I was working - they ignored any emails about the contract.  

 

I have prepared my email to the school to be mailed at 9:00 Pm Sunday letting them know since no contract agreement can be reached, I need to terminate our working relationship.  

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I know a number of schools that are running into financial difficulties due to low student enrollment, late payments from parents and a few other factors.  At least one has reduced the salary of ALL employees by 20%.  The 20% decrease will be returned to the teachers at a to-be-determined date -- most likely once full in person classes are in session.  The school will then have a better idea of it's financial position.  

 

You need to do what is best for you.  Try to put aside your anger and frustration and figure out what is best for you.  Here are some things to consider:

 

1.  Does the school have control of your visa and work permit?  If so, you might be in a not-so-good position if you walk away.
 

2.  Will the school cancel your insurance?  If we had people walk away, we cancelled their insurance.  If they resigned and left on reasonably good terms, the remaining amount for the year was taken out of their final pay and they kept the insurance.  It was up to them.  

 

3.  Financially, is your position solid?   If you leave can you support yourself while looking for another job?   I used to quietly advise people who were having trouble with the school to start a job search, find something and then give us the 30 day notice.   That way, they were in a position to use me as a reference.  

Sit down, figure out your situation and do what you need to do.   That may mean staying for now or maybe finding something better.   Keep in mind that many schools are having financial problems.

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11 hours ago, brianp0803 said:

The contract was sent the last week of school and we were in an online environment.  No chance to sign it.  I did have communication with the headmaster of the school about my schedule 10 days before school started.  I had several emails with the school about my medical insurance that would cover the Thailand entrance requirement - and they provided a letter for medical insurance (bought me medical insurance for a year).  I sent the office my vaccination certificate.  

 

Upon getting the email of the payment change, I immediately sent a reply that it was not acceptable and follow-up emails saying not acceptable but they were all ignored.  As long as I was working - they ignored any emails about the contract.  

 

I have prepared my email to the school to be mailed at 9:00 Pm Sunday letting them know since no contract agreement can be reached, I need to terminate our working relationship.  

With regards to contract signature. On your return to work did you present the contract renewal signed or not signed by yourself.

In any of the correspondence did you notify the acceptance of contract renewal 

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Because the contracts were not sent out until the last week of school, and everything was online, nobody went to the school to sign contracts.  Most the other teachers they are honoring the contracts sent out (and unsigned).  But, because I teacher the highest level math and physics, I do not have a lot of students, but my students also take other subjects with more students. 

 

There were multiple correspondences with the school about my schedule for the next year.  Also - the school insurance starts in September, but I needed it in August for my return to Thailand.  They paid extra for the month of August.  If they thought there was no contract, why are they buying medical insurance for me?  I assumed I would sign the contract immediately upon arrival in Thailand.  But, upon arrival, they changed from salary to around 55,000 baht per month. I offered to take a 25% discount, but 43% discount is unreasonable.   There is no way I will do the job they expect for that salary.    

 

If they did a uniform cut of 15-20% to all teachers I would accept that.  But they did not do that.  But - because I teacher the highest level math and physics, my classes are smaller and less profitable they decided to cut my salary to make them more profitable.  Although the students that like math will be very unhappy if the school can not offer that to them.  

 

My work permit from last year will expire on 23 September and my extension of stay is scheduled to finish about 7 November.  

My school bought insurance already (without a contract in place - just email correspondence).  If I can continue to carry the insurance, I am happy to pay for it.  But it seems they bought it with no contract in place - I have no obligation to them for that.

 

I teach because I love teaching.  I am 61 and can easily retire and live to 90 with triple my current salary.  I can get a reference from the former head teacher (my 1st 2 years with the school).  This year does not count since I do not have a contract and did not officially work this year (no work permit extension, no visa extension).  I have tried for 4 weeks for a resolution. 

 

If I had a contract, I would not break it.  But - since the school has made it clear they can pay anything they want, then there is nothing to break.

 

I worry about my students studying to IGCSE exams this year and A-Level math and Physics exams this year.  This is not a subject to try to learn without a teacher.  

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14 hours ago, brianp0803 said:

Because the contracts were not sent out until the last week of school, and everything was online, nobody went to the school to sign contracts.  Most the other teachers they are honoring the contracts sent out (and unsigned).  But, because I teacher the highest level math and physics, I do not have a lot of students, but my students also take other subjects with more students. 

 

There were multiple correspondences with the school about my schedule for the next year.  Also - the school insurance starts in September, but I needed it in August for my return to Thailand.  They paid extra for the month of August.  If they thought there was no contract, why are they buying medical insurance for me?  I assumed I would sign the contract immediately upon arrival in Thailand.  But, upon arrival, they changed from salary to around 55,000 baht per month. I offered to take a 25% discount, but 43% discount is unreasonable.   There is no way I will do the job they expect for that salary.    

 

If they did a uniform cut of 15-20% to all teachers I would accept that.  But they did not do that.  But - because I teacher the highest level math and physics, my classes are smaller and less profitable they decided to cut my salary to make them more profitable.  Although the students that like math will be very unhappy if the school can not offer that to them.  

 

My work permit from last year will expire on 23 September and my extension of stay is scheduled to finish about 7 November.  

My school bought insurance already (without a contract in place - just email correspondence).  If I can continue to carry the insurance, I am happy to pay for it.  But it seems they bought it with no contract in place - I have no obligation to them for that.

 

I teach because I love teaching.  I am 61 and can easily retire and live to 90 with triple my current salary.  I can get a reference from the former head teacher (my 1st 2 years with the school).  This year does not count since I do not have a contract and did not officially work this year (no work permit extension, no visa extension).  I have tried for 4 weeks for a resolution. 

 

If I had a contract, I would not break it.  But - since the school has made it clear they can pay anything they want, then there is nothing to break.

 

I worry about my students studying to IGCSE exams this year and A-Level math and Physics exams this year.  This is not a subject to try to learn without a teacher.  

The OP states contract renewal sent out 21st June.

A contract does not have to be signed to be enforceable , in such a case parts of the contract can be assumed to be in force by conduct.

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16 hours ago, brianp0803 said:

But, upon arrival, they changed from salary to around 55,000 baht per month. I offered to take a 25% discount, but 43% discount is unreasonable.   There is no way I will do the job they expect for that salary. 

Man. Come here to Issan. We need you. With your qualifications you can negotiate up to 45k. Less than a BKK intl school salary, yes, but you also don't have the BKK expenses. You could also supplement this as I do, by teaching online.

 

I taught at a BKK private school, and the condo and daily transportation really cut into my salary. Not to mention the stress of the job, all its ridiculous, meaningless little procedures, the terrible, arrogant attitudes, and the 3-4 hour total daily commute. It totally wasn't worth it.

 

My wife and I couldn't have picked a better time to get out of BKK. Our motivations were as above, the attitude of the school and stress of BKK living. We had no idea there'd be another Covid school lockdown, learning at home, and salary cuts, which my former colleagues are now suffering. While the salary out here is comparatively small, it's still a full salary, with no contract nonsense. We really dodged a bullet.

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I might consider the move.  I am more interested in respect than the salary.  If the students pay low tuition and the school gets small profit - then ok for lower salary. But probably enough salary for  a good life in Issan. 

I teach for the love of teaching - but I do expect respect from the administration.  

If you know the British system - AS-Level and A-Level math and physics is fairly high level, and I teach both of them.

 

I guess the school dreams they can find a replacement easy for the salary they want to pay. Although, I suspect they may have a friend that wants the job, hence their treatment of me. 

 

To confirm previous comments.  I have no contract - so not breaking any contract.  My work permit expires on Thursday.  I am not quitting a job abruptly because no agreement to work exist.  

 

I do want to consult the labor board.  I feel that a contract offer sent from the office manager, email exchange with the headmaster about schedule, letter of $100,000 insurance provide by the school (needed to enter Thailand), greetings by the Headmaster on 1st day Google Meet gives enough evidence that the contract was assumed.  

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9 hours ago, brianp0803 said:

I might consider the move.  I am more interested in respect than the salary.  If the students pay low tuition and the school gets small profit - then ok for lower salary. But probably enough salary for  a good life in Issan. 

I teach for the love of teaching - but I do expect respect from the administration.  

If you know the British system - AS-Level and A-Level math and physics is fairly high level, and I teach both of them.

 

I guess the school dreams they can find a replacement easy for the salary they want to pay. Although, I suspect they may have a friend that wants the job, hence their treatment of me. 

 

To confirm previous comments.  I have no contract - so not breaking any contract.  My work permit expires on Thursday.  I am not quitting a job abruptly because no agreement to work exist.  

 

I do want to consult the labor board.  I feel that a contract offer sent from the office manager, email exchange with the headmaster about schedule, letter of $100,000 insurance provide by the school (needed to enter Thailand), greetings by the Headmaster on 1st day Google Meet gives enough evidence that the contract was assumed.  

In your opinion do you have a contract or not.

The statements ' I have no contract - so not breaking any contract'  and ' evidence of the contract assumed ' are contradictory.

 

For a contract to become effective both parties , the offeror and recipient must consent. The offeror cannot consent for the recipient. 

I think what you are saying is that your communication with the school gave an implied acceptance of the contract.

What is not clear is the terms of the original contract , does it allow for variation of the salary.

Does the school consider that you are under contract.

I would suspect you do have a contract by simply carrying out the work. What will be in dispute is the terms.

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@brianp0803

 

If you don't have a better offer now, I suggest you just continue with the school. Everybody has financial trouble during this pandemic including the school. Many people are unemployed so you're lucky to even have a job.

 

You can ask for normal salary after the pandemic is over next year.

Edited by EricTh
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On 9/17/2021 at 1:49 AM, brianp0803 said:

I feel their actions are unprofessional, unethical, and likely violate Thai labor laws..  

 

Opinions?

WELL, welcome to LOS (s-scams).

when they do not reply to you it means the answer is no, but still they are afraid that you will leave and want to avoid confrontation.

what the school did was simply to take you for a fool and to cheat you. As for the thai labor laws - well, truth is that there are no laws in this country or at least there is no way to implement them.

to sue the school will cost you dearly, with very low chance of success. the school did what it did in elusive  ways so it will be hard for you to prove it in court of law.  Now it is your choice if to stay with them, and how to stay with them.

 

What i would do is paying back in the same selfish manipulative manner: keep on working just to get the benefits while looking for ways to abuse their system, and for another employer, maybe even in another country.

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On 9/17/2021 at 6:39 PM, brianp0803 said:

Thank you  - I was hoping to hear something different - but this is what I expected.

The contract was not signed - they waited until the last 2 weeks of school to send it.  

I guess I was hoping for a slight amount of integrity.

 

I guess there is no such thing as an implied contract.  There was definitely an agreement - but no contract

 

I care about the students, but if the school is not reasonable, then it is not my fault- I am not teaching for free.

They are preparing for international exams in April - but I guess that is not my concern anymore. 

 

Not sure if I should tell them - or just not show up for online class on Monday.

 

Again, Thank you

I would say: unless you give me a signed backdated contract on the old terms immediately,  I will go the the Labour office and ask for help, they help any employee. If the school don't want you they have to pay severance pay, the Labour office will help you get it.

 

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My thoughts are 1 - I would not work for any employer that didn't have the courtesy to reply to my emails and 2 - I wonder why you have wanted to teach in Thailand, rather than the UK where (I've read) teachers are in great demand and wages are higher. And where those who you work for do not employ underhand and immoral tactics, legal or not. Thais do not have the same moral standards as the west, and want only what is best for them. I imagine that your experience in Thailand will have already taught you that.

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On 9/18/2021 at 7:17 PM, cleopatra2 said:

The OP states contract renewal sent out 21st June.

A contract does not have to be signed to be enforceable , in such a case parts of the contract can be assumed to be in force by conduct.

And on what authority do you state that "A contract does not have to be signed to be enforceable".....Thats just nonsense!

 

There may be a contract implied by the actions of the parties????

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This is what you get working for one of the small schools that have to live on a shoe string. Get a move on to one of the bigger schools that pay a salary and housing allowance as well. You do need a teaching licenses from your country or state to work at these schools.

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On 9/17/2021 at 11:07 PM, cleopatra2 said:

With regards to contract signature. On your return to work did you present the contract renewal signed or not signed by yourself.

In any of the correspondence did you notify the acceptance of contract renewal 

Showing up for work could be construed as an implied acceptance.   

 

My father always told me that a verbal contract is as good as the paper it is written on.

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1 hour ago, Sandy Bottom said:

Showing up for work could be construed as an implied acceptance.   

 

My father always told me that a verbal contract is as good as the paper it is written on.

Yes .

Showing up would be considered as implied acceptance. However the terms then would be dependent upon the conduct of both parties as no formal acceptance has occurred. 

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6 hours ago, beachproperty said:

And on what authority do you state that "A contract does not have to be signed to be enforceable".....Thats just nonsense!

 

There may be a contract implied by the actions of the parties????

The law generally does not require contracts to be signed. Only that the offer is given with intent and acceptance with consent. 

 

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5 minutes ago, cleopatra2 said:

The law generally does not require contracts to be signed. Only that the offer is given with intent and acceptance with consent. 

 

IT's pseudo lawyers like you the world doesn't need. You do more harm than good.

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Just now, beachproperty said:

IT's pseudo lawyers like you the world doesn't need. You do more harm than good.

Commercial and Civil code formation of contract only requires notice of acceptance. It makes no mention of signatures.

 

In the case of business contracts the requirements are more onerous

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One question I would like to know, have you made it clear to the school that you will be leaving if the current offer is not changed?

 

I would have no problem with you announcing that you are leaving, and as you hold no contract I am sure it would be near impossible for them to force you to stay (more trouble than it is realistically worth). However I'm not sure they are aware what they are gambling if you choose to leave.

 

International schools are not like Thai schools, teachers for specialist subjects like Physics need a specific experience profile and are hard to recruit, particularly now when you need to pay ASQ to bring someone in and term time has already started. There is also significant backlash from parents who are paying 6 figure tuition fees and would expect specialist math and science teachers.

 

I'm sure if you made it clear to the school management that you would leave at this stage, without even needing to give them a notice period, they would realise exactly how difficult you are to replace. If they don't at least attempt to compromise, then I would suggest you make it happen. Seeing as you have made it clear are financially secure, it seems like it would be preferable to being short changed by these people.

Edited by DrSlippy
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I agree with the comments about the danger of working for a small school barely surviving.  

I did tell them it looks like we are not going to reach an agreement and they placed an advertisement in the ajarn website last week.

I can not believe the apparent stupidity that they would be able to replace an A-level Math/A-level Physics/IGCSE teacher quickly.  For A-level, students only take 3 subjects.  The students would have needed to drop math or the school would deceive them about being able to find a replacement soon.  They also have an advertisement for a year 5 teacher.  That should be easy - but no replacement found yet. 

Maybe I am stupid, but I could not do that to the students.  The school was willing to sacrifice the students math opportunities - but I was not willing to do that. I re-signed the contract - but now regret it.  I love the students, but I feel a lot of anger at the school.  

I am 61 year old now and have worked because I enjoy helping students learn.  I know it will be difficult to find another job at my age - so retiring this year or in a few years is extremely small difference to me financially.

Maybe the school knew I would not abandon the students -I have too much respect for the students (sad the school does not seem to share that same respect.

 

It was good to hear the many opinions expressed here. 

Thank you for your contributions

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