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Expat Teacher Transferring - Good Package?

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dflaks
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Expat Teacher Transferring - Good Package?

Postby dflaks » Sat, 13 Sep 2008 4:14 pm

Hi everyone

I have done searches in the forum and have not really found a good answer so here goes.

For all of those expat teachers working for an International School, what is a good package for a senior infants/primary school teacher? By senior I mean working for a private school in Sydney like Sydney Grammar School for the past 10 years or so.

I have been offered the following and it seems really low but I need your advice on that one....please.
Salary $60k SGD
Discounted school fees for our 3 children (6yo, 2*3yo) but not sure of how "discounted" they mean.

But that is it no other living allowances, flights back to Australia etc. I would have thought with a salary that low that all 3 kids should get "free" schooling at least.

Can I please have your thoughts on whether this is what to expect or if the school is trying to tide one over on me?

Thanks
Dave

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Postby Matney » Sat, 13 Sep 2008 9:06 pm

I left over a year ago. I was hired on a local pkg. meaning that I was already in Singapore when I was hired. I got discounted school fees(half rates) for my 2 children.
I would think if you are being hired while you live outside of Singapore, you would get discounted school fees (some schools offer free schooling), airfares home per contract and an allowance for housing.
I would clarify if they discount all three of your children, as it is usually only for the first two, the third one cost full.
I think you would find it tough on those conditions and only one salary. Wish your PM was working(post more to get it going).

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Postby positano » Sat, 13 Sep 2008 9:55 pm

hi Dave,

a friend of mine is a teacher from Sydney and she is working here for an International School. she is not as experienced as you and has certainly not worked at a prestigious school like Sydney Grammar. she is single and has no children. every year her employer pays for a return flight for her to Sydney and she also receives a rental allowance. i don't know what her annual salary is.

hopefully there are actual teachers on this forum who can give you more specific and useful advice.

cheers

dflaks
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Postby dflaks » Sun, 14 Sep 2008 6:29 am

Thanks for the replies. I have a feeling they are up for a negotiation war.....should be fun. Maybe I should not put all my eggs in one basket and ping another couple of schools over there and see if they are interested.

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Postby aussiemeg » Sun, 14 Sep 2008 6:26 pm

One of the first things that happens here is that the school harness the teacher spouses of employees already sent here on other business. So approacha few schools esp the IB ones such as UWC, OFS, Canadian, GESS and then Tanglin who all take a lot of aussie teachers.

I would really be a bit pushy as I know a lot of the schools here have the 3rd child rule but my friends argued on the triplet factor and got fees paid for the 4 kids. So you gould go on the twins factor.

If $60K is to be your total salary will they provide subsidised housing?

On top of all that Singapore is a great place to live
Megan

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Postby dflaks » Mon, 15 Sep 2008 10:49 am

Yup judging by some of the pm's I received and after talking again to the principal over the weekend I feel they were expecting my spouse to be transferred as an expat and then all of the extra allowances etc would be paid by them rather than for me at the school. Unfortunately that is not the case and I need to get that point across loud and clear.

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Postby Matney » Mon, 15 Sep 2008 6:25 pm

If your wife is also being hired by the same school, one spouse is hired as expat, the other as a local. They don't want to double up the bonuses.! Is this the case? Are they offering one of you housing, flights, and education allowances? If so, that's good. Pay still seems a bit low with over 10 years experience.

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Postby cbavasi » Mon, 15 Sep 2008 8:39 pm

this is a cut & paste from an itn'l school website re: teacher salaries:

Terms and conditions(all figures in Singapore dollars)
Basic salary is on a scale up to $8500 per month.
Head of Department allowances: $400, $700 or $1000.
Housing allowances for overseas recruits: Single: $2000 Married $2500
Gratuity for foreigners: Accrues monthly at 10% of basic monthly salary plus HOD allowance.
CPF paid for Singaporeans and Permanent residents.
Exchange rate: $ 2.52 per pound on 10 Sep 2008

HTHs.

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Postby Justin_Br » Tue, 16 Sep 2008 11:10 am

The last post of $8500/month and housing of $2500 seems quite high. Assuming that to be correct then a single person would earn just over 100k per year excluding the 2000*12 or 24k housing allowance. Then to top that off you have a foreigners allowance of just over 1k per month.

Thus a single person according to your wage could earn up to almost 140k as a teacher. This seems a little extreme. Especially since the first posting was indicating a 60k annual salary with no housing allowance.

Initially, I could be wrong but I have heard 40k or there abouts with some housing allowance depending on if your husband is an expat or not. However, this could be completely incorrect and as such I am open to those who know better to share there own personal experience with regards to expat versus local packages and flights/end of contract bonuses, etc.

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Postby cbavasi » Tue, 16 Sep 2008 11:58 am

I'm not a teacher - but was checking out the website for an International School anyway and found that in the "careers" section. It was a direct cut and paste and updated since the school is new - so worth checking around to see what else is on offer.

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Postby k1w1 » Tue, 16 Sep 2008 5:28 pm

OP, no that package is not appropriate for your experience and will not be enough to support a family on. If you are being recruited from overseas, flights and medical benefits should also be included, as already mentioned. A housing allowance is no longer a "nice bonus" but an absolute necessity.

Justin BR, the salaries you have quoted are UP TO this amount. Yes, there are teachers at International Schools earning UP TO $140k a year. Why is this extreme? We're talking about people who probably have masters degrees and years of experience at their job. And who are expected to live, (and pay through the nose for the privilege of being here), in Singapore.

Housing allowance of $2.5k a month? What can you rent for that? Have a look on this website and see (hint: the minimum search range is $3k).

40k is way off the mark for a foreign teacher at an International School.

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Postby dflaks » Wed, 17 Sep 2008 6:46 am

Yep I agree, we have done the sums on what it takes to live comfortably in Singapore (luckily I have family there already and know the cost of living) and the biggest 2 expenses are School Fees for kids - we have 3 at about 20k each, and then rent at about 8k per month for a decent 4 bed condo on the coast....does not leave too much left over!
Lifestyle is good in Sydney and I think schools in Singapore recognise this, so to poach a decent teacher MUST cost them a decent amount of cash.

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Postby Justin_Br » Wed, 17 Sep 2008 9:02 am

I fully understand that the amount I quoted is near the top end of the pay and understand that the two major expenses she will incur will likely be rent and schooling for her children. However, I have read in these forums and elsewhere that teachers in Singapore get paid approx $40k plus rental allowance. However, as I had indicated I could be wrong but would appreciate some links to postings or forums where the higher amounts are indicated. Additionally, the first lady had posted an amount of $60k which seems a tad low given no rental allowance given her experience level. Thus, I was just giving my opinion that the quoted amount of $140k seems a little high given that teachers usually get significant discounts for their children and if this amount was incorporated into her salary her salary would be quoted in the $200k range which again seems quite excessive.
Again, if she were a department head I would assume that they would get higher amounts but $200k for a seasoned expat teacher to me seems extreme but as indicated I would appreciate being corrected with evidence if indeed I am wrong.

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Postby Justin_Br » Wed, 17 Sep 2008 9:56 am

I was able to find this link

http://www.sas.edu.sg/career/faculty.html

which would indicate that the top teachers could earn -

S$104,000 plus housing and their children's schooling. Thus, it could seem plausible that if the children's schooling was what you quoted and as found on the above website of S$20,000+ per child could be for three children S$60,000. Also, once you ad a predetermined housing allowance, say for a married couple of S$2,500, on the high end you would get S$194,000. Thus, the above would be for a VERY experienced teacher.

I would assume something MUCH less for younger teachers.

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Postby boffenl » Fri, 19 Sep 2008 3:37 pm

Wow--these figures are outstanding! If anyone has personally wrangled $140k from an International School for SALARY I'd love to hear about it. Even Universities might find this figure a bit high for SALARY.

$60k on what would essentially be a local package is very low. Especially as you've indicated you'll need a 4 room condo--which on the low end would be $2000 for an HDB and skyrocket from there. Double that would give you wiggle room for vacations and rent. But not private school tuition (even half discounted) for the 3 kids. Energy costs are high here and please don't discount transportation costs which are ever increasing.


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