Quitting a job?


I’m not sure whether it’s wrong to quit a job without a decent reason.

I work as a teacher on contract, and my contract expires in August. I like my classes, but I’ve been stressed out by some of the drama that’s been going on behind the scenes at work. Now there’s a little more drama, and one of my colleagues is giving notice. I’m wondering whether it would be wrong to use this drama as an excuse to quit.

Here’s the situation: my contract stipulates that the school provides me with rent-free housing. The apartment building I live in is being destroyed this coming summer, and my school wants to renegotiate my contract now to exclude the housing clause, or significantly change the nature of the housing to make it cheaper. This wouldn’t go into effect for a few months, but none of the choices they’ve offered me are acceptable - a one room with a shared bathroom and no kitchen, or no money for housing at all (no raise, either). I’ve already told the boss that I won’t sign a new contract that doesn’t involve housing of equal value. My salary is too low to afford to pay my own rent.

The second piece of drama is that my pay was late this month - and the school knew it would be late, and decided not to warn us. Only the teachers in the foreign language departments were paid late, because they decided the ethnically Korean teachers were higher on the priority list. I NEEDED that money on time, and it wasn’t there. I had to scramble to get a loan from a friend to make it through the weekend. I was NOT happy about that.

However, those issues alone wouldn’t be enough to make me quit now - the housing can be negotiated before the summer, and the boss promised that the pay thing will never happen again. The real issue is that Korean labour laws have changed, and it’s much harder for foreign language teachers to get visas. As a result, the average salary has gone up through the roof. I’m seeing ads for two or three times my monthly salary for half the working hours. I’m struggling to make ends meet, paying for my master’s degree and working full-time. I could REALLY use a raise.

Would it be wrong to demand a better contract mid-way through, since they’ve already breached it by not paying me on time? Or would it be wrong to use the breach of contract as an excuse to quit? I’d give notice - There’s a holiday at the end of February, and new classes start in March, so I wouldn’t be abandoning my students mid-year. It seems wrong to me, but I need the money so much… :frowning:


Call me cynical, but a job contract is not an oath of fealty. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be followed. This merely means there’s no high treason in finding a better contract. As for using excuses, you need to weigh how true they are. I don’t think it’s wrong to use an excuse, but you should probably consider how true and how fittingt the excuse would be.

If it were my contract, I would infer from the boss’ actions so far that they’re taking it the business way, i.e. filling posts for money without much metaphysics in it, at least to a large extent. If they consider cutting your housing without offering a fitting compensation, which they call renegotiating the contract, I don’t think it’s any wrong of you to demand a raise or even change the job. As you are a teacher, I think it’s good of you to stay until the break.

But make sure this all doesn’t get you unemployed. :slight_smile:


But make sure this all doesn’t get you unemployed.

One thing I love about the job market for foreign language teachers in Korea: if you’re qualified, you’re almost guaranteed a job. I have been here four years, and I have never been unemployed between contracts for more than four days. :thumbsup:


Sounds like you have at least 2 very good reasons to quit–the changing of your contract in regards to housing, and the salary issue. If your employer is pulling your benefits with out raising your salary to a competitive level, that’s plenty of reason to walk. Call one of the other employers you’ve seen the ads for and tell them you’ll be available in August!


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