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Any non-shafty English schools in Poland to work as an English native speaker?


kendriannna 7 | 32  
29 Mar 2009 /  #1
I worked at an English being a Native Speaker. The school lied to me, and made me give them money out of each pay. They refused to start the work permit/visa process. I found out they get away all sorts of illegal things. Is this common for English schools? I am now terrified to work at schools.
dcchris 8 | 432  
29 Mar 2009 /  #2
Schools are not going to get your visa for you from my experience. At most they will provide you with the documents you need to get your permission to stay. There are some legit schools. Where are you interested in working?
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
29 Mar 2009 /  #3
Is this common for English schools?

I'm sorry to say this but, yes it is. The Polish EFL market is full of more cowboys than Blazing Saddles. You can try working for the bigger franchises (Bell, IH. EF, Empik etc.) and there's little chance they'll rip you off but you'll probably be paid less. I've never worked for a totally straight school over here.
Guest  
30 Mar 2009 /  #4
The school lied to me, and made me give them money out of each pay.

In what way? Don't forget they have to pay tax for you etc.

They refused to start the work permit/visa process.

Common, I think.
OP kendriannna 7 | 32  
31 Mar 2009 /  #5
There wasn't any paper work. The money was like a security deposit. I pay them until they are comfortable with me, or have been there a while and I get the money back. Teachers and students say I did great. The bosses told me students didn't like me and that I had one more week to do better, I figure why bother work that last week when they will take the rest of my money. I wrote a letter stating some facts and lies of the company and if they want to talk to me, I would need a lawyer. I didn't get a phone call.

And now I am stuck here illegally:( I want to leave to do this all proper, but if I leave I may not be able to ever come back to Schengen countries.The school really did screw me over. Having a work permit would've helped me with the whole visa thing.

Someone told me I should do a border run to Ukraine. But won't they see I'm just over 2 months overstayed? I don't know how that all works out...

I live in Siedlce, I might be moving to a village just outside Zamosc.
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
31 Mar 2009 /  #6
And now I am stuck here illegally:( I want to leave to do this all proper, but if I leave I may not be able to ever come back to Schengen countries.The school really did screw me over. Having a work permit would've helped me with the whole visa thing.

Well, your school sound like the bunch of sharks who are sadly only too often found in the Polish EFL sector. The chances of getting your money back are slim at best. I'd try to treat it as a lesson and not beat yourself up too much about it. Some people are just bastards.

True, in the old days you could nip over into Germany or Czech to recharge your visa but I'm not sure if it would be as easy to get into Ukraine as this is the EU border and they're paranoid about immigrants.

If it makes you feel any better, I flew out of Warsaw once a few yeas ago after overstaying 1 month on a work visa and apart from a stern talking to at the airport from one of the border guard it hasn't had any repercussions. Although they do admittedly take a little longer when checking my passport these days...

Sorry - Hopefully someone here can help a bit more!
Guest  
31 Mar 2009 /  #7
Where are you from? US?
OP kendriannna 7 | 32  
31 Mar 2009 /  #8
Yes. So now I wonder if I get hired at another school if they can get me a work permit. And if I could still apply for temp residency.
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
31 Mar 2009 /  #9
So now I wonder if I get hired at another school if they can get me a work permit

They can, but it might be difficult to find one that will at the moment (school year's coming to an end). I heard a rumour that you can stay in Poland as long as your visa is being processed (I'm not sure though) so as long as you can find an employer who is wiling to employ you, you're off the hook from the day the process begins.

If you're really worried, perhaps it's best to fly back to the States and try again next year? Speak to your embassy.
dcchris 8 | 432  
31 Mar 2009 /  #10
Its true that you can stay as long as your visa/permission to stay is being processed but they will give you an extension or two month visa. Probably the best thing is to either fly out or check with the embassy. But they will give you the official statement most likely.
Trevek 26 | 1,702  
1 Apr 2009 /  #11
I'm not sure, cos I'm from UK, but part of the problem might be actually employing you while awaiting your work permit. It has been known for schools to 'employ' a Pole and let you work under that name...
Harry  
1 Apr 2009 /  #12
I'd recommend a three-stage procedure: First you go to the school and tell them that you want all the money they owe you and if you don't get it, you'll be reporting them to the tax office (for not paying the tax they should have been deducting from your wages), the labour office (for employing a foreigner without a work permit) and for making illegal deductions from your wages) and the foreigners office (for employing a foreigner who does not have legal residence in Poland).

The second step is when you get the money, you then report them to all of those offices anyway (otherwise the school owner will just do exactly the same thing to your replacement). The key is that at the tax office you need to express 'active regret' that your taxes have not been paid and stress that money was deducted from your salary to cover those taxes. The employer needs to withhold tax from the payment actually made to the employee and to then transfer that money to the tax office, so the tax office will chase the school, not you. Same deal with the labour office: the school has to get your work permit, you can not get it and can not legally be made to pay for it either. The tricky one is the foreigners office. It is your responsibility to be legally resident in Poland. I'd suggest leaving that office until last, then you can go in and throw yourself on their mercy. Tell them that the school promised it had taken care of your residency permit, just as it said it had taken care of your work permit and taxes but now the labour and tax offices are investigating the school for breaking those promises. You should be able to claim 'no fault' and hopefully be able to get a temporary extension long enough to have your application for a temporary resident's card processed. If not, you'll need to leave Poland for a few months (which is exactly the situation you are in now).

One of the reasons that there are so many crap schools in Poland is that teachers let school owners/managers get away with behaving disgracefully. When you encounter a school like that it is your duty to not let them get away with it. The last school that ripped me off was reported to the tax office (for paying staff in cash (and US dollars at that) at a time when foreigners could only be paid into bank account and not withholding tax) and to the labour office (for employing foreigners without work permits). According to a friend of mine who continued working there, it cost the school 30 times more than they stole from me to pay off the offices.
Cleo14 1 | 29  
1 Apr 2009 /  #13
The key is that at the tax office you need to express 'active regret' that your taxes have not been paid

well if i understand correctly, she worked in 2008, and the tax reports for 2008 aren't due till the end of april so there's no reason she should express any active regret just yet (especially that it doesn't exist enymore, now all you can do is provide written explanation and ask not to be fined - same thing but different name), cause she hasn't done anything wrong. but her employer should've given her a pit-11 (sth like the w-2s in the us) form, which for her is the basis to do the tax report with the polish irs. the employers responsibility was to hand this to her till the end of feb. since it hasn't been done, what she should do is to gather all the salary slips (or bank statements)- if there are any, or any kind of correspondence regarding payment for her services or billing for the classes, i mean ANYTHING that might implicate that the emplyer acknowleged that she works for him. and find a good accountant or take sb she can trust to the irs and ask them to investigate why she hasn't received any pit-11 yet, if there is any pit-11. Most likely there isn't any cause obviously the employer made her work under the table.

just gather everything u can - contract, promise of a contract, e-mails, bank statements and just squeal on the mofos. dont even tell them ur going to do it just do it. if you can't gather enough evidence simply pretend that nothing happened for now and in the e-mails inquire about the salary, legitimacy of your employment - but so they don't figure out why. and if they admit to anything in writing take it as a proof with you.

and yes - this is common with the english schools. my husband went through tax BS every year with different employers. but in his case there was no problem with the legal work cause he had a temporary residency card. and always after he threatened to inform the tax office about the matter they would give him his tax forms :@)

so if u wanna make your employer's life miserable (which i would if i were you) - do it. he deserved it.

or just get a ticket home and before you leave break all the windows at his school ;@P
OP kendriannna 7 | 32  
1 Apr 2009 /  #14
The only thing far as paperwork I have is emails of my schedules. Also at every class I had to fill out a record stating I was there and the name of the lesson with my signature, Im not sure how to get my hands on those, Maybe from some teachers. I have teachers and students I know would defend the situation. Just not enough paperwork. All pay was in Zloty cash. no checks, no banks. And I'm not rich to get a lawyer and all that jazz.

I only worked there for 2 1/2 months. So its all 09'.
Maybe I can write an email to the school pretending to be a student... hmmmm
Thanks for all your input:)
scottie1113 7 | 898  
2 Apr 2009 /  #15
Yes. So now I wonder if I get hired at another school if they can get me a work permit. And if I could still apply for temp residency.

As a native speaker from the US you don't need a work permit, but as I've posted before, you do need a residency card. My school helped me through that process-the first time required more documents, but the ones I didn't have weren't really necessary. I just had to sign a paper stating that I didn't owe any taxes in the US and I wasn't an axe murderer. Piece of cake, though time consuming.

I pay Polish taxes and have the documentation to prove it. My school has never been late on any payments. Why would you work for a school which does this sort of thing?

I work at Bell in Gdansk. They've got a rap for paying less, but I'm on a contract from the third week in September until the third week in June. That means that get paid for holidays, Christmas, Easter and semester breaks so it kind of evens out.
OP kendriannna 7 | 32  
2 Apr 2009 /  #16
Why would you work for a school which does this sort of thing?

I was stupid and Naive and it was my second month ever in Poland. And first job. I came to Warsaw and was desperate to leave. I don't like big cities and wanted a place of my own. The school found a furnished apartment for me. Boss told I would get all the legal papers, but it's really time consuming, blah blah, and that there was no paper work or contract until I get those items and he wanted money so i would stay longer...I found out from the previous native speaker, it took the school a year and half to get him legal there.

It's done. I learned from my mistakes, and just wanted to see if this is how most English schools work. I worked part-time at 35zl/hour, if I took around 20zl/hr (what the teachers make) i would have gotten more hours, screw that.

I was there like I said for 2 months. I will now be relocating looking for jobs in Zamosc, with my boyfriend's parents.Then hopefully Lublin in the fall.

I came to Poland with this man with the intention of marrying.And thought getting a job would help it all.Guess we should've done in the states. to late to turn back now

o crap I haven't done my taxes yet.. better file an extension and get papers from the states...doh...
So I just have to be careful with what school I work with!And learn from mistakes:) that's what makes life so much more interesting:)
miranda  
2 Apr 2009 /  #17
well, I would not work for any school without some kind of contract in the future if I were you.

Next time, ask many questions and if you don't get the right answers, move on to another school.
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
2 Apr 2009 /  #18
Why would you work for a school which does this sort of thing?
I work at Bell in Gdansk.

To be fair, these schools are very good at drawing people in, and if you're new to the profession you don't appreciate the utter depths to which a school owner will sink to scape a couple more zloty. They are simply ruthless bastards.

I knew someone at Bell and he was paid cash in hand. Another at IH. None of them are above it

One of the reasons that there are so many crap schools in Poland is that teachers let school owners/managers get away with behaving disgracefully.

True. There's a kind of predator-prey pathology in teaching which even older and more experienced teachers suffer from. It's pathetic seeing middle aged women cowering when some jumped up little prick starts stamping his feet around and muttering about contracts and paying 20 zloty an hour or whatever.
scottie1113 7 | 898  
2 Apr 2009 /  #19
I knew someone at Bell and he was paid cash in hand. Another at IH. None of them are above it

I'm not sure what you meant by this. I'm paid cash in hand because I don't want to open a bank account. I don't need one. It's legal and I pay taxes. It's all above board. Some teachers have a direct deposit into their bank accounts. What's the big deal?
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
3 Apr 2009 /  #21
How about contacting the media ? An American being exploited by a Polish employer... that should be interesting... And If that is published anywhere, the offices will be 10 time more helpful than they use to be.
mafketis 24 | 8,721  
3 Apr 2009 /  #22
Don't bet on it. I've seen the stories before.

The school people can speak Polish and he would be dependent on the reporter's ability in English (not guaranteed to be high). The school people can make him look like a trouble-making idiot with very little effort (and they will). In this kind of situation you either know the language and/or culture and know how to stand up for yourself (or get around obstacles) or youre s-c-r-e-w-e-d.

Poland can be a wonderful place to live, it's no place to go if you're not up to learning the language and how things are done (and/or taking some financial hits before you do).
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
3 Apr 2009 /  #23
The school people can speak Polish and he would be dependent on the reporter's ability in English (not guaranteed to be high). The school people can make him look like a trouble-making idiot with very little effort (and they will). In this kind of situation you either know the language and/or culture and know how to stand up for yourself (or get around obstacles) or youre s-c-r-e-w-e-d.

That's true but something similar (but I think worse...) will probably happen in case of reporting them to the offices...
OP kendriannna 7 | 32  
3 Apr 2009 /  #24
If I go report them, I will have some teachers and the previous native speaker bring it down with me. Might as well get them super screwed.

A strange thing happened ... I applied at a school in Warsaw December 10th and I got an email from them yesterday for doing a trial lesson and meeting.Wow contacting me 4 months later and they have no idea what's going on...

Taking a train everyday won't be so bad if i get hired, and they might be able to help me with the residency thing:)Who knows.............staying optimistic.
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
3 Apr 2009 /  #25
Who knows.............staying optimistic.

They probably had a teacher leave at short notice or meybe they've won a new contract. either way this could be just what you need. Good luck!

I'm not sure what you meant by this.

Take a guess. I ain't saying no more.
dcchris 8 | 432  
3 Apr 2009 /  #26
they might be able to help me with the residency thing

ok you should realize that they are not going to "help" you. you have to do it and ask them for the documents demanded by the foreigners office. Good luck. I would sort out my overstay problem asap if I was you.
Davey 13 | 388  
3 Apr 2009 /  #27
I worked at an English being a Native Speaker.

Haha, you might want to brush up on your English skills.
dtaylor 9 | 823  
3 Apr 2009 /  #28
It's the internet, hardly a Thesis into English philosophy.
It is he who mock's who needs to learn himself...
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769  
3 Apr 2009 /  #29
kendriannna

I am completely serious when i write this. You need to find someone willing and able and who knows what they're doing and simply use violence or the very real threat of it. Or start gathering papers and find a contact at a tax office then play your cards that way. Either way this group will bully you until you give them the horns.
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
3 Apr 2009 /  #30
You need to find someone willing and able and who knows what they're doing and simply use violence or the very real threat of it.

I wouldn't if I were you. This kind of thing happens all the time and people go to prison for it.

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