Monday, November 16, 2009

Who's Screwing You at English UK?!

A couple of years ago I sent a letter to the EL Gazette, claiming to be a miffed EFL Teacher who had a grievance with his employer. The apparent gripe centred around the old chestnut of 'unpaid work' that EFL teachers are expected to put in at even the best of schools (there are some of those in the UK, aren't there?).

I've no intention of boring you to death with the whole letter, but the main idea centred around a common practice at many shifty private EFL schools, i.e., paying their staff an hourly rate for teaching, then adding other non-teaching tasks and refusing to pay for them, claiming that the remuneration is included in the hourly teaching rate. The key paragraphs were these:

" contract states that I am obliged to work one evening a month to either supervise students or provide entertainment for them, on or off the school premises. No extra payment is given for this, the argument being that my hourly rate covers the extra three hours per month I am expected to give to my employer."

"However, in your article you state that under existing employment laws, 'every hour worked has to be paid'. So, is my employer breaking the law by insisting that my extra three hours a month are 'already paid'?"

"On a related note, you also state in the article that, according to the law, any hour .spent at the employer's disposal' is to be paid for. In that case, what about all the preparation, marking, and test creating that I do at home? The old argument usually repeats the mantra about the hourly rate covering all the time spent preparing classes and marking the students' work, etcetera; but again, this would appear to be illegal, according to UK employment law."

The reply that I received from the EL Gazette was exemplary and detailed - and I'll post it on this blog later this month. However, when I sent the letter to English UK for comment, pointing out that it appeared to indicate illegal practices at one of their member schools, the reply could not have been more different. In fact, a certain lickspittle by the name of Mark Rendell (see picture above) could only just about manage, after a month or so, to find some time to dismiss the whole idea. His exact and condescending words were these...

Dear James,

Thank you for your email and comments regarding the recent article in the EL Gazette. I do apologize for not getting back to you earlier; I was away on vacation and last week we had our annual StudyWorld event. It is a requirement of accreditation and in turn membership of English UK that members comply with all relevant legal and regulatory legislation. In cases where an employee is concerned that his employer is not meeting its legal obligations we would recommend firstly, discussing any grievances with the employer and secondly, if the complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, approaching the relevant legislative body for assistance.

Kind regards,

Mark Rendell
Deputy Chief Executive
English UK

Well, that was extremely helpful of Mr Rendell, don't you think?! In other words, if you have a problem with your employer, if you think he's screwing you over AND breaking the law, don't bother us at all - 'cos we don't care! Incredible as it may seem, English UK is happy to admit to having no interest in knowing when their own member-schools are deliberately disregarding the law! That obviously says a lot about their bad attitude towards EFL teachers in the UK.

Which is to be expected, I suppose. After all, the toady Mark Rendell has had a glorious career at none other than EF, that well-known Woolworths of the Whiteboard World. But, even more appropriately, English UK is, according to its own website:

English UK - the world's leading language teaching association.

Now, don't you find it just a little strange that 'the world's leading language association' doesn't give a toss about the teachers that work in the UK Tefl industry? Or am I being a shade too naive - cynical even?

In fact, what they really care about, of course, is making more and more money for their members - the language school owners. From their website, again, it states the following:

English UK has five main aims:
  • Quality assurance, especially through the Accreditation UK Scheme, which we run in partnership with the British Council.
  • Professional development, consultancy and research.
  • Representation and lobbying both in the UK and internationally.
  • Marketing and promotion, especially in new and developing markets.
  • Business services and business development.
Our main roles are to promote quality and to represent our members´ interests.

Not a word about looking after the teachers, though, eh? You might have thought, foolish Tefler, that 'quality assurance' had some correlation with EFL teachers' terms and conditions - but English UK have other ideas. Of course, there is no parallel between the interests of the members of English UK and the EFL teachers they employ - none at all, is there! That's probably why they employ former EF tossers to do their grubby little work for them.

So, three cheers for English UK!!

UPDATE: Only now, two weeks later, do I remember sending Mark Rendell this reply. Needless to say, he didn't respond!

Dear Mark,
Thanks very much for your reply. Am I to assume that, by your own admission, English UK is not interested in knowing if its own member-schools are flouting the law? Quite frankly, I am astounded by this admission, which clearly says volumes about your attitude towards EFL teachers.
Perhaps you would like to elaborate upon your statement?


Seeker of Truth said...

I see it now
hate sites
LIES about the vending machine
seeking to DEFAME me
thrice encumbered architrave of the unsooth
My funds are unstinting
stuck on a trade site, chavster! NO HOPE of anything better, ever!!
irrelevant scumbag
Check facts before putting any kind of meaningful pen to paper
threat of me learned friend soon silences you all
swine-fed threesome that is JAMES, ALEX CASE and KALINAGO
Birmingham UNI never taught you much
Is that where you MET?!
lies learned at the knee of your lop-eared mam
I talk to the grinder, not the monkey
I am unstoppable
you are the inveterate invertebrate
You think I have CLOSED DOWN??
Lies about that AMERCICAN TEXAN whatever
YOu think I am NOT on the LIST???
I hope to reactivate
to be assigned
Recruiting for a DOS bla bla bla just the same old fucking lies from you and your ilk peer group gang of goon squadders
I was laughing at you in MAY where were you I was waiting for you all
Too shy coy timid bla bla bla
But now I know your NAME your ORIGIN
bla bla bla talk is cheap
TIME to call a halt


And another thing while I'm HERE
I am not the one that shall be BLAMED for NOTHING
You think you can ANALYSE me??
Its a joke
Phone me up and verbally denigrate me is that your tactic now?/
THINGS will NOT go your way


LIES you put on all the REVIEW SITES
YOU paid people to review me
wot a clever BUNCH
uneatable breakfast
noisy rooms
no dubble glazing
saying im not four star
ALEX CASE is 4 star is he? Is he?
WELL piss off boyos Im going for a walk in the park
a bracing day perfect for it
FOR ordering your ADUMBRATION
I AM NORMAL in this industry
THIS IS TEFL NORMAL teflon tefler
nothing sticks do it teflon tefler
This is what happens wot you GET for 12 years
TWELVE YEARS and look at me
LOOk at the fucking STATE of me
causing misadministration

Shaun Ryder said...

Oooh dear. Them meds ain't really that effect-back to the loon 'ouse fer you, Paulie. Is it 'im?

Anonymous said...

No,Shaunie -it's one of PL's many imitators.In fact,this one's a lot more fun than the original.

K said...

In all fairness to EUK, this isn't really within their remit. They're not a regulatory or supervisory body - they simply represent the interests of schools that are accredited by the British Council. It would definitely be worth taking up with the Council, though.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough.
I have a question tho' We have all met those teachers who are pretty hopeless in every regard but "middle-class" and with a DEGREE. When they leave or get chucked out what actually happens to them? Does anyone know? Do they work in shops, live in scumbag areas and join the labour party? Where else does Labour get its support?
I am very curious.

lisa cairns said...

I worked for BC once - bunch of fucking cunts

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Christ, Lisa - you didn't get sacked by BC as WELL as the East London School and that other summer school outfit, did you? Must be a record you're aiming for, eh?!

Anonymous said...

You're a cunt too. I don't know why I keep getting sacked. I hate all employers

Anonymous said...

Dr. Foster went to Gloucester
All in a shower of rain
He stepped in a puddle
Right up to his middle
And never went there again!

And don't come back here either!!

cainsey said...

deputy dawg went to the slums
of london
and shot poor twisty in the head

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Eh? Who's gonna find 'Twisty' in the slums of London? I thought he was in Dubai...

Anonymous said...

Twistys always spontaneously replicate wherever laziness takes a good hold

MR Ian Clarke (to you)