DGEV Tumblr site and clarifications

Someone posted a link to a DGEV Tumblr site with information on DGEV here on my comments section.  I believe the more information out there the better as long as it tells both sides.  Most of the Tumblr site is a pretty fair description on some key points so that was good to see.  A small bit of it- not so much, but you can read that below.  I’ll just put a few responses on topics below and here is the link to the site for you to check out on your own.



The Money

Paychecks: To clarify- the 1.7 they mention on the site is AFTER taxes, national health plan and pension.  This is a fairly accurate average paycheck deposit at the Level 1 starting pay of 24 million won per year.  My starting pay at Level 2 was 25 million won and my average paycheck was 1.78-1.82 since, depending on the time of year, the taxes fluctuate. There are two adjustment months- one for taxes and one for the medical you pay into.  If you work a lot of overtime and/or receive a bonus then these are reflected in the tax adjustment months.  Pension is matched by the school and all is refunded to the teacher after they fulfill their contract, apply for a refund with national pension service (NPS), surrender their Alien Registration Card and leave the country.

Overtime pay: I was horrified when overtime pay was accidentally missed on a couple of occasions for a teacher and in addition to private apologies, I am now publicly apologizing.   *I* was responsible for collating dates/names for overtime and sending the hours report along to the first of a chain of people that handle finances and on I think 2 separate occasions those hours were not copied over correctly.  This was a terrible oversight on my part.  I apologized in earnest and had the situation rectified as soon as I was notified someone didn’t get their overtime pay.  They were not intentional oversights (the Tumblr site does NOT say they were intentional, but please understand that not everything that happens at DGEV is the Korean administrations fault).

Room deposit: Actually a security deposit that covers damage/loss of school laptops, unpaid bills for teachers that leave the DGEV apartments near Yeungjin College without pre-paying their final month of bills (the utilities run a month behind to calculate usage so teachers need to average and pre-pay the bill that will come through after they have left), and contract security as DGEV provides flights to Korea at the beginning of each full 12 month contract whereas others only refund the one-way flight at the END of a 12-month contract.  I have been seeing in Hakwon job postings that the end of contract flight reimbursements are more and more common.

Yes, sometimes it takes a lot of email reminders to make sure the security deposit is refunded.  Deposits are not refunded for 12 weeks after a teacher leaves to make sure remaining bills are paid but I now agree this time frame is too long.  Hopefully, that is a conversation that can be had in the near future.

The Campus

Good and bad both spot on.  The shuttle can be an annoying curfew but still free.  It probably should be said that once in a while a new bus driver would leave early which meant if you were running late you would end up paying an unexpected taxi fare.  The schedule always says to be at the bus stop something like 10-15 minutes early just in case. 100% true and necessary.  I was stuck with an unexpected taxi fare before and admittedly I wasn’t happy (actually, I was tired and angry for a few hours)…

The Bonuses (note: “bonus” equates to “gratuity”)

Historically, bonus time is when tempers run high.  It causes more problems than it solves.  Most people that don’t get a bonus are angry.  A number of people that DO get a bonus are angry because it’s not what so-and-so got or they felt they ‘deserved’ more.  Really- I think the bonus system should be eliminated and overall salaries raised but, unfortunately, I don’t make the rules.

To start, the idea that you may not get a bonus at DGEV because you don’t have ‘blonde hair and blue eyes’ is absolutely false and reduces the credibility of the Tumblr site when it has the potential to be a trustworthy site for on-the-ground information.  I found that part to be a disappointing and unfounded bit of emotion-based opinion.  However, don’t discount the rest of the information solely on that point.

In the past, there have been episodes of favoritism.  It is unnecessary, extremely frustrating and sadly found in many work environments. There should always be a checks and balances system in place but yes, occasionally that fails which can really lower morale.

As the Tumblr site points out,  your contractual PAYCHECK will be paid fairly and on time.

Basically- the bonus system is never guaranteed.  Nobody is ever ‘owed’ a bonus.  It is subjective and a gratuity that should never be viewed in any other way.