I would suggest that we remove our European (and U.S) socialist blinkers and learn to accept that the world, or the schools in this instance, do not owe you anything except a wage for teaching. The schools did not force teachers out of Bangkok, the floods did. Perhaps you expect the owners of your accommodation to pay your rent too, or your local restaurant to offer you free food? They won’t, the floods are not their fault either. The schools are not there to ‘take a risk’, they are your employers, full stop. Schools are not your social workers; what happens outside the school is none of their concern and neither should it be. If the transport industry went on strike, would you still expect the school to pay you for not being able to get to school?
No Thais would be offended about my attitude because my previous letter inferred ‘foreigners’ having no social safety net and few rights, not Thais. Some schools are paying and some aren’t? Some are OK and some not? Isn’t that life? All this is OK because it’s Thailand and not some ‘cradle to the grave’ socialist republic that we have got used to in the UK and Europe where we need assistance to wipe our own backsides! Once you’re back in Europe don’t worry, you’ll be the same as everyone else, nobody taking risks, everybody equal and reduced down to the lowest common denominator. Is that what you want; equality, protection, rights?
You’re in the wrong part of the world and need to learn to stand on your own two feet and understand that life is what you make it and not what others make for you. Rely on yourself, learn to look after yourself, plan ahead and you wouldn’t be in the position you’re in now. Isn’t that right? Instead of whinging and complaining that it’s all so unfair.
Keith, the school laughed at him because his request is so preposterous. Why would they pay you for not working? Have you ever tried to explain to a Thai the concept of the welfare state? You know, the part where you don’t work, don’t pay for accommodation and own a colour TV and stereo system? Yes, there is a social security net in place for Thais, my point being that there isn’t for foreigners and so wasn’t it better to be aware of the fact before blowing every months income and then complaining when an emergency arises and you haven’t got any money? I can only speak for myself and everybody I know; the contracts I signed ‘are’ translated into English and if you sign one in Thai and can’t understand a word it says, then what does that say about you? The fact that they’re not worth the paper they’re written on is neither here nor there. If you don’t agree, don’t sign and go back to a country that does write them in plain and easy to understand English. Those ‘are’ the facts, unpalatable, none socialist and common sense ones. At the end of the day there are some easy answers. Move on or move out!
Gareth, yes, I agree, let’s hear from the wonderful schools out there in Thailand. I'm afraid it might be a good country to live in but looking through the letters I think you'll struggle to find the positive aspects of working in Thailand.