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January 12, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Stranded foreign teachers appeal for pay

A GROUP of foreign English teachers went to the Shanghai Labor Arbitration Committee yesterday to complain about outstanding salary still unpaid since the sudden closure of the Kaien English Training Center.

Kaien, one of the city's biggest language training institutes, shut down unexpectedly in mid-December, leaving hundreds of students and teachers in the lurch.

Ten foreign teachers went to the labor board to apply for government meditation, saying they cannot reach the Irish founders or the Chinese partner, a training school affiliated with the Shanghai Construction Group.

The teachers are owed at least two months' salary ranging from 12,000 yuan (US$1,750) to 40,000 yuan, or higher.

"It was a very sad Christmas," said Seth Holton, a foreign teacher at the center. He came to the city to earn tuition for his master degree studies.

"We had no money to enjoy food or buy gifts for our family members and friends. We are worried about being kicked out of our apartment."

One teacher expects to become a father in March. But now he is supported by his Shanghai wife's parents. Another teacher's marriage plan has been disturbed.

Some foreign teachers have left the city because of the difficult circumstances. Others can't find new jobs because their Foreign Expat Certificates are kept by the language training institution and they don't have the required release letter from the company.

Meanwhile, Chinese teachers and students also are anxiously waiting for lost salary or tuition or, if possible, the restoration of courses.

They have not received any information yet.

The Shanghai Education Commission asked the Chinese partner, the SCG school, to handle the case after the sudden closure last month.

But no new progress has been achieved in the past three weeks.


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