Some of my fellow Pinoy teachers here in Thailand are getting a salary so low that they barely have enough money to make ends meet. But don’t get me wrong here if I tell you that it frustrates me more knowing that other qualified Filipino teachers with strong experience and related documents are accepting underpaid teaching stints across the country.
Some say the schools don’t have allocated budget for foreigners, hence, the low salary. Then there are those who said they’ve been here for quite some time but still unlucky to get decent jobs so they simply grab whatever is available – disregarding the salary.
These are just some of the reasons some Pinoy teachers are experiencing here in the land of smiles. Some of these reasons actually cloud my mind. Although I understand where they are coming from, I hate it sometimes when empathy continues to play with me and shows no signs of stopping. The thing is, when it hits me, I let myself be drifted away in oblivion – blocking my reasoning and just go on with the flow.
But something woke me up. Let me share to you a post written by Pinoyguy at ajarn.com.
Pinoy teachers are worth more
Dear Ajarn, whenever I browse through your jobs page for the latest ads from various schools or agencies here in Thailand, I shake my head in disappointment with every ad that shows a salary of 15,000 baht for Filipino teachers.
I am a Filipino teacher too, I have been teaching in Thailand for more than 5 years now, and it seems that the salary price tag for my fellow countrymen, assumed by many employers or schools, seems very degrading to me. I even heard that some Filipino teachers in Bangkok area even go as low as 10k. That price seems very unfair especially for a location with a higher cost of living.
Luckily I have been hired by a school that pays me fair enough for me to live a life of luxury, security, and peace of mind. But then I remind myself that there some who are unlucky and take up these low paying jobs just to stay in the country.
I mean, I understand your predicament, but to my fellow Filipinos, if we continue to take on these jobs with low salaries, without even bothering to haggle for an increase, we are making the Filipino teacher’s value in this country lower. We do our best to be productive and work hard, even harder than native speakers (we go the extra mile at work like come in on weekends or go unpaid overtime without complaints, than any other foreign teacher nationality). We easily blend in with Thai culture than westerners and understand Thai people better because of cultural and regional similarities. Yet salaries for Filipinos are being priced like unsold perishable items on sale in Tesco.
Yes, maybe because there are too many Filipinos in the country so therefore the supply is more than the demand. But then again 15k baht or below is an insult to many of us hardworking Filipinos. We deserve better.
I write this letter in angst because one of these days if I need to find a new teaching job in Thailand, most employers would not pay for an above or near equal rate from what I am currently earning. They will not consider my experiences, nor my accomplishments. They will just see another Filipino, worth 15,000 baht. How about a Caucasian? 30k or more.
I am reminded that at the end of the day if we Pinoy teachers continue to be quiet and won’t sell ourselves correctly, we are so going down. Don’t let yourselves be torn apart just to survive. I know my worth. It is high time you should know yours too.