Teachers: you can’t cherry pick from the convenio

[:en]Something tells me I am not going to gain new fans, amonst teachers, with this article. And the same will happen among academies, with the following ones, . Well, tough luck! The aim of this blog was never to become popular, but to provide as much information as possible. Knowledge is power and information clears muddy waters.

I’ve tried to explain this to teachers for years now….and haven’t been able to get the idea through. It’s a pity, because I am sure it would be a step towards obtaining what teachers need: secure, well paid job positions. And that, in turn, would allow us, academies, to create a stable staff of professionals with which to provide a decent service to clients.

There is a serious misunderstanding about contracts and rights in teaching. And I really think teachers are not being reasonable here (most because of lack of knowledge).

The main idea is:

sorry guys, but you can’t cherry-pick from the convenio.

It just doesn’t work that way. You can’t reject it throughout the whole year, saying the salaries in it are disgraceful and you won’t accept them. But then call upon it and name it whenever you want your right to paid holidays (which you have).
We all have serious doubts about who voted the convenio, who elected them and who they work for. It propably is not the best one, but it is the legal document that dictates your rights. We must base teaching contracts on them, in areas where it benefits you, and in those where it doesn’t.

What the hell is he rambling about?

Ok so, here are my facts from the convenio:

  • Base salaries are (in broad terms) :
    – About 1060€/month for an auxiliary teacher (more or less 7€ an hour).
    – About 1200€/month for a normal teacher (more or less 8€ an hour).
    Obviously for less hours it’s proportional to that.
    These salaries might seem low, but please check the labour agreement for any other profession. Look at the base salaries. They don’t differ much.
  • Contracts with those salaries have paid holidays. 30 natural days per year. So, when things are done correctly, you work for 10 months and get paid for 12. I will talk about them another day.
  • Holidays must be taken in periods of low or no activity of the center. And are dictated by the academy (not the teacher).
  • A teacher’s work week is 34 hours (not 40). Less than 7 hours per day.
  • Academies pay for social security and many insurances.
  • Teachers under these contracts have a security in the sense that they don’t depend on clients availability. You are hired for a number of hours a week and it is the center’s business to get students for those hours.

Teachers not under this convenio (self employed teachers, the so called autónomos) share these points:

  • Can charge more per hour. From 20€ onwards. It happens in all professions too.
  • They pay their taxes. They should pay for their insurances (few do).
  • They have to pay for their social security (50€ for the first 3 years now, nearly 300€ from then on).
  • They have extra costs like legal or financial advisors etc.
  • They have to find their own students and their salary depends on that.
  • They don’t have paid holidays.

And this is what we get from teachers whenever you are trying to hire one:

  • They don’t want to be autónomos. Too much of a hassle and too insecure. They want contracts (I would too).
  • But ohh…those salaries from the convenio are too low. “No….I can’t accept 8€ an hour, I want at least 15€” (and those are the most reasonable ones). That’s more than double what they convenio says. They demand at least the same as a self employed worker, when you add taxes to the amount (and even more in most cases).
    So they want the salaries of self -employed workers.
  • When July and August comes, they demand their paid holidays. Either in their monthly salary or in their settlement, in their finiquito. And they are outraged when the academy has found a way not to pay for those holidays (I will talk about these ways in another article).
    So they want the rights of a contract worker under the terms of the convenio.
  • Some take leaves and holidays at their own convenience…like a self employed worker.

Isn’t that a contradiction? Salaries of a self employed worker but the rights of a normal worker.

I don’t seem to be able to convey the idea that contracts under the convenio have lower salaries because they include paid holidays and because they are more secure.

In my opinion, the solution for teachers would be to consider those contracts (as teachers do in schools). Or hybrid solutions at first  where you work for half the day under such a contract and half the day in per hour contracts or private classes (because one needs to pay the rent). And, as in any sector, once a business gets to know the worker, they can start to increase the base salary until the worker gets a decent monthy salary.

But 99% of teachers to whom I’ve offered contracts under the convenio (with all the benefits) have rejected them in September in order to get a higher rate per hour.

If this isn’t done this way, we will continue to work with contracts at a higher rates which, are in the frontier between legal and illegal. And which solve the monthly needs of a teacher but not the problem of those 2-3 months a year when there are no classes.

The only way to do things correctly is to start working by the rules. ALL of us (teachers and academies).

Because no business can pay 15-20€ per hour for 4-7 hours a day, plus 2-3 months of holidays and gain a profit.

What is your opinion? I’m open to debate….I think it is what our sector needs. An open honest, healthy debate between teachers and academies about all subjects.



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