Session vacation …doesn’t really mean vacation

During our first day of training, our instructor told us, “You know, there is no vacation with this job.”

Um, yeah, I muttered nervously. Everyone in the class also was nodding and chuckling. Yeah, ha ha.

But, I thought we had 8-10 paid vacation days!! Didn’t our contract state 8-10 vacation days! I don’t understand!

When we got to that section of the Instructor’s Manual, he explained: “8 – 10 session vacation days”means that during a 12-month period you will teach for 20 days per month. The extra days in the month, when the school is closed, you will not teach. That is your session vacation.

We received the 2010 Session Calendar…our work schedule.

Session vacations for 2010 were listed:

  • Wed March 31
  • Fri Apr 16
  • Fri Apr 30
  • Wed June 2
  • Thu, Fri July 29, 30
  • Mon, Tue August 30, 31
  • Fri November 19
  • Tue November 30
  • Fri December 24
  • Thu, Fri December 30, 31

Korean national holidays for 2010 are shown as:

  • Fri January 1
  • Sat, Sun, Mon February 13-15
  • Mon March 1
  • Wed May 5
  • Fri May 21
  • Tue Wed Thu Sep 21, 22, 23
  • Sat Dec 25

Notice that a good number of holidays are on Saturday and Sunday!

In the USA, we define vacation and holiday such that:

  • 8-10 days of vacation means you don’t have to do your regular month’s dutieis that month
  • you get to choose what days you take off for vacation, with adequate notice
  • you can take a week or two of vacation at once
  • holidays fall on days you would normally work

According to YBM’s interpretation of session vacation and holidays, none of these apply.

Beware if you are signing a contract in Korea, or maybe just with YBM, that you may not be getting the time off that you think you are.

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