台灣準備好雙語教育了嗎?著眼於日前政府表態的雙語教育政策,曾有不少在台外籍人士對於本身未來工作權感到關切。近日一名加拿大籍英語教師Dave Patrick表示將提告他雇主,他聲稱雇主在過去8年不曾支付勞基法規定之特休加班費,並轉告英文中國郵報(The China Post)相關資訊。

TAIPEI (The China Post) – Is Taiwan ready for bilingual education? In light of the government’s new policy goal, many foreigners living in Taiwan have already expressed concerns regarding the protection of their labor rights, such as Dave Patrick who told The China Post how he is taking his former employer to court for allegedly denying any paid time off for the past 8 years.

這名加拿大籍英語教師,透過提供給英文中國郵報之相關法律文件表示,戈果美語在過去8年,以「兼職合約」拒絕支付其特休、及國定假日加班費。Patrick 表示,該補習班提供之「兼職合約」使許多正職外國工作者之身份權益不受保障。

The Canadian English teacher claims that Eagle American Institute has used “deceiving contracts” to deny his rights for paid time off on a national holiday and annual leave, according to legal documents provided to The China Post. The aforementioned contracts would mislead many foreigners to the responsibilities of a “full-time” contract in which the school’s duties would be limited to those of a “part-time” agreement, Patrick said.

根據勞動部對台灣勞工之相關規定,工作滿一年者,享有7日特休,滿三年者應有10日特休。

According to the Ministry of Labor, Taiwan workers are entitled to seven days of annual leave after 1 year of work and 10 days after 3 years of employment.

據瞭解,Patrick多次針對特休及國定假日加班費向資方請款,但多次受挫、求助無門,一度質疑所謂「友善」的我國工作環境。

Patrick reportedly asked the school for the overdue payments of the national holidays and annual leaves, but his actions were met with failure, frustration and “negative remarks,” bringing his friendly work environment to questions.

Patrick表示,他在詢問台北法律扶助基金會、與台北市勞工局後提出訴訟。他指控該補習班為了避免勞基法規定之相關正職給付,雇用「兼職」員工從事「正職」工作。Patrick表示自己與資方交涉過程相當漫長,亦曾遭言語攻擊,並對其他外籍工作者所處的法律環境表示關切。

After consulting Taiwan Legal Aid Foundation and the Department of Labor at Taipei City Hall, Patrick accused the school of hiring “part-time” teachers to do “full-time jobs” with the aim of “denying their rights for fair paid time off.” Like most foreign nationals confronted with legal woes, however, Patrick said he found himself struggling in the process for too long while the school not only hurled abuse at the “non-salaried employee” but also denied his payments.

Patrick認為,該補習班長期未曾向其「兼職老師」說明員工權益,並在勞動部寄出行政罰鍰後仍對他的請求「置之不理」,才使其決定將勞資糾紛訴諸法律途徑。

According to Patrick, his employer has repeatedly failed to “notify part-time workers of their rights” and even “turned a blind eye even after the Department of Labor issued administrative fines to the school.” Such reckless actions are behind his decision to take his former employer to court, he said.

Patrick認為,在台外籍人士都應注意自身權益。他表示:「我們公司中的許多同事都有發生相同的問題,」並認為這可能不僅是短期內的狀況而已。

Patrick added that foreign teachers should be better aware of their labor rights. “Many fellow coworkers are in the same situation,” he said, adding that this could be a widespread issue in Taiwan.

這起勞資糾紛顯然不只是一事,另外也延伸出許多政府與民眾間、以及勞資方,在文化、價值觀推動、與對彼此期望上的理解落差。

This recent case is indeed far from being isolated; it brings in the spotlight the inconsistencies between the government policies, foreign culture, and public expectations.

許多相關報導曾指出,台灣將以透過教育的形式來轉型未來人力資源,亦可能成為雙語國家;但許多民眾仍相信,比起由上而下的口號,推動雙語教育政府需要做得更多。相關單位應以全面改變學習英文的態度,以徹底建立更友善、和兼容並蓄的整體社會環境。

According to various reports, Taiwan is at a critical time to shape the future of its human capital through education. Many believe, however, that fostering bilingual education requires more than a top-down approach. Authorities should put more emphasis on changing attitudes towards English learning in order to build a friendly working environment for foreign teachers.

By Jay Cho (卓業軒) and Dimitri Bruyas (龔向華)