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I think I'm being lowballed, help me negotiate! (Special flower thread)

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
So, I received an offer from an International School in Singapore this evening. I was very excited about this job and moving there this year until I saw their offer which was significantly below my expectations. First, let me share the text of the email I received with the details (errors SIC):
Quote:
Dear xxxxxx How are you doing? We are send you our EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT letter. Please check attached file for Terms & Condition and Confirm your decision as to whether or not the Agreement. Please decide and Let us know as soon as possible. we have Several Teacher's to Consider. Thank you Regards, xxxxxx
Here is the offer: 4000 SGD per month, with an annual increment of 1200 SGD. No housing, medical "insurance" is simply $20 sgd 3/x a month. No flights included. Here are the facts/suppositions: I was offered a job with the British Council in a language center (which is a bit below the level of international schools in Sg) for 4500 SGD. It included full British Medical Insurance, flights to/back from SG home paid for. There were four other candidates interviewed. I was the only candidate interviewed who has a B.S. in a Science and is capable of teaching Science in addition to English. I am moderately experienced with 5 years in education, and I currently lecture at an International College near Hong Kong. 5200 sounds okay after a year, but I think 4000 is a kick to the bollocks. Any ideas on how I should approach negotiating this? I think 5000 is the absolute minimum I could accept to move to SG for a job. I would want them to up the salary to 5k and include some kind of relocation coverage. Halp, plz thanks.
post #2 of 63
annual increment of ~27% salary growth sounds very stupid... this means the starting salary is way too low. They make it sound like a 'take it or leave it', as we have other candidates to consider. negotiate a better salary. or go to the other job which has better benefits.
post #3 of 63
good luck. I have no idea how teaching works, but this does sound like they are trying to squeeze you.
post #4 of 63
Thread Starter 
I sent her back this email:
Quote:
Dear Miss xxxx, Thank you for sending the offer, I have recieved it. I will let you know what I think after I have evaluated the cost of living in Singapore as compared to Zhu Hai, China. Best regards, xxxxx
I don't plan on replying either way for two days. ginlimetonic: the question is, how do I go about successfully negotiating the salary with a person like that via email? Just tell them straight up "Your offer is significantly less than what I have researched to be the minimum amount for an ex-patriot to live Singapore, and is also lacking standard compensation for flight/finding housing expenses and full medical coverage."? I was also considering playing a little harder back with something like. "In contrast to my offer from the British Council, which is not only paying more per month, but also offering full medical coverage, financial assistance in locating an apartment, and reimbursing flights, I believe I am entitled to negotiate for a starting salary of at least 5000 SGD/month."
post #5 of 63
i would neither mention where the other offer is, nor use words like 'entitled'. If the other offer is better, take it instead, and politely decline this 'opportunity'.
post #6 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginlimetonic View Post
annual increment of ~27% salary growth sounds very stupid...
kinda....Singapore's economy grew just under 15% last year (basically off the back of two casino openings) and a population boom fueled by opening the doors to foreign workers. In spite of this, the country managed to keep its CPI to 3 percent in 2010, although anecdotally, inflation is already going crazy and it's taking time for the official numbers to catch up. Maybe some basket bias in their measurement systems.... So, yes, 27 percent sounds like a big leap, but in real term purchasing power 2011-2012, it may not be as high as it sounds.
post #7 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
i would neither mention where the other offer is, nor use words like 'entitled'.

If the other offer is better, take it instead, and politely decline this 'opportunity'.

Well, I don't want the other offer because ultimately it also wasn't enough money for me.
post #8 of 63
then keep lookin' kid...
post #9 of 63
"Dear xxx, Unfortunately I am not able to accept this offer at this time despite my desire to work for "school". The proposed salary and benefits are significantly below my current position and qualifications. I need a starting salary of $xxx before I can accept the offer. Thanks" I have no clue about cultural norms around offers and negotiating in Singapore so grain of salt, etc.
post #10 of 63
Dear XXX,

As much as it shames me to admit, I could not possibly accept your kindly offer with this compensation package. While I would much prefer to work for your organization, another offer local to you has come in, and it offers a higher wage and includes the benefits of <...> Unless you could see fit to raise my starting wage to XXX and include A,B,C in way of benefits, I am afraid I must accept the terms of the other organization.

Something like that. You're contrite you can't take the offer of the "obviously" better organization and the "inferior" one is offering you more.
post #11 of 63
Though the gist of the 2 above is more or less the same, the first one seems too curt and the second one too groveling. Though I dont know to what extent the person who wrote the offer letter in the OP would understand the difference between the two.
post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
Dear XXX,

As much as it shames me to admit, I could not possibly accept your kindly offer with this compensation package. While I would much prefer to work for your organization, another offer local to you has come in, and it offers a higher wage and includes the benefits of <...> Unless you could see fit to raise my starting wage to XXX and include A,B,C in way of benefits, I am afraid I must accept the terms of the other organization.

Something like that. You're contrite you can't take the offer of the "obviously" better organization and the "inferior" one is offering you more.

Real interesting. I have worked hard over the years to cut out all the unnecessary words out of my written correspondence. But yours does look warmer than mine and probably more appealing especially to a foreign audience.
post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by cross22 View Post
Real interesting. I have worked hard over the years to cut out all the unnecessary words out of my written correspondence. But yours does look warmer than mine and probably more appealing especially to a foreign audience.

Thanks. Yeah, I was trying to think how it would appeal over there, not in my world. Then again, I could be way, way off the mark.
post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eason View Post

Just tell them straight up "Your offer is significantly less than what I have researched to be the minimum amount for an ex-patriot to live Singapore

The word is expatriate, ex-patriot is something different, and you teach english?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eason View Post
I was also considering playing a little harder back with something like. "In contrast to my offer from the British Council, which is not only paying more per month, but also offering full medical coverage, financial assistance in locating an apartment, and reimbursing flights, I believe I am entitled to negotiate for a starting salary of at least 5000 SGD/month."

This might work, I'm not sure how salary negotiations work in Singapore culturally, but using counteroffer is pretty standard in most places.
post #15 of 63
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions, all. Pio, I like yours. There may be a scheduling conflict that would prevent me from working there anyway... sigh, and here I was so happy after looking for a job in a decent place for the last fucking 1.5 years.
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Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Business, Careers & Education › I think I'm being lowballed, help me negotiate! (Special flower thread)