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Warning to Auxiliares de Conversacion in Spain

09 May

NOTE: I haven’t checked in on the status of this in a LONG time. I don’t think there’s much concern about this situation and I don’t want to discourage anyone from taking part in this program.

After looking over the Facebook groups, here and here, for Auxiliares de Conversacion in Spain, I saw mentioned that some Auxiliares are not getting paid, or are getting paid in strange ways. Anybody considering this program should be made aware of this immediately and should take this into consideration.

The problem is mostly regional. The regions worst affected are Murcia and Galicia, whose government coffers have been emptied. Some people have not been paid in several months are running out of money. One girl is apparently down to her last €2.

Madrid is apparently affected too, but I have not had any problems, nor have my friends. Keep in mind though, Madrid is the region with the largest number of Auxiliares. I do know of one girl who had to wait a long time for her check. Also, whenever she was late, they threatened to cut her salary—which is pretty much unthinkable for most funcionarios.

In all regions, there’s another big problem. Often they withhold your first check for a month or two or three until the Autonomous Region deposits your funds into their account. I didn’t have this problem at my school, but I was somewhat lucky. Most people, however, don’t have this problem for more than a month, but some have it until December, which means living off of pasta and margarine and worrying about the rent until Christmastime when you get a lump sum in your account.

Also, some regions don’t pay you monthly. One girl says that she only gets paid twice a year in Pais Vasco, once in November and once in April. It means you have to manage your money better, but at least they pay you early rather than late.

Keep in mind, if you’re considering this program, that you make more money in Madrid, even if Madrid is going broke and has a higher cost of living. At €1000 you make €300 more than all the other regions (including the very pricy Basque Country and Catalonia). The Spanish government, fearing that you’ll take this use this information to your advantage and apply to Madrid, doesn’t tell you this until after your placement, but I think you should know now.

This is still your best bet (if you’re an American, at least) for getting to teach in Spain, but as the economy of Spain worsens you might want to pay attention to any slashes in government spending which could spell the end of this program. As of yet there has been no mention of this. In Madrid, the government is planning to step up its English teaching programs and make the entire Community bilingual. I suppose their intentions for doing this are so that they can enable their youngest and smartest to be able to move abroad for work, because Spain won’t be offering them much any time soon.

Nevertheless, these cases are rare and most people don’t have any problem. The safest regions are probably the central ones surrounding Madrid (Castilla y Leon, Extremadura, Aragon) followed by Madrid, Andalucia, Catalonia and Basque Country, while some of the smaller ones like Galicia, Asturias and Murcia probably have more problems.

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4 responses to “Warning to Auxiliares de Conversacion in Spain

  1. fan club

    May 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    thanks for posting that…it is good to know waht is going on with Spain and of course the program won’t tell us these issues. thanks for the heads up!

     
  2. tiffany

    July 4, 2011 at 9:35 am

    hmmm… should I reconsider my recent acceptance (as of two days ago) to Galicia? I haven’t even received my placement yet, but scares of not being paid on time or at all would definitely make me change my mind… I can’t afford to go to Spain and live there for eight months without an income.

     
    • Dan Bablinskas

      July 6, 2011 at 7:00 am

      I wouldn’t worry. Some of the outer regions might have problems, but most don’t. If something happens, get into contact with your adviser as quick as possible and explain the situation. Generally, these cases are rare.

       
    • drosez

      July 7, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Tiffany, I don’t know whether you ended up going, or even if you will get notified about this message, but if you did and ARE notified, I would be really curious to talk to you. I was just offered a position in Galicia for the 2012-2013 year and am trying to decide whether to accept.

       

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