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  • Salary Negotiation - Local Customs?

    Apologies if this question is asked elsewhere but I don't see this specific topic arising in any parallel threads.

    I've been offered a full-time contract at a university in Jakarta. The salary seems to equate reasonably well with UK salaries for similar roles, balancing cost of living there versus Jakarta and my own personal situation. I'll skip the finer details but it addresses salary, medical, a small accommodation budget and return travel, which seems to be standard between teaching in schools, colleges and universities from other posts here (please correct me, not flame me, if I am wrong).

    My question is more indirect: is it 'acceptable' to negotiate over salary offers and what sorts of leeway do people think the admin/HR staff have or are these salaries relatively fixed and its frowned upon to push back? I've lived in Asia on and off for twenty years so know that bartering is compulsory elsewhere... but not sure of the 'etiquette' here in this specific case.

    Thanks in advance for any guidance - S.


  • #2
    I think you need to be a bit more specific on the ballpark amount you're talking about. 10 jt a month? 50 jt a month? What type of accommodation?
    Sasa Bule is having a bayi!

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    • #3
      Thanks for replying Jaime. I don't want to share the precise details of the offer out of courtesy to the prospective employer but rough indications are that its a 'package' deal that equates to around US$4k* per month before tax, including the accommodation stipend which is paid as cash, so is really just salary and so taxable as well.

      I've looked through this site as I said and see mention of US$4k to 5k for the top-end international schools in most cases from what I infer, TEFL. Obviously there are differences between school teaching and a university lecturer role, but that is probably just my UK academic prejudice and conceit coming out though.

      I'm not querying the relative salary then (albeit thoughts welcome - PhD and other degrees from good UK institutions, previous extensive business career, sadly now more grey hair than teeth) but again whether its the 'done' thing to try and negotiate the package upwards as I guess I do feel its a tad light, especially with the fall in the IDR these last 12 months.

      Since I'm here though as well... the accommodation situation in Jakarta is confusing me. The university reckons around IDR 50 million a year gets a two-bedroom apartment but all the sites I look at look very different and seem to suggest US$1500/month and upwards, much more than the IDR 50 million level. Any thoughts on that welcomed as well.

      Thanks in advance - Colin

      (As juta seems to be a million rupiah, I'll go with 50 jt/month then but do correct my maths if I am wrong and I do the US$ conversion to be certain).

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      • #4
        The university needs to provide you Visa, Return flight home and insurance. These 3 items is a must, then you can negotiate your salary, house allownace and other benefits. You should think how much you want to take home and add those 3 items on top of that.

        FYI, your tax rate would be 30% of your salary.
        Last edited by Missnaughty; 10-01-14, 17:30.

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        • #5
          In my book all contracts are negotiable - it you cant get leverage on your actual $$$ amount push for better housing or travel or whatever - squeeky wheels get the grease and all that.

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          • #6
            I'd say 50 jt a month would give you a two bedroom in moderate complex. Taman Rasuna, perhaps. Not fancy, but livable.

            For a more livable space, I'd probably say 8-12 Jt, for a 60-100 SM apartment. You'll find much more expensive places, of course, but I find them a bit too high.

            Carefully consider where you live, as commuting can be a bear.

            We lived in a tiny 2 bedroom, 32 SM, for less than 1 year. Not much in the way of amenities. For about $250 a month, it served its purpose.
            Last edited by Jaime C; 10-01-14, 21:52.
            Sasa Bule is having a bayi!

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            • #7
              It does not hurt to ask.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jaime C View Post
                I'd say 50 jt a month would give you a two bedroom in moderate complex. Taman Rasuna, perhaps. Not fancy, but livable.
                For a more livable space, I'd probably say 8-12 Jt, for a 60-100 SM apartment. You'll find much more expensive places, of course, but I find them a bit too high.
                Carefully consider where you live, as commuting can be a bear.
                We lived in a tiny 2 bedroom, 32 SM, for less than 1 year. Not much in the way of amenities. For about $250 a month, it served its purpose.
                5jt / month I think you mean?
                My wife & I lived in a 60m2 1 bed apartment for 9 months it was ok but I'm glad we're now in a 90m2 1 bed. I don't know how you lived in 32m2 for such a long time.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sialan__ View Post
                  5jt / month I think you mean?
                  Yes, should have been 50 jt a year.
                  Sasa Bule is having a bayi!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    MissNaughty: Thank you for the suggestions and I'm happy that the contract currently offered includes these three additional elements. I've also the details of the local tax rates, which I assume (please correct me if I am wrong) are graduated as in the UK so the top (30%) rate only applied to income that is in excess of the IDR 500 million level. It does raise a good point though as I have a property in the UK which I will let out - I need to factor that income into the tax equation as well (separate thread to appear!).

                    Others: Thanks for the thoughts on the accommodation options and prices. Clearly the fall of the IDR to other currencies is an issue here but as I noted I have the income from the UK as well so its a kind of butterfly hedge strategy in the sense that movement of the IDR in either direction has a positive and negative effect. Last questions then:

                    1) This issue of commuting though seems to recur... my real experience of Asia is Bangkok (mainly) where the traffic is nonsense but I am picking up that it might be even worse in Indonesia/Jakarta. The location of the campuses where I would be teaching are in South Jakarta and I guess I could live with (up to) an hour of travel each way. Does that work and make sense for those of you on the ground already or am I being overly naïve?

                    2) Everyone has a different definition of liveable of course (currently paying US$100 a month for a rented room well away from Bangkok at about 35 m2 so I know suffering, believe me... regular trips to civilization to load up on carbohydrates as compensation for the cost saving ). Something 60 - 70m2 (or upwards) likewise not on the direct flight path of a jet (height wise as much as direction) with two bedrooms... within an hour of South Jakarta... sounds like JaimeC's 50 million a year is about right... or not?


                    Thanks again - Colin

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                    • #11
                      I know there are many teachers living in Taman Rasuna. As far as I can see then the cheapest 2 bed room apartments (72-75 m2) you can get is will cost you 6,750,000 per month, plus electricity, water and internet.. The rent is normally paid 12 months in advance. You can get a one bed room apartment in Taman Rasuna, Tower 18 from about 5,500,000 per month.

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                      • #12
                        Tax Rates for Resident Individual Taxpayers

                        Taxable Income
                        Rupiah Rate
                        Rp 1-50 million 5%
                        portion of income between Rp 50-250 million 15%
                        portion of income between Rp 250 million-500 million 25%
                        portion over Rp 500 million 30%

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                        • #13
                          Hi Colin,
                          about apartment rent, it differs greatly, depends on where it is.
                          I browse some apartments with my expat friend at one of the apartment near where i live, n a 2 bedroom apartment rent cost about USD 2,000 a month. But frankly, it does not look better than the apartment where i live.
                          Here the going rate for 1 bedroom apartment is Rp 6 million to Rp 7 million (approx USD 500 - USD 700) so i imagine a 2 bedroom apartment wont be that far ahead, probably around USD 800 - USD 1000.


                          [QUOTE=shoeless1963;370909]
                          Since I'm here though as well... the accommodation situation in Jakarta is confusing me. The university reckons around IDR 50 million a year gets a two-bedroom apartment but all the sites I look at look very different and seem to suggest US$1500/month and upwards, much more than the IDR 50 million level. Any thoughts on that welcomed as well.

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                          • #14
                            Hm... the going rate for 1 br apartment in Jakarta is 6 to 7 juta a month... meanwhile in Medan I pay a 1 br apartment at 600,000 a month, and the most expensive place I have lived in here was a 2 BR duplex at 1 juta 200 ribu monthly. Happy days for me!
                            [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Warden: "What we got here ... is failure to communicate."

                            The Dude: "Oh yeah? Well that's just, like, your opinion, man."[/FONT]

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                            • #15
                              you can get 1 beds easily in jakarta for less than 6 or 5 even
                              taman rasuna, sahid sudirman etc all have 1 beds for 5
                              heck for 7jt you can get a 2 bed in some places
                              even puri casablanca, ambassador etc is not expensive, u just need to look
                              the older buildings are usually better anyway, better managment, everything works, and the construction is solid not like these flimsy things they build nowadays quickly just for profit
                              you can stay in casablanca for 1/3 of the price of kokas next door, just because kokas is new doesnt mean its any better

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