I have been working at a middle school through BMOE since March, 2009. I was recently offered a university position here in Busan, which put me in a tricky situation. Long story short, I accepted the university position and gave BMOE and my school the 30 days notice required to terminate my contract early.
. . .
So, yeah, everything was looking good. That is until someone at BMOE took it upon themselves to contact the Director at the university and to tell them that they should not hire me because I was 'breaking a contract' with BMOE! The university subsequently contacted me and withdrew their offer of employment. So now, I have given my notice to terminate my contract for a job that I am no longer being offered.
Wonderful! Thanks a lot, BMOE. You've been very helpful!
On the one hand, the teacher followed the contract and gave the proper amount of notice for ending it early. The EPIK contract, adopted by districts in many parts of the country but not necessarily by the Busan Metropolitan Office of Education, says in Article 6 Section 2:
그러나 만약 피고용자가 불가피하게 고용기간 중도에 사직할 경우에는 최소한 30일 전에 사직하고자
하는 일자와 사유를 서면으로 고용자에게 통보하여야 한다.
This contract is binding unless the Employee gives thirty (30) days written notice of termination (stating a planned date of resignation and reason(s) therefore) to the principal of the Employee's main school as well as the Superintendent of the Office of Education.
On the other hand, how ethical is it to end a one-year contract nine months early in order to take another job?
We've all heard about contract funny business by schools and employers, and know from both experience and guidebooks that contracts in Korea aren't treated the same way they are in the west. That said, contracts in Korea aren't as meaningless as they are in, say, the NFL, and we don't read about employers terminating contracts one-quarter of the way in because they found someone better, or cheaper.