In this post we will examine 6 seemingly random events across a number of years at TBI and show how they are really connected, and what this connection reveals about TBI. None of these stories are new of themselves, but they nicely illustrate what TBI really thinks of its teachers.
Immigration raids TBI Bogor in 2007. Rather than paying off Immigration, the franchise owner decides it will be cheaper to go the ‘bule vending machine’ and get fresh bules. TBI Head Office ignores the whole situation and does nothing to help the poor teachers, who are deported.
The expat Actel of TBI Semarang arrives in Jakarta in 2009 and complains to Cameron, the acting School Manager, that the franchise owner has lied he was going to get him a KITAS for 9 months. Cameron goes to Ashley at Head Office and reports the tale, shocked. Ashley instructs Cameron to offer no assistance and says that the Head office policy is not to get involved at franchise schools. Poor L****r will have to fend for himself.
The teachers of TBI Bekasi band together in 2009 and send proof (documents etc.) that student numbers at Bekasi are four times higher than Binsar has been reporting. They also let them know that there are up to 35 students in a classroom at a time. The teachers are amazed when TBI Head office doesn’t get back to them at all, despite them leaving contact details.
Nine different teachers break their contract between 2006-2008 at TBI Kelapa Gading and none of them are contacted by TBI Head Office to find out what is wrong.
After we start this blog in 2012, a number of ex-TBI Bekasi teachers come forward with tales of lies, theft, intimidation and sexual harassment (against women tecahers and students) by Binsar, the part-owner of TBI Bekasi Suncity. TBI never contacts any of them to verify or investigate their tales.
At the end of 2012 a TBI Bekasi teacher goes to Hery Sofiyandi, Luke’s replacement as Head of Franchise, and Hery refuses to help the teacher when Binsar reneges on a promise to pay him THR if he brings his pastor in to vouch for his religiosity.
Now these 6 events are spread across a five and half year time period, and in most cases the teacher involved would not have been aware of most or all of the other events. In most cases they reported thinking something like, “TBI Kuningan has a good reputation. I just lucked out with my TBI school. Too bad.” They mostly thought of it as an isolated incident and blamed their individual franchise owner. But if they had access to all these stories, they would have spotted a larger pattern. Can you spot it, students?
There are at least three similar elements in all these events:
1) They all took place at TBI franchise schools.
2) They all involved teachers with serious grievances against Franchise school owners.
3) TBI Head Office never once supported the teachers against the franchise owners, even when the franchise owner was guilty of completely unethical and illegal behaviour (eg. employing teachers without KITASes, breaking binding promises about salaries and KITAses to teachers, sexually harassing teachers, stealing THR money off teachers etc.)
And just in case you missed it, let me restate the third and final point, which tells you everything you need to know about how TBI really rolls.
TBI Head Office never once supported the teachers against the franchise owners, even when the franchise owner was guilty of completely unethical and illegal behavior- up to and including death threats.
This is no accident. It is a completely predictable behavior which happened time and time again from 2007-2012. TBI never supports its franchise teachers even if there is compelling proof that the franchise owners are screwing them. This policy may not be written down anywhere but its existence is evident through TBI Head Office’s actions in every single instance. Forget the values they claim to represent. Their real mantra is, ‘Franchise owners matter, but our teachers and even managers don’t.’