CREW MEMBER CONTRACT CONDITIONS
The following page acts as an official contract offer from TECS Summer Camps to you the employee. Please make sure to read the following carefully, along with the full job profile (available here) before clicking the “I accept” button at the bottom of the page.
The contract offer conditions are broken down into:
- Conditions of the Contract
- Other Conditions + Notes
- What to do next?
1. CONDITIONS OF CONTRACT
BREACHES OF CONTRACT:
The following situations will be viewed by TECS summer camps as breaches of contract and could result in the termination of the said contract:
- Crew Members are not permitted to drink alcohol or smoke at any point (during working or non-working times) during their contract
- Having any form of physical relationship with a camper or staff member
- Any form of sexual activity, or inappropriate activity for a children’s environment, anywhere on the camp facilities.
- Repeatedly being late for work without adequate explanation.
- The skipping of duties without given justification.
- A repeated failure to do what is asked of you.
- Consumption of any controlled substance (non-prescription drugs).
- Going off site when responsible for night time supervision of campers.
INAPPROPRIATE ACTION ON TECS CAMPS:
TECS requires all staff to adhere to the following list of rules (in addition to the more serious ones mentioned above) and not doing so may result in disciplinary action and affect the employee’s reference:
- Footwear must be worn at all times. Going bare foot is not permitted. Sandals may not be worn during sports sessions or any time when injury to the toes could take place. This is for obvious safety reasons and because staff are example of safe practice to the campers.
- The correct Camp uniform must be worn at all times while working. It is not permitted to wear the camper t-shirt in the place of a crew member shirt nor is it permitted to alter, cut up or paint, the camp uniform in any way.
- Staff are expected to appear well groomed and tidy during all work time and of an image that parents would expect of someone who looks after their children.
- TECS like any educational organisation has certain dress/appearance code requirements. These do not exist to discriminate against the appearance of any individual but rather, as in the case of any educational authority, to provide a standard environment which avoids influencing children in any way. Obviously these regulations apply to only work time, although staff should be aware that TECS sees staff training week as fitting into work time. These dress and appearance codes are in line with Spanish law and follow the standards set out by the Spanish state school system.
- TECS remains the right to request that staff members remove/ change certain appearance factors which do not fit with the image that parents expect.
- TECS reserves the right to ask any staff member to cover up any tattoo which is deemed inappropriate for a children’s environment. This would include any tattoo with sexual innuendo or inappropriate language.
- Our rules on piercings are the following:
- Excessive (in size or appearance) piercings cannot be worn during work time by any individual regardless of gender. We reserve the right to define what is excessive and a staff member on signing this contract is accepting this fact.
- Females are permitted to wear small earrings/studs during work time, but will be asked to avoid wearing large or long dangling earrings that could cause danger during active activities on camp.
- Females are permitted to wear very small nose studs as long as the number of them is not excessive and the appearance of them is appropriate for working with children.
- Males are not permitted to wear earrings/studs or any facial rings or studs during work time.
- Eyebrow rings/studs and certain large nose, tongue rings and earrings are not permitted by any staff and will be asked to be removed during work time.
- Belly button piercings and studs are permitted to be worn on beach excursions or during swimming pool classes as long as they are of a small size and appropriate appearance for a children’s summer camp and do not cause danger (possible cuts/scratches etc…) to other people whilst swimming or doing activities in the pool.
- TECS asks all staff to bear in mind that although all the above is controlled with contracted TECS staff members to provide as said a standard norm acceptable to parents from a variety of backgrounds, we do not apply the same regulations to the campers as we understandably see this is prerogative and zone of responsibility of each parent. However, we do control that campers do not get piercings nor tattoos whilst with us nor change their appearance dramatically (like dying hair) as it is our responsibility to supervise they do not do things like this without parental permission. We also of course control that appropriate clothing is worn at all times.
- Please bear all of the above in mind and if relevant remember to bring appropriate studs/earrings which fit in with this criterion as it will be enforced by camp managers. Please note that TECS will not accept the excuse that piercing holes will fill up if piercings are not permanently in place which is something the contracted staff member must bear in mind and plan for before coming to camp.
- Staff can not go bare-topped (without t-shirt) anywhere on the camp facilities (except the swimming pools) while children are present on the camp, this includes non-working time.
- Unless there is a specific work reason, staff may not go down the corridors, or into the rooms, of the opposite sex. (This is because young children can very easily misinterpret situations).
- Staff must enforce all the Camp Rules (as per manual) upon their leader group children at all times and can not turn a blind eye to the breaking of any of them. This includes supervising elder campers who are in relationships are acting in an acceptable way at all times.
- Guests, non-camp workers, are not permitted to sleep on the camp facilities at any time and are only permitted on the camp facilities during the day, if the Camp Director has given permission.
- Staff are only permitted in the swimming pool during the set open times (if unsure about these a management staff member must be consulted). Swimming at night for obvious safety reasons is forbidden and will be seen as a disciplinary issue.
- Staff can not receive non-emergency phone calls during working time and must not use non-work mobiles during working time. (If a non-emergency call is received on the camp mainline during working time, a message will be taken).
- Alcohol is not permitted to be stored on the camp facilities.
- Staff may not use the office phones for making outgoing personal calls and can only use them for receiving calls if agreed with the Camp Director (in camp which have pay phones, they can be used with most phone cards and can also receive calls). Work mobile phones can not be used for personal use unless agreed otherwise with the Camp Director. Phone bills are checked weekly.
- Staff must keep their own sleeping areas appropriately tidy as an example to the campers. Checks will be done every so often and staff members with untidy rooms will be asked to tidy them.
- Staff should not connect with, communicate, or upload photos of campers on the internet or social media. This includes phone, email, befriend/connecting on social media, or messaging apps like WhatsApp.
TECS STAFF DISCIPLINE STRUCTURE: WARNING SYSTEM
Tecs has the following simple structure for dealing with staff that do not adhere to the conduct outlined above. Depending on the seriousness of the issue the system may not be followed numerically.
VERBAL WARNING: issued by the Activity, Welfare or TEFL Coordinator or Director in smaller camps. This warning will be issued in good faith that things will improve and if this is the case, then, the action which caused the warning will have no bearing over the reference grading given at the end of camp.
WRITTEN WARNING: issued by the Assistant Director or Camp Director. (This will usually follow a verbal warning if it was not heeded, but if the issue is a first time serious one then a written warning may take place automatically, thus missing out the verbal warning). The written warning will outline that TECS demands that work performance improves or that a situation is not repeated. The written warning will be attached to the applicant’s reference and will only be discarded if dramatic improvement takes place or, by the end of camp, there has been no reoccurrence of the incidence for which the warning was given.
DISMISSAL or CONTRACT SEVERANCE (refer below): The Director of Language Camps, through consultation with the Camp Management team, takes the decision that an action, or repeated occurrence of ones, has warranted this course of action.
The applicant on signing the conditions of contract form agrees to the following:
- That TECS can use any photographic/video material taken while on camp in its marketing campaigns and has the copyrights to the said material.
- That TECS may later use any TEFL or General Resource material which is made or used on camp, either in its academy or on future camps and again has the copyright to this material.
- That they agree to be part of the TECS database and grant TECS the right to send correspondence, by post or email, before and during the contract dates, and after, unless otherwise requested not to by the employee.
- This will include sending emails on travel data and on manual updates. Normally emails will be put in the “cco” (hidden) field but with some emails they will be put in “para” (public) to allow staff members to be in contact with each other prior to the start of camp.
- Staff are responsible for their own property and for this reason TECS cannot be held responsible for any lost or stolen items, although in both circumstances TECS will assist the staff member where possible to recuperate the item.
2. Services Provided for by TECS
Staff laundry is provided on camp once a week. Staff however use the laundry service at their own risk and must accept that TECS is not responsible for the loss or possible staining of any garments. In the case of any issue, Camp Management of course would do whatever was in their power to locate lost items or “mend” damage ones but ultimately a staff member uses the laundry at their own risk and for this reason we advise all staff to avoid placing expensive items of clothing in the laundry as with communal washing, as one would expect, there is always a small chance some problems are going to happen at some point during the summer. In most camps, hand-washing basins are available and in some camps private professional laundry services are located nearby. The first laundry usually takes place during the 1 st week of camp, so remember to bring enough clothing to last through training week and into the first days of camp.
Camp caters for all common known dietary issues but the following must be accepted by any applicant with a special issue:
- Food allergies will be passed on to the kitchen and they will cater for them. Although mistakes are very rare, ultimately, as an adult, it is the responsibility of the individual staff member to double-check any meal they are unsure about and make sure it for certain doesn’t contain something they can’t eat. Welfare Coordinators can provide assistance with communication with kitchen staff if this is needed.
- All types of vegetarians are catered for and daily vegetarian meals are provided. However all vegetarians must understand that at times the variety of these meals could be limited, especially if they do not eat fish, and also that Spanish kitchens are not very accustomed to catering to vegetarians so at times different standards to Anglo-Saxon countries may exist. We ask that you bear this in mind before coming to camp and constructively raise any issue through your Welfare Coordinator whilst on camp. We also do not recommend camp for anyone who is a full vegan as although we will do our best to cater for their needs it is unlikely for obvious reasons that we will be able to do so to the level they expect.
Camp cuisine is exactly what you would expect, food cooked on mass for sometimes up to 300 people in four daily turns. We place great importance on providing a healthy balanced Spanish diet but of course with mass produced food this is not always easy to achieve despite all our best intentions and also naturally each individual anyway will have different opinions on what they like and at times on what is healthy. We ask that each staff member bear this fact in mind and remember that working in the camp kitchen is no easier than working with children and to remember that the best solutions to any problems always come through understanding and working together and not through just demanding and expecting. We also ask that staff unfamiliar with Spanish diet bear the following in mind:
- It contains quite a bit of fried food, more than most non-Latin countries, but also on the other side usually has less packaged food on the menus.
- Generally there are less green vegetables but on the other side salad is a part of almost every meal and legumes are a frequent part of meals.
- It tends to have a lot of nutritious soups and stews which are often the main part of a meal so don’t forget to eat them.
- Usually the breakfasts are simple affairs (many Northern Europeans can be disappointed by this), lunch is a grand meal and dinners also still quite substantial. Meal times are also usually later than most countries.
Please bear in mind on arrival to camp to check the kitchen is aware of any dietary issues you may have. The way to do this is to inform your age group’s or camp’s welfare coordinator or the person in your camp responsible for that area.
We ask that all staff raise any issue with food in an understanding and constructive way with their manager, never forgetting that canteen food will never be like home-cooking for one.
Accommodation and Food
TECS provides staff with accommodation and all meals for the length of their contract (unless otherwise stated on the job profile). In our camps, Monitors are required to share a room or tent with the campers and Teachers share a room with other staff but twice a week (or extra because of illness of their monitor partner) cover for the monitors and sleep in a tent/room with the campers (although this may vary a little per camp venue). Management staff members usually share small rooms with other management or teaching staff. Accommodation varies per camp, we suggest you view the “General Info Doc” for up-to-date information but usually it consists of large classrooms or smaller offices converted into bedrooms for the summer in case of our camps in schools, or cabins or youth hostels in the case of camps based in camp sites or activity centres. Some camps also take place in hotels.
TECS can not, and will not, provide accommodation for staff prior to/or after the work dates stated on the relevant job profile (TECS provides accommodation for the night of the last day of work) and we do not cater for joint accommodation for couples for obvious reasons when accommodation areas are shared with children.
3. Other Conditions + Notes
Notes on Arrivals and Departures
Training week for all camps takes place in El Puerto so arrival for all staff, unless otherwise stated, should be in El Puerto de Santa Maria in the province (but not in the city) of Cadiz.
TECS can pick up employees from anywhere in El Puerto and also from Jerez airport, as long as the employee arrives within the arrival times as stated on the relevant job profile. Because Camp Drivers terminate their contracts on the same dates as other staff, TECS can not drop off employees at local stations and airports at the end of their contract, although in the case of some of our more isolated camps we may run a bus service to take staff to airports but at one time only that suits the majority of staff. We advise staff to book evening, rather than morning, flights for the day after camp ends.
Information on how to get to camp can be found on last page of the “Preparation for Camp Document ”.
HOURS OF WORK:
Contracted staff members must recognise that camp days are extremely long and tiring. Each staff member will have the said time off, as stated in the relevant job profile, but must recognise that meetings or tidy up tasks will at times encroach into this time off and they must be willing to accept this (this is an unavoidable part of any summer camp). TECS will try to keep these encroachments to a minimum.
Contracted staff members must also recognise that weekend days off sometimes work out to be a little less than a complete twenty four hours. Staff should also recognise and accept that when a staff member is assigned to supervise the children at night or to be on night duty that they are required to stay on site all night on these days and are not permitted to go off site even after the campers have gone to sleep (please refer to the relevant job profile for the details on what amount of night supervision is required for each position). All staff should also note that on all Sundays and on pre-departure Fridays that all staff are required to stay on site all night to provide maximum supervision of the children on these days and to allow everyone to “recharge their batteries”.
Extra time off during camp days will be given out but will be related to staff performance, with more bonuses of time off being given to those who work hard and maintain positive attitudes. Extra time off will not be given to all staff members as a right.
Like all jobs, summer camp work will produce moments when employees are dissatisfied and dispirited. The best way always to deal with these moments is to express these feelings in a positive way and work with the management team to find a solution to the situation.
TECS summer camp operates the following system to encourage employees to constructively express their concerns:
Most camps will have some sort of a suggestion’s box (or “how could we improve” box) where staff can put suggestions about how to better aspects of camp life. This box will be checked regularly by the management team and where possible, action will be taken according to the suggestion.
All camps have daily age group meetings with age group coordinators. Group issues can be addressed in these meetings.
One to one meetings with the Coordinators or Directors can be arranged when it is deemed that communication through the general meeting has not had the desired effect.
General camp meetings with the Directors will also be held before the start of each arrivals day.
TECS has a standard reference form that will be provided to all staff members who wish to be provided with one at the finish of their contract, or any time thereafter. The general reference will assess their overall performance in all job responsibilities areas, as outlined in the job profile and in work manuals. TECS has the following grading of references to reflect the staff member’s work performance:
- Excellent (Staff member fulfilled all responsibilities to a level much higher than that required and would most likely be suitable for added responsibilities).
- Very Good (Staff member fulfilled all responsibilities to a level higher than that required).
- Good (Staff member fulfilled all responsibilities to the required and hoped for level).
- Satisfactory (Staff member may have had some small problems in some areas but on whole fulfilled their job responsibilities to an adequate level).
- Unsatisfactory (Staff member is judged to have not done the majority of their tasks to the required level).
General references will be sent in PDF to applicants by email at the end of camp. They will also be supplied to any future employer who requests a reference check although usually we will also provide extra personal data to employers when the applicant was known personally by one of our camp year round managers. References will only be posted if requested by the applicant.
PERFORMANCE FEEDBACK AND OBSERVATIONS
All camp staff do final camp feedbacks with their direct manager during the last week of their contract. This feedback will assess their overall performance in the job but also be an opportunity (through a feedback form) for the applicant to pass on any positive or constructive feedback for TECS to bear in mind for future summers. Mid camp appraisals will also be done with all new staff and usually also with all returnee staff as well. Generally mid-camp appraisals tend to focus more on how the applicants is doing their job and feedback a bit more on how the summer went for them but this is just a general note and doesn’t go for all cases.
TECS believes in informal observations of all staff members in all areas of their work and these is set up primarily to know how classes or sports sessions for example are really going and to let us know where we can help out if needed. Teachers especially should be prepared to see their TEFL managers pop round at any moment and see this as a supportive tool over a controlling one. Formal observations are also done of all new teachers and also generally of all teachers, although if things are going very well these may not be done at times, depending on time limits. Monitors will usually not be formally observed but they should be prepared that this may happen if the Act Coord deems it useful. Peer observations also take place in all 8 week camps and usually when possible also in 4 week camps.
4. What to do next?
STEP 1: Accept the Contract
Please make sure to read the following carefully, along with the full job profile before clicking the “I accept” button at the bottom of the page.
If you should have any issue with anything in the job profile, the terms of the contract outlined on this page, or any of the details outlined in the email you received offering you the position (dates, etc.) then please make sure to email firstname.lastname@example.org asap.
Once you click the “I accept” button at the bottom of the page you will be taken to another form that you are required to complete in order to accept the offer (Clicking “I accept” is not enough without also filling out this form).
This form will ask you to complete certain information such as your parents names, your DNI number, etc.
STEP 2: Finalizing Contract Offer
Once you submit the form mentioned above you will be sent an email asking you to upload certain documents in order to finalize your contract offer.
For anyone contracted before April you will have until April to complete it. For those contracted after April you will have between 1-2 weeks to complete it.
This form will ask you to attach the following:
- The details of how you will be arriving to camp (flight details, trains, times needing to be picked up)
Once you’ve uploaded everything then you are officially contracted!!
STEP 3: Preparing yourself for camp
Getting yourself mentally and practically ready to come out to camp and have the BEST SUMMER EVER!!!