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Saturday, December 1, 2012

CFTU: Minimum Wage For Foreign Teachers in China Must Keep Pace

Just The Facts...
Deng Xiao Ping was a great Chinese leader of vision who once said, "The truth is found only in the facts". The facts today are that while wage increases in China have averaged 19.4% - 21.7% (depending which report you believe) over the last five years, wages paid to foreign teachers in China has almost remained static with only a 1.5% average increase during the same time period, even while inflation increase by more than 5% in the same time frame.  This equation is not equitable for foreign teachers in China who now earn an average of  12,000 yuan per month or roughly $16 per hour. This is precisely why the CFTU is pushing hard to establish a minimum hourly wage of 250 yuan per hour for degreed native English speaking foreign teachers, and 200 yuan per hour for those that are not. The below graphic from Business Week show the growth of non-teaching wages across China.
As a local example, incoming President Xi JinPing graduated from Baiyi High School in Haidian. Foreign teachers who work at this model school near Suzhouqiao today earn only 10% more than when Mr. Xi was a student there, while the administrative non-teaching staff there enjoyed pay increases of over 40% during the same time span. The disparity is neither fair nor justifiable. After all, who is more important to the function and duty of a school than the teachers? Need more convincing?  Here's what the BBC and Financial Times reports...
Further, because China's has the most volatile inflation rate in Asia due to a largely government- supported economy (SOEs are mandated to buy real estate every year for example), and foreigners are forced to rent (not allowed to buy properties for five years after landing in China), it makes it very undesirable for foreign teachers to remain in China if not allowed to make more money than they have to expend on monthly bills. By contrast, foreign teachers in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and even Japan earn an average of $4,000 per month or 27,000 yuan.
Based on the above facts and trends, the CFTU is submitting a proposal to the FEB and Minister of Labor to legislate a minimum wage law for Foriegn Teachers at three levels as follows:
Those native English speaking teachers holding post graduate degrees
Those native English speaking teachers holding bachelor degrees
All other foreign teachers not in the level I nor II categories
Whether the government accepts or rejects the CFTU proposal will not be known for at least 3 months. However, the actual market and the negotiation skills or every foreign teacher in China is now determining the going rates of pay.  We therefore advise all foreign teachers to use the above figures as your guide and accept no wages below these levels and give the prospective employer a copy of this post as your reason. Further remind them that there are now 7.8% less foreign teachers working in China today than last year. And if you really want to earn an instant pay increase - stop using agents!  You can easily find your own teaching jobs on-line at any one of these web sites below:

You can also get your free China Direct Employers List from the CFTU. For details visit 

Looking For The 2014 CFTU Blacklist?  Click Below

Looking For the Free 2014 China Labor & Visa Laws In English?  Click Below

Looking For CFTU Free China Job Placement?  Click Below

Looking For The Latest Foreign Teacher Scams?  Click Below
China Contract Scams

Want to Report A School Or Agent?
Conidential Tip 

CFTU Member News Updates?
Members Only
Lastly, before accepting another teaching job in China, please visit these links and learn how to net a higher wage for yourself:

China Minimum Wage For Foreign Teachers

Stop Agent Fraud & Employer Abuse!
If you see or experience it - Report it to the CFTU:
(Reports received are strictly confidential)

Looking For The 2018 CFTU Blacklist?  Click Below

Looking For the Free 2018 China Labor & Visa Laws In English?  Click Below

Want A Second Opinion? 

Here They Are!


  1. Why are there no comments?

  2. I don't know, can you see mine?

  3. Check out this cool website which has explains the inside scoop on salaries for foreign teachers in China - Enlightening to say the least...

  4. How do i become a member of this website?

    1. Well your interest is most welcome and you can start your membership application by sending an email to

  5. Hi Guys

    I appreciate the work that you are doing! I wish to ask? Having been teaching in China since 2008, at Unis,Colleges, High Schools, my last position was not very good.
    I was too isolated and lonely, not allowed even to have my Chinese Girlfriend visit me.
    It was too much for me, and I left without finishing my Contract.
    I have since been informed that I am Blacklisted. Is there anything I can do about this?
    and how long does it last?

  6. Yes, we actually obtained a copy of a 2011 blacklist last year and are still investigating it. There are over 300 names on the list and most of them are foreign teachers. Recently at, a copy of a China ESL contract was posted in thread concerning Teacher Katherine Cox whose agent took 66% of her salary (Rebecca Tang). That contract even makes reference to being put on this blacklist. Here is the link:

    Stay tuned as we are following-up on some more leads about how this black-list works and who can access it.

  7. Do you have a pdf version of the Recruiter/Agent reply letter?

  8. Yes, of course we can provide you this form letter in a PDF format as well as all of the following:

    * English copy of China Labor Laws
    * New China Visa Laws
    * Current Health Alerts
    * China School Whitelist
    * CFTU Activities/Meeting Schedule (Members Only)

    Please just send us an email to:

  9. All the spam ads on the internet for teaching jobs!!!!! Is there a site where we can find direct contact info for China schools and universities?

  10. your email address is not working, keeps bouncing...

  11. Hello, any alternative email address?

  12. Lots of interesting information, however...

    You might want to change the name to:
    China Foreign English Teachers Union.

    There's other things to be taught than English.

    As your whole proposal for salaries means a European PhD would be having a minimum salary of 200 RMB /h on the same level of a Yankee truck driver is rather ridiculous.