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:
LEVEL I FOREIGN TEACHERS - 300 YUAN PER HOUR:
Those native English speaking teachers holding post graduate degrees
LEVEL II FOREIGN TEACHERS - 250 YUAN PER HOUR:
Those native English speaking teachers holding bachelor degrees
LEVEL III FOREIGN TEACHERS - 200 YUAN PER HOUR:
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:
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)
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