The Taiwan Higher Education Union yesterday criticized the government for “stealthily” cutting promised salary raises for more than 30,000 university teachers.
In September last year, Premier William Lai (賴清德) announced that as of last month, the government would raise the salaries of military personnel, public-school teachers and civil servants by 3 percent to boost the economy and drive up wages in the private sector.
However, the details of pay raises for teachers — which they received earlier this month — shows that 72.2 percent of them did not get a full 3 percent pay rise, Taiwan Higher Education Union secretary-general Chen Cheng-liang (陳政亮) told a news conference in Taipei.
According to statistics provided by the union, only professors received the promised salary raises.
“Professors account for only 27.8 percent of all higher-education faculty, and their pay raises were between 6.57 percent and 8.65 percent,” said Chen, who is an associate professor at Shih Hsin University in Taipei.
Meanwhile, associate and assistant professors received salary raises of between 2.53 percent and 2.68 percent, and lecturers received raises of between 2.75 percent and 2.82 percent, he said.
There are more than 30,000 lecturers, assistant professors and associate professors who did not receive the promised raises, Taiwan Higher Education Union department director Lin Po-yi (林柏儀) said.
While this might not make a huge difference for every teacher, it raises questions about the government’s integrity, Lin said.
“How can we believe that the government will deliver on other policy promises?” Lin said. “We are asking the government to explain why it has cut the promised salary raises in such a stealthy manner.”
“Unjustified differences in treatment are discrimination,” said Liu Mei-chun (劉梅君), union president and a professor at National Chengchi University in Taipei.
People will not accept unjustified pay gaps between professors and other teachers, she said.
“In the past seven years, the salaries of public-school teachers have remained the same, but consumer prices have increased more than 7.5 percent, so their salaries are already far below standards,” Liu said. “We hope the government will raise their salaries to the promised amount or even higher to help drive up salaries across the nation and boost the economy by increasing domestic demand.”
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