While teachers in the United States have been making headlines with a series of ground-breaking strikes across the country, education workers in China have also been taking collective action over a wide range of issues from low pay, pensions, bonus payments and wages in arrears.
Of the 135 incidents recorded on CLB’s Strike Map in April, a total of 14, or nine percent, involved education workers, a remarkable statistic given that teachers only make up about two percent of the national workforce in China.
As we pointed out in our 2016 report, Over-worked and under-paid: The long-running battle of China’s teachers for decent work, teachers have long-standing grievances that local governments across the country have consistently failed to address, leaving them no option but to stage strikes and protests in order to get their voices heard.
Last month saw retired community teachers take to the streets again to demand proper pensions, three separate protests by school teachers in Xi’an over the payment of performance bonuses, and several strikes in kindergartens and other privately-run education institutions over low pay and wage arrears. See below for details of two specific cases.