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A New Teacher Getting Paid More!! Sounds fair? Thoughts?
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HigherEdJoe



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:49 pm    Post subject: A New Teacher Getting Paid More!! Sounds fair? Thoughts? Reply with quote

I have been teaching at my Uni for almost three years now. I've gotten a modest increase for my additional years. However, just recently when I went to sign for my salary, I noticed that a brand spanking new teacher who just arrived is actually getting paid 200RMB more per month than I. Now I've been here about 3 years, she has only a month. However, apparently because she has an MA in Journalism and 15 years of journalism experience, her salary is said to be higher, despite never teaching before (We both teach oral English and I also have an MS in University Student Affairs/ Administration of course in addition to my ESL Cert). Also the excuse that she is older with more years in journalism somehow qualifies her to be at a higher level than a good employee who has been at it for 3 years. (I'm 28 she is 39)

Should I be bothered?

I spoke with the Dean and he did bring up one thing that makes a little sense.

1. Since Ive been here longer than any others, I have seniority which allows me pick of all the freshmen or all the sophomores. I pick freshmen because they are easier. This also gives me the added benefit of getting one extra month of basically paid vacation (which the other teachers still must work) as freshmen have military training.

I usually ask around to make sure my outrage is warranted so what do you all think. Should I ask for more? Or would it be asking for too much?
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 884

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it possible that he has more education than you do, or more experience?

200rmb per month isn't much.

A few years back, a guy I was working with found out that I made 500 rmb a month more than he. He was incensed. He couldn't quite get his head wrapped around the fact that I should be po'd. He had only a high school education. I had two advanced degrees.

I don't pay much attention to what others make.
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vikeologist



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 517

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chinese Universities usually perceive MAs as an additional relevant qualification. Most Chinese lecturers, (probably all of them) need an Masters to teach at the Uni, so they'll see you as under qualified. Having a Masters in most subjects is a big sign of more expertise, as indeed it is if ESL teachers have a masters in Linguistics or ESL. Of course, those that do are making at least 5,000 a month more, not 500.

At my Uni, the people with MAs get more 500 more a month even if they're the least capable teachers.

As for whether that's fair, I think as long as they are open and consistent about giving teachers with Masters more money, that's fair enough. You may disagree with how they see your worth, but it sounds as though they're rewarding your years there in other ways.
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muffintop



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you felt your salary was fair before knowing what the other person makes.....then it's fair.
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beckyshaile



Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I make 1,100 more than more foreign colleagues as I have 3 college degrees - and I work 2 hours less per week by contract than they do. You get what you agreed to and other workers salaries are irrelevant to you.
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Big Worm



Joined: 02 Jan 2011
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's annoying but I think of it like this: There will always be somebody getting paid more, having better housing, schedule, etc. I have it better than some of people. Comparing your situation to others will ALWAYS cause you to find some reason to be unhappy. Evaluate your current situation independent of others. Do you think you are being paid fairly? Are you OK with schedules, housing, etc? If not, bring it up in a clam way. Have valid reasons

I'd say having an extra month off is better than 30 bucks a month.
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Baishou



Joined: 02 May 2013
Posts: 41
Location: Dongbei

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If HigherEdJoe has an MS I don't see how an MA trumps that, to say nothing of his greater teaching experience.

Here's something even weirder: Last December when resigning a contract at my state university, I asked for a cost of living increase due to inflation, which is at least 3 or 4% per annum in China these days "officially" (certainly more in many areas in real life). I was also the senior-most Oral English teacher and felt an annual increase was only fair in recognition of my service and loyalty to the organization. I was told by our director that if I was given a raise, it "wouldn't be fair to the other teachers," since they were doing "the same work" that I was doing. Logical, right?

I sucked it up for a semester since it was too much of a pain to move suddenly, but found alternate employment this summer in a third country at double my old salary, and have just tendered my resignation. My old department has now lost three of its five Oral English teachers in the past year due to their intransigence, or should I just be blunt and say "cheapness"? As a result, they are going to have to cancel Oral English classes for a majority of the students this coming semester, according to my communications with one of the associate deans.

One wonders if they really couldn't have scraped together an extra RMB200 a month for one of their senior teachers. Is China's economy as bad as people are saying it is, or was someone in the department saving up for a new iPhone, or a shopping trip to Hong Kong, perhaps?
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3258
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

forget the 'experience' bs, your director is just trying to save face for
not having a good excuse. few schools pay more for experience,
especially if unrelated. what's really going on here is that the newbie
has better negotiating skills and was able to get a few hundred more
written into the contract.

if that's the case, i'd wonder what other changes she added. and remember
to look at the total package. if you haven't read her contract, extra
especially the addendum, then you know nothing. in order to bump up the
salary, did she need to make some concessions? lower airfare? higher
hours? additional duties? reduced insurance benefits? and so on.

what did you do at contract renewal time? did you simply sign
whatever they gave you, or did you try to negotiate any changes?
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JamesD



Joined: 17 Mar 2003
Posts: 675
Location: "As far as I'm concerned bacon comes from a magical happy place."

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Worm wrote:
If not, bring it up in a clam way.


Ahhh, the old shell game.
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 884

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Masters in most subjects is a big sign of more expertise, as indeed it is if ESL teachers have a masters in Linguistics or ESL. Of course, those that do are making at least 5,000 a month more, not 500.

This was a while back. Even today, though, public universities usually pay MA's in the 5,500-6,000 rmb range, while alleged Ph.Ds take in about 7,850 rmb per month. Private schools are another story. I was recently offered quite a bit more than 5,000 above public university wages by a private institution.

My advanced degrees are in linguistics and writing.
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Big Worm



Joined: 02 Jan 2011
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JamesD wrote:
Big Worm wrote:
If not, bring it up in a clam way.


Ahhh, the old shell game.



Directors love clams. Just don't clam up once you have their attention.
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beckyshaile



Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Powell wrote:
This was a while back. Even today, though, public universities usually pay MA's in the 5,500-6,000 rmb range, while alleged Ph.Ds take in about 7,850 rmb per month.


I think it's clear in other threads that you need to include the "alleged" issue to all degrees in this group.
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wangdaning



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 1835

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely nothing wrong with the other teacher making more. They have experience, 15 years of it is what you mentioned. They should be more disturbed by this than you.
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rogerwilco



Joined: 10 Jun 2010
Posts: 1159

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beckyshaile wrote:
I make 1,100 more than more foreign colleagues as I have 3 college degrees - and I work 2 hours less per week by contract than they do. You get what you agreed to and other workers salaries are irrelevant to you.

beckyshaile wrote:


I think it's clear in other threads that you need to include the "alleged" issue to all degrees in this group.
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chinatimes



Joined: 27 May 2012
Posts: 478

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have been teaching at my Uni for almost three years now.


That's the problem. You have been at the same school. How do you negotiate a higher salary when the school already knows your previous income?

What will their schedule be like? 200 rmb is about 2 or 3 extra classes a week.

Your degree compared to hers alone would indicate a lower salary. You would have to be teaching a business course in order to have something stronger. If that is your thing, then you might want to consider finding a position teaching business English. I have seen many offers which pay more than oral English teaching.

Another thing is timing. If the teacher is hired now, it might indicate the school is really in need of a teacher. So, they are willing to raise the salary. If they were hired earlier in May, the salary might have been 300 less than yours. This would correlate to the 3 years you have been here with a 100 raise each year. They just raised the salary 500 to get a candidate they wanted to hire.
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