Teachers owed salaries as university unable to lure students

By Vo Thanh   January 11, 2024 | 02:00 am PT
Teachers owed salaries as university unable to lure students
A photo of Quang Binh University from its official Facebook page.
137 lecturers and staff at Quang Binh University in central Quang Binh Province have not been paid their salaries for two to 7.5 months as the school failed to attract students.

The public university has 236 lecturers and staff.

Among them, 99 are paid by the province's budget as they are state workers on a payroll list.

The remaining 137, who are under contract with the university, are owed salaries ranging from 2 to 7.5 months.

Additionally, the university also owes the staff social insurance, of which premium is paid by extracting the monthly salary to covers employee benefits including sick leave, maternity leave, allowances for work-related accidents and occupational diseases, and retirement pension.

The university, however, has not disclosed the specific amount of salaries and social insurance contributions it owes lecturers and staff, said Pham Tien Nam, chairman of the Quang Binh Provincial Labor Federation, on Wednesday.

Leaders at the university explained that it is unable to pay salaries due to poor student recruitment and declining revenue.

Currently, the university has over 1,000 students, but more than half of them study teaching, which means they are exempt from tuition fees as per government regulations.

The university also said that for at least the first three months of this year, there will be no funds available to pay the 137 lecturers and staff members.

The Quang Binh Provincial Party Committee met Wednesday with the province's departments of Education and Training, and Finance to find solutions.

The province has directed the university to review and develop a plan to reorganize and streamline its staff to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Labor Federation will prioritize allocating Tet gifts to the university's lecturers and staff.

Quang Binh University was established in 2006, evolving from a Teacher Training College.

In its strategy for 2021-2030 with a vision for 2050, the province aims to develop the university into a prestigious and quality multi-level, multi-disciplinary training center.

It also considers establishing a high school, a research center, and a technology transfer center. However, the university has faced a surplus of lecturers and a shortage of students in recent years.

This situation is also common among many educational institutions in the province.

Since the late 90s, there has been a trend in Vietnam of establishing local universities and colleges. However, after a few years, most struggled to survive. The main reason is the inability to attract students while the budget allocations have been decreasing due to the autonomy mechanism, which grants public schools more authority to make their own decisions but at the same time leaves them on their own to raise funds.

Three weeks ago, many lecturers at Quang Nam Medical College in nearby Quang Nam Province went on strike and stopped teaching because their salaries were withheld for six months. That case has yet to be sorted.

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