Ministry wants to cut teachers’ pay


The Finance Ministry is calling on the education ministry to cut annual salaries for teachers at public elementary and junior high schools by ¥100,000 on average from fiscal 2014, sources revealed.

As the proposed cut is expected to help reduce the central government’s costs by around ¥25 billion annually, the Finance Ministry has been eager to implement the measure to promote fiscal rehabilitation, the sources said Friday.

However, it is uncertain whether the cost cut will be realized given that the education ministry has strongly opposed the proposal, arguing it would make it difficult to secure high-quality educators, they added.

According to the Finance Ministry, the average monthly salary in fiscal 2012 for public school teachers at age 43 came to around ¥377,000, almost equivalent to that for local government officers of the same age engaged in general work.

But the annual average salary for teachers reached ¥6.08 million in the last fiscal year, which ended in March, higher than the ¥5.98 million that municipal administrative officers earned, as teachers’ base salary, used to calculate bonuses, was larger, the ministry said.

The call for wage cuts comes amid Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government urging Japan Inc. to raise pay as part of his goal to end deflation and to mitigate a looming sales tax hike.

  • gokyo

    It seems the logic and ethicality of the Finance Ministry is lacking considering that these same teachers racked up overtime around 100 hours a month based on the Japan Times article of October 26,2013. So we have a situation where the teachers are overworked based on their current salary structure and all that Prime Minister Abe’s cabinet is concerned with is cutting their salary to save money. And don’t forget that he also wants to improve the quality of education by going back to a six day school week which means more hours with less pay. It is also idiotic to compare the work that teachers do with government workers, especially considering that they don’t have to work at home as many teachers do. These teachers face tremendous hardships on a daily basis in dealing with their students and now we want to add to that the burden of more work for less pay seems to be counterproductive to creating a system that provides a quality education. I am sure the next thing we will hear from the Prime Minister and his cabinet is that this situation is “under control” like others.

  • Daniel Peter

    They should be cutting high school teachers salaries instead.
    The secondary schools in Japan as well as around most countries in the world are far less effective. All the research shows that.
    Those of us who have taught both will tell you that teaching secondary school is far less stressful.