Chongqing university teachers in uproar over 'unfair' appraisal plan

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 March, 2013, 11:16am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 March, 2013, 12:19pm

Hundreds of faculty members from a Chongqing university staged a protest last week over plans for a new performance appraisal that would require more lessons from teachers.

As many as 300 teachers of Chongqing Technology and Business University, in southwestern China's Chongqing province, gathered on Friday protesting what they called unfair treatment. The new appraisal would favour administrative staff and infringe on teaching staffs’ rights, they said.

The protest was triggered during a meeting at which 40 deputies representing university staff, administrators and teachers were meant to vote on the appraisal. Four teacher deputies walked out of the meeting to stage a protest outside, saying they thought they were unfairly outnumbered, according to news portal

Teachers contended that the new appraisal was not in line with Chongqing's education policy because it would take away emphasis on teaching. The government recently said it would put more educational resources into teaching instead of school administration.

The proposed appraisal would require teaching staff to increase their lessons by a third, to about 320 lessons a year, from the current standard of 220 to 260 lessons, said the report.

“On top of these extra lessons, we also have to complete our academic research tasks to earn the overtime income,” one longtime professor said, “but administrative staff earn their wages by working a standard eight hours a day, not to mention they have no academic research to conduct. This is so unfair.”

As many as 300 university staffs participated in the peaceful protest, which lasted an hour. They sang the national anthem, the report quoted witnesses as saying.

School administrators said the appraisal proposal was merely a draft to solicit opinions and would take teaching staffs’ concerns into consideration.

On Saturday, a statement published on the university website said the school had discussed and consulted with its staff about the new appraisal proposal but did not disclose whether it had been approved.