Having salaries trimmed to concerning levels, hundreds of teachers in Yantai Development Zone, Shandong Province rallied together on June 15. It was a non-violent protest, yet, online footage showed it allegedly met heavy intervention by the security forces.

According to the videos, the teachers mostly stood together and appeared calmer and less agitated than a usual demonstration should be. They chanted in unison, or “same salary, same fund, no reduction, no return.”

Then, a dashcam from a passerby was able to capture multiple police vehicles appearing at the scene around dawn. At least a person was seen escorted away with his hands reversed. The people restraining him were not in police uniform. But according to the decry from onlookers, they were actually police officers who were arresting people.

Marching police officers in replacement for the demonstrators were also recorded at what appeared to be around noon.

Relating to this topic, an open letter from the Teachers of the Development Zone was also widely shared. 

However, it lamented that the teachers have seen no income raise over the past two years. Yet, now their wages are reduced to the level applied more than a decade ago. Plus, some schools even asked them to return between 50,000 (7,400 dollars) to 150,000 yuan (22,000 dollars) of their received salary back. For college graduates from 2020, they have not received any payment for two months.

The letter was issued to the parents of the Development Zone, it pleaded for help from the parents, stating that the authorities had avoided settling the case. 

While we have been unable to verify the authenticity of this letter, discussions about salary cuts for civil servants across China have been heated recently.

Zhao Hua, an online writer in Shanghai told Chinese media Da Ji Yuan that salary for civil servants in the city has been reduced by one-third since the end of last year. The year-end bonus was reduced by half back then. 

Zhao said he got the information from his friend, who worked at the Market Supervision Bureau. For this year, his friend said that payment for civil servants has been cut by half, and there would be no year-end bonus.

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