Teachers in Wuyang county in China have been on strike for over a week against low pay and the failure to pay them money owed to them. They were joined in a demonstration through the city of Luhoe by 1000 teachers from a neighbouring county. The teachers say they are not paid as well as those working in the towns.

The situation has been exacerbated by the widespread introduction of 'performance' related pay (PRP) across China at the end of 2012. As in so many countries in the world, the gloss put on this was that it would attract more able people into the teaching profession. However according to a report by China Labour Bulletin, a group working for democratically run trade unions in China, there have been 46 teachers' strikes or protests over the last year alone. This is often because far from improving teachers' pay, the PRP scheme has just been used to cut teachers' pay by up to 30%, with 'bonuses' given to a few. The situation is particularly bad for teachers in rural areas who can often be owed months of back pay. Rural teachers typically earn about $275 a month - much less than other public servants or similarly qualified people. Yet the government says they ahould be being paid twice that amount. Kindergarten teachers are the worst off, earning the minimum wage of about $180.

Teachers unions in China are not democratically run and have little say in pay and conditions.