Japan's teachers facing lower pay

Aug. 18, 2004 at 6:27 AM

TOKYO, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Japan's Finance Ministry is expected to abolish preferential wages for teachers at public primary and middle schools in 2005.

Ministry officials will discuss the proposal with the Education, Science and Technology Ministry, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Wednesday.

Thanks to special measures approved in 1974, public school teachers receive an average 5 percent higher salary than ordinary local government employees. The law was designed to alleviate an acute shortage of teachers in public schools at the time.

Since there is no longer any such shortage, the Finance Ministry has judged the higher salaries unjustifiable.

The move is part of the government's efforts to reduce its share of compulsory education costs by about $900 million. The government currently shoulders half the personnel costs at public primary and middle schools.

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