University lecturers demand pay rise

About 30 university lecturers on Monday gathered at the Education Ministry, demanding a salary raise equivalent to that which school teachers gained from the government's minimum wage hike policy.

Under current government policy, state employees with a bachelor's degree receive a minimum monthly salary of 15,000 baht.

As a result, the monthly incomes of more than 400,000 teachers nationwide has increased. However, the salaries of university lecturers has not changed.

Assistant Prof Atichati Phuminvichcha, coordinator of the Network of Civil Servants in Higher Education, said that teachers' salaries rose by 8% in 2011.

The maximum salary for teachers ranges from 50,550 to 66,480 baht depending on their professional levels.

Lecturers, assistant professors, and associate/deputy professors, on the contrary, get a salary of 39,630 baht, 54,090 baht and 63,960 baht respectively. 

"Lecturers have a duty to consider whether a teacher qualifies for a higher income or not. If our income remains unchanged, it is no longer about money, but our dignity," he said.

The group handed in a letter requesting an increase in lecturers' salary of 8%.

"Education personnel in both basic schools and universities have a similar task of teaching, so we should be offered a similar salary rate and career advancement to avoid double standards by the Education Ministry," said Mr Atichati.

Education minister Phongthep Thepkanchana received the group's request and forwarded it to his advisor Pawit Thongroj to look into the matter. 

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Writer: Lamphai Intathep
Position: Reporter