Chinese Civil Servants Get Over 60% Pay Raise, Reactions

Sign: "Call for pay increase!"Bowl: "Civil Servant"

Sign: “Call for pay increase!”
Bowl: “Civil Servant”

From NetEase:

Hong Kong Media: Mainland Civil Servants To Receive Over 60% Pay Increase This Year

Hong Kong’s Wen Wei Po reports — This paper’s journalist obtained information yesterday that the long called-for bill increasing salaries for mainland civil servants has finally been enacted, its scope involving everyone from clerical workers to national leaders, with the adjustments starting from 2014 October, with salaries disbursed in January this year including retroactive pay for the fourth quarter of last year. The salary adjustment bill shows that the basic salary (position wages plus level wages, hereafter) for national-level officials has increased from 7,020 yuan [RMB] to 11,385 yuan; while the lowest level clerical personnel’s basic salary has increased from 630 yuan to 1,320 yuan. The bill also makes clear that civil servant salaries shall henceforth generally be adjusted once every year or every two years.

An expert has pointed out to this paper’s reporter that this is the first time salaries have increased for civil servants in many years, that the increases look large on the surface, but due to many years of there having been no increases with overall inflation and other factors, the income for civil servants after the salary increase is actually appropriate and reasonable. What more, these salary increases being biased towards basic-level civil servants is one of the highlights of this bill.

Increases in allowances frozen, a portion of which have been merged into basic salary

The new civil servant salary increase legislation was handed down by the State Council on January 12th. The legislation indicates that this salary adjustment for civil servants is calculated beginning from 2014 October 1. While increases the salaries for civil servants at all levels, increases in allowances and subsidies have been frozen, emphasizing that departments at all levels may not increase the levels and standards of allowances and subsidies on their own, and must strictly implement the subsidy reform policies and performance-based bonus policy stipulated by the central government.

The bill indicates that the increase in salaries will at the same time include some allowances and subsidies being merged into those basic salaries. After the adjustment, among mainland civil servants, the basic salary for the highest national-level government officials will increase from 7,020 yuan to 11,385 yuan, while the basic salaries of the lowest level clerical workers will increase from 630 yuan to 1320 yuan. This shows a trend in the percentage of increase for basic-level civil servants being larger. Furthermore, after the regulations on allowances and subsidies, the allowances and subsidies for provincial-level government officials have been reduced by 650 yuan, and 220 yuan for clerical staff.

Additionally, this time the central government has established a clear regular adjustment mechanism for civil servant basic salaries. The bill points out that basic salaries for civil servants henceforth shall be adjusted once every year or two years, with changes based on comprehensive consideration of factors including national economic development, state finances, and changes in prices. If there are financial crises, serious disasters, or such extraordinary situations, adjustment of basic salaries are postponed.

Applicants to take the Jiangsu province civil servant exam.

Applicants to take the Jiangsu province civil servant exam.

Comments from NetEase:

网易湖北省孝感市网友 [老百姓不容易]:

Honestly, our the wages for our civil servant are indeed rather low. Migrant workers on construction sites these days can make 7,000-8,000 kuai [RMB] every month. Are we [civil servants] inferior to migrant workers when it comes to our contributions to the country? Are those [government employees] who built our nuclear weapons really no better than those selling tea eggs [street vendors]?

红蓝骑士 [网易山西省长治市网友]: (responding to above)

Can you not be so disgusting? Your contributions to the country really aren’t necessarily more than migrant workers. I’ve also worked in a government office, and even though it was only as a temporary worker, there’s no need for me to say what so-called basic-level civil servants are doing every day, because you already know. And comparing yourself to those who built nuclear weapons, can you really?

75985761 75985761 [网易湖南省网友]: (also responding to 老百姓不容易)

Then you go to construction sites and move bricks, and vacate your position for someone else.

风云天下0083 [网易广东省中山市网友]: (yet also responding to 老百姓不容易)

The majority of migrant workers can do the work of civil servants. Conversely, are you willing to go do the work of migrant workers? Do civil servants rely on their salary to live? Laughable! Either way, I’ve seen a lot of civil servants with “monthly salaries” of 3000 [RMB] with both houses and cars, while a programmer with a monthly salary of 6000 is renting!!!!

除了打酱油还能做什么 [网易广西桂林市网友]:

Village chief indicates he has never cared about how much his wages are.

世界上最受人民爱戴的首相 [网易天津市网友]:

The rural peasants have never had their wages increased.
Who will increase the wages for laborers?
Who will increase the wages for the unemployed?

喂奶的孩子 [网易云南省玉溪市网友]:

Can I pay 10,000 a month to apply for a deputy departmental position?

376984457 [网易广东省深圳市网友]:

Do civil servants even need that bit of salary?

黄养斋 [网易江苏省南京市网友]:

The bill also makes clear that salaries for civil servants henceforth shall be adjusted once every year or two. There’s hope, support.

大嘴爸 [网易湖北省孝感市网友]:

Honestly, our the wages for our civil servant are indeed rather low. Migrant workers on construction sites these days can make 7,000-8,000 kuai [RMB] every month. Are we [civil servants] inferior to migrant workers when it comes to our contributions to the country? Are those [government employees] who built our nuclear weapons really no better than those selling tea eggs?

[Note: This comment is identical to the one above but made by a different commenter. Roughly half of the votes on this comment and the one below are downvotes.]

网易山西省忻州市网友 ip:118.79.*.*

This must be supported. The wages of basic-level civil servants are indeed pitifully low. High salaries to discourage corruption is in line with international circumstances.

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  • FYIADragoon

    I understand the concept behind this is to discourage corruption, because low pay without any hope of pay increases due to accomplishments encourages officials to seek other methods of attaining material desires. But, this is only a minor cause of corruption in the party. The true cause is a single party system, with some credit also being given to a completely biased judicial system and anti-corruption task force. These pay increases aren’t going to do anything to stop corruption.

    • mr.wiener

      True that. but changing to a multi party system of govt is probably a bit much to ask for at this stage. I can dare to be optimistic for the future, but some changes are always slow to happen in china , and usually when it is too late.

      • Irvin

        Single party system doesn’t cause corruption, lack of transparency does.

        The way china’s government operates right now is much like a giant private cooperation through meritocracy. Ideally, people get promoted by the quality of their work. Realistically, some get promoted for knowing someone.

        What china needs isn’t a multiparty system, what it needs is a department like ICAC from HK.

        • MidniteOwl

          Hong Kong is currently being ‘harmonized’. ICAC will also be harmonized.

          • Irvin

            A harmonized ICAC is better than no ICAC.

        • David

          A single party system without elections means those who make policy are not accountable. They know they are not accountable and therefore make decisions that benefit themselves. This is what causes corruption.

          • Irvin

            By your logic, all multiparty system with elections doesn’t have corruptions, and yet……they do. Therefore, from a logical conclusion, the solution to corruption lies else where.

          • mr.wiener

            Honestly bro, I’m not saying multi party democracy is superior… but any system that allows some transparency and stops this vicious cycle of a new dynasty every three generations or so, you know what I’m saying?

          • David

            That is very bad reasoning on your part.

        • Surfeit

          LOL, “some”.

    • 宋易

      What? The one party system *causes* corruption?

    • Xia

      Single party system is just one of many causes too. India has many more parties, but also corrupt as hell.

      Also the more people there are in a bureaucratic system, regardless of if they are needed or not, the harder it is to manage them, the more you will see corruption. The same kind of inefficiency, but on a much smaller scale, you can also see in large corporations.

      • 宋易

        Please… one of the principle advantages the private sector has over governement is efficiency. Imagine whats its like if a government were to run a billion people country, and you will find China’s governance system. Why? Because the stakeholders of a corporation demand a return, and the stakeholders of a corrupt government just want to stay out of the way.

        Corruption is caused by 1. lack of freedom of information, 2. government control of news media and investigative journalism, and 3. poor education. And China’s got the trifecta down tight.

        • Irvin

          You’re assuming the stakeholder is the people. To make an analogy, china is a private corporation. America is a public company.

          Where the government in america is inherit by the meek, china is inherit by the fittest.

          • 宋易

            The stakeholders are the taxpayers, regardless of the system of government or how much those stakeholders can lawfully exercise decision making power.

          • Xia

            In China’s case, the taxpayers are also the employees. Most of them are working as a cog in the state machinery.

          • Irvin

            Paying tax does not a stakeholder make. Just look at the mafia collecting protection money, it’s a tax of a kind, but the people paying them isn’t a stakeholder.

        • ClausRasmussen

          If you have worked in really big private company with ten of thousands employees you would know what he’s talking about

          The shareholders are of course opposed to inefficiency but they have no chance in hell tracking it down when the company gets that big

          • 宋易

            I understand many very large companies have inefficiency built it. But you’re comparing the minor leagues to the Olympic championship team of government bureaucracy…. the amount of glut, red tape, pork, corruption, and scandal extant in the world’s governments makes that in the corporate world seem inconsequential.

            Accordingly, this is not a coincidence. Businesses of any size benefit from reducing inefficiency because money and other resources are limited when profit is the goal. Government is not a profit-oriented enterprise, so is more vulnerable inefficiency. Nobody can say “I don’t like what the government is doing, so I’m not going to pay for its services any longer.” Unless they’re looking for a free concrete flat.

          • ClausRasmussen

            I do not completely disagree with you, but if I take the largely corruption free Danish state as an example and compare its efficiency to that of BIG companies, then I don’t think there is big difference. Some studies report an increased efficiency of less than 5% when services are privatized (

            The problem with (Western) governments is not the unwilled inefficiency but the bloat they willingly engage in (unfortunately with the consent of the majority of the electorate). I often grumble that I would rather pay 40% tax to corrupt Chinese bureaucrats that at least gets stuff done than 70% to the bloated Danish nanny state

          • 宋易

            The size of the state/company has a demonstrable impact on corruption. You are lucky to be from a small country, all else being equal.

        • MidniteOwl

          You’re analysis is overly simplistic. The private sector is great for the consumer and stakeholders, but it doesn’t fill the need a government performs, that society values which have no value to corporations.

          • 宋易

            Who’s arguing that businesses should replace government? There is nothing like that in this thread.

          • Xia

            It’s exactly because China’s government (aka the vast Bureaucracy of Mandarins) works like a giant corporation that it lacks social values crucial to a humane governance.

    • takasar1


    • MidniteOwl

      Apart from Singapore, transparency and rule of law (for everyone) is not a common characteristic of Totalitarianism. Without these in society, there can be no real anti-corruption efforts. Unfortunately the CCP doesn’t support these ideas (unless loss of face happens. i.e. U.S. embassy air pollution monitoring and resulting public outcry forces Environmental agencies to also report their air pollution levels). In Chinese society, as with India, Pakistan, Russia, and other developing countries, bribery is entrenched and thought as simply, a part of doing business. It’s not to say that Developing nations do not have corruption, but at least there are mechanisms where society can provide a feedback into the system, a way legitimate way to point out areas of corruption. But then we get into freedom of speech and freedom of the press…

    • Ken Morgan

      The UK is a democracy (stop laughing at the back) and yet civil service corruption is amazing. At the council level it is appalling and makes China look like amateurs.

  • Johan Viskar

    higher salaries will justify more and harder anti corruption policy.

  • Amused

    Got to supplement those bribes people. El-Wee and Coochie are expensive shit!

  • biggj

    I think we’ve earned a raise.

    • MidniteOwl

      so who does the work? funny how countries run themselves.

      • biggj

        Kind of like how my boss does fuck all, pretty much does what this guy in the picture does all day. He comes to work at 11,if he even shows up at all and watches youtube videos all day. And when something happens where he actually needs to do something, He calls me or someone else and gets them to do it. The higher up you get in life…the less you have to do. You get people to do things for you. These people have no solutions for anything. Kind of like a the owner of a sports team….they do nothing to make the team win. They are just the owners….the staff makes the team win.You just need to get a few smart guys to do the work for you.

        • Surfeit

          Smart guys?

          • biggj

            Well yeah, It’s like when I need electrical work done in my house. I pay some other guy who knows what he is doing to do it. I’m just the guy with the money. I know nothing about what’s needed to be done. So I get someone with the knowledge to do it for me.

          • Surfeit

            Ah right, I thought you were going somewhere else with it before. My bad.

      • slob

        Oh they work, but only when they can get something out of it.


        Need them to do something in their job description? Not gonna happen and enjoy a lot of eye rolling and groans. Throw in a red bag or some expensive alcohol and suddenly you have a super active govt. worker.

        See how it works?

  • Foreign Devil

    If it is full time work and not full of insane benefits. . then an increase in salary is warranted.. to hopefully reduce corruption. That way an honest person can feel satisfied without feeling underpaid and resorting to accepting bribes to add to their compensation.

    • plorf

      So much for the theory, but have you checked government official’s official salaries? Even the highest officials have laughably low salaries, so low in fact that they couldn’t afford a car and would have to rent outside the city centers. Now the highest officials (Xi Jinping comes to mind…) earn about as much as an English teacher in 2nd tier cities. It’s really just pocket money for the kids to spend on sweets.

  • Sharrma

    Are foreign teachers working in Government schools considered civil servants ?

  • Dolph Grunt

    “Can you not be so disgusting? Your contributions to the country really
    aren’t necessarily more than migrant workers. I’ve also worked in a
    government office, and even though it was only as a temporary worker,
    there’s no need for me to say what so-called basic-level civil servants
    are doing every day, because you already know. And comparing yourself to
    those who built nuclear weapons, can you really?”

    I think I’m in love

  • Surfeit

    “High salaries to discourage corruption is in line with international circumstances.”

    Somebody didn’t get the memo.

  • Ken Morgan

    Rubbish, the UK is one of THE most corrupt countries in the world. The thing is a lot of things which are corruption we simply don’t recognise as corruption. Often because we’re English this doesn’t happen here.

    Have a look at Bexley is bonkers website. The most blatant examples are where council contracts are given to family and friends of the councillors this is a single council in the UK of which there are many.

    I’ve personally seen it a few times myself. A consultation for instance with councillors about a local shop selling alcohol to under-age people. It was held at Radcliffe library. The councillors refused gifts from local business people usually boxes of wine and other goodies during the meeting. Post meeting I remember them telling these goodies to be sent to a different address.

    Or the way fast food places often have to pay bribes to get a good inspection rating. In the 70s it wasn’t unusual to have to pay protection money to the police as well.

    Or the way contracts always get tendered out to the family and friends of the council executives. Locally a few years ago there was a big increase in childcare funding by the council. This was praised as great. Council chief’s wife just completely by coincidence happened to be the biggest approved provider on the council childcare list.

    Or the way my sister blew the whistle on Haringhey council corruption, she was vindicated but sacked and blackballed. The corruption continues.

    Or lobbying, and ‘political donations’ you seriously expect me to believe bribes I mean donations aren’t bribes?

    There is enormous amounts of corruption which isn’t considered corruption or it is labelled under something else to pretend it isn’t corruption.

    For instance the Police. To make crime stats look better they down grade crimes or simply don’t record them.

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