Phan Thúc Định. — Photo Phan Thúc Định's facebook
A Literature teacher in a mountain district in central Nghệ An province late last month wrote a poem about not being paid as usual in the middle of January, making preparations for Tết difficult. He posted it on Facebook as an open message to the chairman of the province’s People’s Committee.
First lines of the poem by teacher Phan Thúc Định from mountainous Quỳ Hợp 2 High School simply states.
I don’t know for which reasons
I have not received my salary while it’s January 31.
You, a former teacher, might understand that
Late payment makes us so much confused.
Định’s poem quickly received thousands of “Like” and “Share”, especially from teachers, but, unexpectedly, it reached its target and brought a positive response from chairman of Nghệ An Province People’s Committee, Nguyễn Xuân Đường.
Đường called relevant officials to verify the problem and then told them to address the problem. They responded without delay.
Principle of Quỳ Hợp 2 High school, Nguyễn Đức Ngộ, told Pháp luật thành phố HCM (HCM City Law) newspaper that on February 1, January’s salaries were transferred to teachers’ bank accounts.
He said that salaries were usually paid in the middle of every month, but last month, they were late because the financial and education departments were still busy completing documents for the last fiscal year as well as spending estimates for new year.
Teacher Định now has another problem - and may have to send another Facebook message to the world to try and solve it.
Even when his pay does arrive through his bank, he has to travel many kilometres over rough roads to another town to get it from an ATM. This often means queuing up for hours behind other salary earners just as desperate for Tết cash. — VNS