|Parents were in a worry yesterday when knowing that 33 teachers at their kids' kindergarten went on strike in requests for better pay, bonuses and working conditions. All the teachers have resumed work today. — Photo dantri.com.vn
DA NANG (VNS) — Happy Kids Kindergarten's 33 teachers resumed work today after going on strike yesterday.
Van Le Yen, principal of the private kindergarten on Le Thanh Nghi Street in Da Nang, confirmed to Viet Nam News today that the teachers had agreed to return to work. The teachers' requests for better pay, bonuses and working conditions were being considered in discussions, Yen said. A group of the teachers had sent a formal claim to the school managing board.
Nguyen Thi Thu Hong, whose 2-year-old daughter attends the school, said the school management board sent an apology email to parents on Wednesday.
The strike caused chaos at the school when parents were asked to take their kids home early. The school management board had assigned kitchen staff and cleaners to take care of the school's more than 200 kids on Wednesday morning until their parents picked them up.
Teacher Nguyen Thi Kieu Nga said she and her peers stopped teaching because the school had decided to cut their bonuses from VND500,000 (US$23.8) to VND300,000 ($14.2) for those with A-grade teaching quality classifications and from VND300,000($14) to VND200,000 ($9.5) for B-grade.
"We're paid VND3 million ($143) per month, but we would often get bonuses for our efforts," Nga said. "The school managing board reduced all the bonuses, because of financial difficulties. They also cut off our VND200,000 daily working shift payment. We have yet got our annual 12-day vacation, as the managing board included the vacation in our summer holiday."
Nga said the decision went against Ministry of Education and Training regulations on teachers' vacation time.
"We start working from 6:30am to 6:30pm., but we were ordered to pick up kids starting at 6:15am," she said.
The problem began after Tet when teachers only received payments for five days out of seven for their Tet vacations. She said the school managing board explained that the school operated as an enterprise, so labourers only got paid for five days during Tet.
The parent Hong said it needed to improve its teachers' living and working conditions.
"The parents actually are anxious about more strikes in the future," she said. "We do not know what to do when our kids need to stay home while we're at work. We pay VND3.5 million ($167) per kid attending the school, including tuition and food.
"I think all difficulties and problems could be solved by discussions among the school, teachers and parents. I hope this won't happen again."
Dang Nhon, deputy head of the Education and Training office in Hai Chau District, said an inspection will be carried out at the school, with the aim to solve the conflict. — VNS