While local civil servants don’t take home much in the way of an official salary, they have long been the target of public scorn for the vocational privileges and illicit bribes that sometimes come with their positions. China Labour Bulletin has translated an article recently published in the China Youth Daily profiling a low-level civil servant eager to counter public misunderstanding of junior officials like himself:
The issue of civil servants’ pay has been widely debated in China over the last year. Civil servants complain that their pay is far too low but members of the public have little sympathy, arguing that civil servants have a wide range of benefits and can always earn more money off-the-books (so-called “grey income”) by abusing their official position.
Last month, China Youth Daily talked to a young civil servant in Beijing, Li Ming, who was anxious to dispel some of the myths about the service. He earned just over 3,000 yuan a month, about the same as a factory worker in Shenzhen, and said that nearly all of his salary was gone by the end of the month.
Li explained that the government’s austerity drive and clampdown on corruption meant that no one had any chance to earn grey income anymore or spend the public’s money for their own benefit. Even his bosses, he said, were now going around on bicycles rather than in cars. […] [Source]
Click through for China Labour Bulletin’s full translation. Also see CDT’s translation of a Ming’en Media video outlining the many obstacles that stand between junior civil servants and advancement to powerful Party official-hood.