A reader writes

October 4th, 2010 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

E-mail from a reader:

My name in xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx and I was on holiday in Rotorua with my family this week as it rained the entire time I spent most of time in the pool with the kids and had some very surprising conversations with other guest 2 who were teachers that disagreed with the strike of the post primary school teachers.

One Maori lady was a teacher from Hastings who told her principal that she didn’t agree with the strike and her principal told her “well your job isn’t safe then is it”. She replied “yes it is”. She also felt that some teachers are worth much more than they are getting paid but some teacher are “just lazy and not worth anything”. She felt the union should be protecting good teachers but they are protecting bad teachers.

The second teacher we met has been teaching for 20 years (not sure where) and she had never seen such political bias and bullying from Principals and left leaning teachers and it was pointless arguing with anyone as your on a hiding to nothing. She said that at election time you can’t admit you vote National or you are harassed as the only point of the union is to get Labour elected. Even the placards are red and white.

If what these teachers say is correct then a lot of good teachers don’t agree with the strike and they disagree with the union but are too scared to do anything or don’t want to because it’s a hassle then that is the bigger story.

By the way the primary school my kids go to is xxx xxxxx primary school and they support National standards so a lot of schools do. But as a primary school they are great and very inclusive so in fact national standards will make no difference to xxx xxxxx as they are excellent to start with.

You are in the position to canvass a wide audience you should ask for stories from other teachers about political bias and bullying from principals and unions. It’s time the teachers unions stopped bullying other teachers and parents as they only care about 1 thing – to gain power.

Goes without saying, other stories are welcome.

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28 Responses to “A reader writes”

  1. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    This sounds pretty typical of the left, who will always try and bully or shout down or otherwise try to prevent the expression of opposing ideas.

    I have found that if you only have the courage to speak out others will follow. They are often thinking like you but because of the left’s bully boy tactics, are too afraid to speak. Take the lead, speak out, and you will be surprised how many will support you.

    I could relate a number of experiences where once someone speaks out, the damn wall is broken and the opposing ideas will flow. The left’s whole idea is to stifle discussion. Never let them get away with it.

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  2. m@tt (631 comments) says:

    “Goes without saying, other stories are welcome.”
    Are facts optional?

    “as the only point of the union is to get Labour elected”
    “unions stopped bullying other teachers and parents as they only care about 1 thing – to gain power.”
    Sounds emotive and incorrect to me.

    “She said that at election time you can’t admit you vote National or you are harassed”
    Maybe a case for the employment court here? Or is the employer unable to provide a bully free environment? Or is this a crap statement…

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  3. wreck1080 (3,964 comments) says:

    I’ve got no sympathy for the greedy teachers. They’ve had greater pay rises than most of NZ over the last 3 years, and they are hankering for more of the same.

    But, I do think the whole teaching approach needs an overhaul. I’d have no problem with a top teacher being on over 100k.

    But, I do have a problem with poorly performing teachers being paid what they get now.

    On a side note, I’m horrified that unions are legally allowed to pressure members to vote a certain way.

    Imagine if a large corporation tried to pressure employees to vote a certain way.

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  4. Monty (980 comments) says:

    I imagine you will get a load of stories about the bullying and lying teacher unions.

    A few friends are teachers. We get on very well with a teacher at the school where my children attend. Her view on National Standards was that there is no problem with National Standards – Parents have a right to know. Not perfect – but improvement s and tuning will come.

    Another teacher reported to us that she needed to vote Labour (before the 2008 election) as that was what the union told them to do. Also the teacher unions were spreading the lie that National would destroy the union and the teachers would have no representation.

    The increase in strike action and industrial disputes is as a result of the teacher unions doing what they can to de-stablise the National Government and make them look like the bad guys. The are spineless meek little lambs under a Labour Gvernment.

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  5. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    m@tt = bully

    Nice one pal. You’ve just marginalised more potential left voters. Please keep it up (you do us all a favour)

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  6. Sector 7g (242 comments) says:

    …No Pressure.

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  7. bc (1,377 comments) says:

    “Goes without saying, other stories are welcome”.

    No doubt, only stories that confirm your own prejudices are acceptable.
    (But at least you called it a story and not a statement of fact).

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  8. bc (1,377 comments) says:

    “Another teacher reported to us that she needed to vote Labour (before the 2008 election) as that was what the union told them to do.”

    Needed?? Was this stated in her job description? I thought not. Is this person not able to think for herself.
    And I love the use of your word “reporting”!

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  9. James Stephenson (2,225 comments) says:

    Sounds emotive and incorrect to me

    Sounds like it fits the pattern of the bullying principals previously reported: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/09/the_bullying_principals.html to me.

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  10. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Is there not scope for “Association of Professional Teachers”, or something, under which truly professional teachers could form a minority-report type group (doubt it’s a minority). You’d probably have to make it no-fees and small time commitment because these good teachers are probably busy already, doing their job, and you don’t want another group collecting money because eventually it’d get hijacked by the Left. But it could form safe group for professional teachers to gather around.

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  11. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    One thing’s for sure. I’m saving up for private education for my children. Don’t know if I can afford it, but need it.

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  12. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Myopic Matt talks crap again and says something isn’t true because he says so.

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  13. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    bhudson 12:53 pm,

    m@tt = bully

    Nice one pal. You’ve just marginalised more potential left voters. Please keep it up (you do us all a favour)

    Exactly right, BH.
    Leftards, like Matt, don’t even recognise when they are shooting themselves in the foot. Much like the 10:10 Campaign – “No Pressure” – Yeah, right. Epic fails are the hallmark of the Regressive Left … sorry, I meant the ‘Progressive’ Left.

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  14. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    my daughter is a nurse at Middlemore and their union sounds the same as the teachers. When we see her and if the topic ever gets around to elections etc, she repeats the shit she is told at work. When I ask more in-depth questions she is stuffed.
    ps .. she will not be voting for Lenny B. He did a talk at some award ceremony a few months ago and bored most people to death .. lucky there were lots of Dr’s and Nurses around .. hahahaha

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  15. mpledger (425 comments) says:

    But as a primary school they are great and very inclusive so in fact national standards will make no difference to xxx xxxxx as they are excellent to start with.

    That’s like a comment I heard from a mother – she was saying that the National Standards testing was just another round of testing telling them stuff that they already knew from the other tests that the school had been doing already.

    School don’t seem to want to drop the testing they were already doing before National Standards testing came in, they’ve just added more. Maybe they trust the other tests to give a more rounded, truer picture?

    Anyway, she went on to comment about the teaching time lost to all this testing.

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  16. mpledger (425 comments) says:

    xxxxx wrote “She felt the union should be protecting good teachers but they are protecting bad teachers.”

    The union is there to see that workplace conditions are fair to all it’s member. It’s not the unions place to make judgements about which workers are deserving or not.

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  17. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    My wife works in the office of a rural college. She’s claims the vast majority of teachers at that school are dead against the union and their strikes. Apparently many teachers at the school are fed up with the continual crap coming from the paper shufflers in Wellington. It seems many just want to get on and teach and not have to bow to every whim coming out of the nuts in the big smoke.

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  18. Red Sam (122 comments) says:

    “Also the teacher unions were spreading the lie that National would destroy the union and the teachers would have no representation.”

    My guess is that destroying the teacher unions would be pretty high on the wish list of Tolley, Key and other like minded tories.

    And if any of you were actually in Rotorua last week, you would have realised that the media simply sensationalised Tolley’s address. She’s not as good at off the cuff like other ministers I’ve heard in the past. She did get a couple of giggles from her one liner jokes/sarcasm. Unsurprisingly, the media didn’t show the waiata that we sang to welcome and farewell Minister Anne, or the gift that she was presented with.

    Paul Henry commented the next day that NZEI members at Rotorua were rude and disgusting – or words to that effect. Hmmm, a bit of pot kettle after his statement today. If a teacher said what he said today, then they’d be marched out the door no questions asked.

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  19. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “other like minded tories.”

    How pathetic. If only we had some. Look up NY Governor Chris Christie. We get someone like him up out here you’ll be whining for the return of Mrs Tolley in a millisecond.

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  20. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    No doubt, only stories that confirm your own prejudices are acceptable.

    Yes, absolutely. Because it patently clear that NZEI and the MSM (mostly) present stories that fail to highlight the school, principals and teachers who are getting on with implementing National Standards and providing feedback on improvements.

    Different topic, check out Top 25 Web Startups Revolutionizing Teaching. Some very, very cool stuff in there and I expect it would be seriously toxic to the likes of NZEI.

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  21. Clint Heine (1,571 comments) says:

    Funny isn’t it? You get parents, families, workers all saying that the unions are bullying others and on the other side you have unionists and their sympathisers telling people to shut up and calling them names for standing up for themselves.

    I have been harrassed by a couple unions when I worked, for not following their Labour Party beliefs. I remember a story many years ago where unionists would leave Labour Party brochures in staff areas and tell employees that must vote Labour. This may work for those who have not had formal education and therefore will believe anything, but imagine the outrage if any right wing organisation did the same?

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  22. Swampy (191 comments) says:

    I have a friend who left the union because they were blatantly telling their members to vote Labour in the election. And I chose an individual contract so that I wouldn’t need to join.

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  23. RRM (10,020 comments) says:

    My 6 year old attends a public primary school and we consider them excellent. I posted it up on this thread last week:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/10/great_speech_by_ryall.html#comment-746087

    At [a meeting with her teacher to discuss the results of her major set of six-year-old’s performance tests] last month there were about 15 pages of results from all of the in-class testing they do, on things like the extent of their vocabulary, their ability to make sense of what they are reading, their ability to detect things that aren’t right, and how she compares to the rest of the class and to traditional expectations. Teacher was able to answer all of our questions about what various elements of it meant.

    No pretty pie charts, but in short – in most respects my 6yo is reading at about the level normally expected of a 10yo. “The system” appears to be working…

    (None of this is our hero’s new national standards, note, this is just what they already do all of the time. So when Anne Tolley or DPF say teachers are cruising and there needs to be more/better assessment of how kids are doing… yeah, bullshit.)

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  24. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    A few years ago I had cause to be in the staffroom at Wellington High School for a meeting of AFS. During a coffee break I glanced at the staffroom noticeboard.

    It was full of flyers for unions and Labour.

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  25. Brian Smaller (4,026 comments) says:

    East Wellington Superhero

    One thing’s for sure. I’m saving up for private education for my children. Don’t know if I can afford it, but need

    I worked three jobs at one stage to keep my kids at independent schools. I don’t regret it at all.

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  26. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    @RRM – You’re correct that good teachers should be already doing most of what National Standards entails. The issue is that the poor teachers – and there are plenty – are not.. and National Standards will surface their poor performance. It’s great that your daughter has a good teacher. Be happy that other parents might have the same opportunity in future.

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  27. Maggie (672 comments) says:

    What is this – find a scab week? Of course not all teachers support the majority, it would be amazing if they did. Apart from indulging in the usual rightwing antiunion rhetoric is there any point to this thread?

    Why do tories hate unions? You lot dont object to Fed Farmers or Law Society, why does working people banding together offend you so much?

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