Dom Post to PPTA

Today’s Dom Post editorial:

Earth to teachers: the cupboard is bare. The stopwork meetings called for today and tomorrow by the secondary teachers’ union suggest its executive inhabits a parallel universe.

In case the Post Primary Teachers Association has not noticed, the economy is flagging, businesses are cutting costs and most workers are making do with minimal or no pay increases. Some are grateful to just have jobs. Now is not the time to be demanding 4 per cent wage rises, increased KiwiSaver contributions, a laptop for every teacher and smaller class sizes. Nor is it the time to be downing chalk to vote on strike action.

The Dom Post has summed it up nicely.

In support of its claims, the quotes from an OECD report showing that after 15 years a New Zealand secondary teacher’s salary is 17 per cent lower than the OECD average. Strangely it appears to have escaped the union’s notice that the chippies, cleaners, dentists and doctors who will have to fund any pay increase for teachers through their taxes also earn significantly less than their counterparts in countries like Australia, the United States, France and Japan. That is the consequence of living in a country which does not perform as well economically as its peers.

Exactly. What would be interesting is to compare how teachers are paid in NZ compared to the average wage, and what the OECD average is compared to the OECD average wage.

There is a yawning chasm between the best and worst teachers. The Los Angeles Times has just published the results of a major study analysing the performance of individual students in the US’s second largest school district over several years. It shows that the quality of teaching has more to do with student performance than class sizes, socio-economic background or even the thing parents worry most about – the schools they attend. A good teacher can make a huge difference to a pupil’s performance in a single year. A poor teacher, down the hall in the same school, can have an equally big impact in the same period – but in an adverse way.

Hmmn, I think the editorial writer reads my blog 🙂

As I have said before, I’d pay the best teachers around $100,000 but the worse teachers under $40,000.

If teacher unions were genuinely focused on improving student performance they would work with the Government to devise a pay system that recognises the abilities of individual teachers.

That will never ever happen – sadly.

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