Busting Teachers Unions

As regular readers will know there is little love lost with me and unions, more so with teacher’s unions. I consider it my life’s mission to bust unions.

With the possible advent of a real education system (as opposed to the current Labour inspired de-education /brainwashing system) I was inspired to have a look at teacher’s employment agreements to see what outcomes are expected of them. In the words of Scribe it turns out that there is “not many, if any”.

The primary teachers agreement seems typical, 96 pages of rights and as far as I can see not a single mention of performance, standards or outcomes!

I haven’t attempted to work out the cumulative effect of non-contact hours, leave etc, but I suspect that in many cases we (really) may actually be paying them to stay away from the schools!

For example you know “how hard we work in the holidays” lines they use, complete bull:

2.10.3 Except as provided in 2.10.1 employees shall not be required to attend school during any time when the school is officially closed for instruction. However Boards may require employees to attend school or elsewhere, when the school is closed for instruction (except on weekends or public holidays unless by agreement) for up to ten days per school year

There are allowances and payments for everything imaginable including:

5.5 Tea Allowance
A tea allowance of $54.64 per annum is payable to employees who do not receive free
morning and afternoon tea.

Pay for some to get to work:

5.7 Transport Allowance for Relieving Employees
Relieving employees in short term positions appointed for a period of up to 1 term shall be granted assistance towards their daily travelling expenses to and from school as follows:
(a) If public transport is not available, the employee shall be paid a motor vehicle allowance at the rate of 37c per km for a car and 16c per km for a motor cycle for the distance involved less the first ten kilometres each day ….

Solid gold redundancy including a 30 week holiday:

9A.7 Redeployment and Retraining
In the first instance the parties will consider whether the teacher can:
(a) Redeployment/supernumerary – be redeployed for 30 school weeks within the school or at any other school requested by the teacher with the approval of the original board and of the board of that other school. During this time the teacher shall continue to seek a suitable alternative position ……

or (and?) huge payouts:

9A.10 Long Service Leave and Severance Provisions
Where the options outlined in 9A.7(a) and (b) have been thoroughly explored and no such option is suitable, the employer shall offer a teacher either:
(a) Long Service Payment – To be paid a long service payment to assist a teacher, with not less than twenty-five years service, to retire from the teaching service. The payment will be equivalent to twenty-six weeks salary at the time of termination; or
(b) Severance – to be paid a severance payment based on the following table:
Length of Service / Weeks of Payment
(Ordinary Pay)
Up to three years / 7 weeks
Over 3 and up to 5 years / 15 weeks
Over 5 years / 23 weeks

It goes on (and on and on) with perks, payments and let outs.

The only vaguely “responsibility” section is in the schedules at the rear

Schedule 3
Interim Framework of Professional Standards for Teachers

Note the bias – again all to do with them and nothing to do with their actual function in life (well what any normal person would see as their function) – with mind blowing gems like:

demonstrate a high level of knowledge of relevant curriculum, and of current learning


continually evaluate and reflect on their teaching and act on areas where it can be improved


demonstrate a high level of commitment to student welfare and learning

All navel gazing rubbish – as hard as I look, nothing to say they actually teach children and must (or even may) get results!

The rest of the NZEI agreements aren’t any better.

It is high time the government busted the chops of some of these unions.



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  • Kosh103

    All unions can go on one condition.

    Every single thing, every deal, right etc… that you have becuase of unions – you have to give up.

    • Agent BallSack

      Bullshit Kosh. Thats like saying you can have a Green Government as long as everything that was ever produced by corporates, multinationals or the machine age must be forgone. Perhaps unions have already achieved the aim they were originally introduced for and are having a hard time giving up all that money and power.

      • don’t feed the troll

    • Vij

      You’re an idiot Kosh

      • Troy

        I’ve read most of Kosh’s posts and i’m of the opinion that he is, in fact, the Mallard.  Hence forth I will refer to him as the Mallard – he of Red Alert and other failed initiatives of the past.  It would be just his style to hide behind a nom de plune.

  • They might not be required to be at school outside of “instruction hours” but many are to prepare lesson plans and even helping kids to achieve. Simply put that there is not enough time within school hours to do all the work that is necessary to teach.

  • Sars

    Kosh you just say the most ridiculous things. 
    How could you even possibly determine what rights etc are available because of the Union?

    I think Unions have had their place historically but it’s time for them to evolve. Much of what they were fighting for decades ago is now set in legislation – minimum wages, health and safety etc. 

    I belong to NZICA which isn’t a Union, but they work hard to lobby government to recognise what we, as accountants, perceive as issues especially regarding legislation relating to the accounting industry. They recognise that, in this day and age, the Union model is outdated and must evolve to maintain relevance and public support. NZICA doesn’t fight employers but there is a free and independent mediation service available for anyone who has employment issues. This way the industry has a united stance when it comes to what really matters – getting the changes made at the top – i.e. from the Government. They understand that nothing can be achieved if there is a them and us mentality within workplaces. 

    • Kosh103

      I am talking about every single right ever won by unions since the first union in NZ. Because without them working conditions in NZ would be rather harsh to say the least.

      It is amazing how quick those who attack unions forget what unions have done for them.

      So dear Sars the only ridiculous things coming out of mouths are those attacking the unions. Unless they are willing to give up every right ever won by any union in NZ.

      • Agent BallSack

        If we did that, we would need unions then wouldn’t we Kosh. You sly old devil. Then you could scream see? we need unions.

      • Sars

        Did you even read what I wrote – historically, yes, Unions have had a place but now they need to evolve to maintain relevance and public support. 

        Can’t you see, I’m agreeing with you that Unions have done a good job securing the rights of employees but now they need to reassess their mandate and move forward. 

      • Kosh103

        @ sars – some unions do, but most are fighting for their members rights – as is their job. So to say lets smash the unions as dear old WO is suggesting is to say you want to weaken workers rights and protections.

      • Sars

        Please Kosh, constructive conversation. I don’t agree with WO’s view on banishing unions, I’m sorry if I didn’t make that abundantly clear. 

        I maintain my point that Unions need to evolve though – I think we’re all aware that the majority of public sentiment is against them, especially in the POA dispute. 

        What they don’t seem to understand is its not the message that matters, it’s the delivery. Surely we’re all savvy enough to know that – the public do not sympathise with people who are on $90k+ a year and are complaining that other people are getting the same. Public sentiment should be the indicator of the success of any campaign and if it swings against you, you know you are getting it wrong. Don’t change the message and compromise your ideology, change the delivery and get the public on your side. If that still doesn’t work, then your message is fundamentally flawed. 

      • Vij

        Kosh, you’re still an idiot

    • Gazzaw

      I agree 100% Sars. The fact that the majority of teachers are non-union members speaks volumes. Were there an apolitical association to represent their professional interests similar that that of the Chartered Accountants then they would join up in droves. Unfortunately this is not going to happen without massive industrial unrest & I believe can only be done by the government deregistering the teachers unions. 

      Not surprisingly both the PPTA & the NZEI continue to recruit young cannon fodder with the abettance of the university education faculties – full days are devoted to union promotions pressuring graduating student teachers to sign up.

      • Kosh103

        Ummmm I think you have your numbers wrong Gaz. MOST teachers are union members.

        From memory the % is in the high 80s/low 90s.

      • Sars

        This made me laugh, I went to the PPTA website to see if they had any membership numbers and the first thing I found was this article with a title that makes very little sense. http://www.ppta.org.nz/index.php/component/content/article/142/2067

        I screen capped it to, in case they change it and pretend they’re somewhat literate. 

        I’m mortally embarrassed if I make spelling or grammar mistakes posting on forums like this. I would ban myself from the internet if I was responsible for publishing that article.  

      • Sars

        Ha! They fixed it, those sneaky little devils. 
        How a clanger like that got through in the first place I don’t know. It’s nice to see that they didn’t publish my comment pointing the error out though. I did offer to proof read their articles for them in future. 

  • Joes

    I thought perhaps you were going over board with some of your anti-teacher posts (thinking that not all of them partake in politics and unions as much as you would have it seem) however after reading this, screw ’em.

  • diabolos

    Unions have done a lot of good for a lot of people who would not have been able to achieve positive results otherwise.  People who would otherwise be powerless.  They’ve also done a lot of dumb things – but generally the good have always outweighed the bad.

    Your viewpoint on unions will generally depend on your family background (ie upper or upper middle class etc), your own income level and nett worth and your position within society and the power structure the controls society.

    Effective advocacy for people with no other strings to pull, is essential.  A nation without that advocacy is at the mercy of those who would elevate economic and social pragmatism to a new level of haves and have nots.

    The thing that at the moment blurs it all – is that National Voters are actively accessing the advocacy system for the benefits of collective bargaining and collective ability to achieve results.  So $100K per year bods are Union Members – but vote against the concept of Unionism as well.  Alice really has fallen down the rabbit hole into the mad hatters teaparty.

    Fact is – voluntary unionism exists now – so its no longer mandatory.  

    Anyway – when the economy turns really titsup worldwide soon – everyone is going to be scrambling around looking for any collective muscle they can muster.  Epsom and Remmers may have to be turned into a giant walled compound.  The Tennis Club can be where the comfort women are kept for the neo liberal troopers who guard the rights of those within.

    Unions have been the authors of their own downfall – but their concept and practice remains sound – advocacy for those who have no strings to pull.  In the case of the Maritime folk – they really just need to sit around a table – not do what they are doing probably.

    • Sars

      I agree with your point – advocacy for people who have no strings to pull. You can’t tell me someone on $90k+ a year has no strings to pull though.

      • diabolos

        Sars – when you are right – you are right.  Teachers are the most overpaid and underworked majority group i’ve ever seen.  Our kids are being sold a pup.

        I dont think the governments plans will change it – it needs complete and utter deconstruction and state led control.  The Charter idea is a peripheral trickle – we need a gushing torrent of change.

      • diabolos

        And that is my point – people on $90K plus – have plenty of strings to pull.

        They vote National.

        And that includes the Teachers – how many of them actually vote left???

  • Peter Wilson

    It’s groupings like teachers that are the new “rich.” On much higher incomes a generation ago, yet producing the same output, or less. The rich v poor debate I’d like to see focused on the poor vs middle class, that’s where the real gap lies.

    Having said that, I have a teacher in the family, and some still do view their profession as a vocation. It’s pretty rare she doesn’t bring home work every night, and during holidays is working on projects and workplans, only has a proper holiday around January.

    That doesn’t excuse teacher unions behave as shroud waving pimps, highlighting their concerns for students as a distraction for protecting and enhancing their own positions.  

    • Gazzaw

      Peter, you and I are in exactly the same place on this including the family member and the utmost commitment to the kids. 50 hour weeks are the norm and the only proper holiday as you say comes in January. Aside from regular teaching the duties include sports team coaching, library management, BOT meetings and all of the administration bullshit documentation that goes with modern teaching.  

      50 hours a week and conservatively 48 weeks a year. Reward $50k pa. Believe me she is a dedicated teacher & I might add a non union member (only two teachers at the school are).

      There’s a lot of very harsh criticism of teachers here. Yes, there are some bad teachers out there and even more very average ones but there are also some very good dedicated people looking after our kids. Those teachers desperately want to rid the profession of the useless articles who bring the profession into disrepute.     

  • Ploughman

    I agree with the view that the two major educational unions are damaging to our national interests.  As to the pathetic pleas to our sympathy such as the claim of working during holidays, well these people should get a job such running a corner dairy!   I was a teacher and was married to a teacher – it is a sinecure.  I am ashamed at the performance of the “profession” now I know what the real world is like.  To ignore the 20% illiteracy rate in school leavers is shameful.

    And if you want to really get riled up, try reading the rules that these unions try to impose on their members.  They are effectively: “Ve haf vays of making you into a good, little Unionist,  Ya.”

    Bring on performance pay, easier dismissal procedures for hopeless or incompetent teachers, more linkages to the real needs of the community, better teaching performance leading to great success, and more concentration on professional advocacy. 

    • Sars

      I hear you Ploughman, performance based pay. I also think that National Standards are a platform for teachers to be measured against so that this may be introduced, even if it is just by private schools. 

      At least it gives incentive for those who are non-vocational, which I think we’re all aware is most of today’s teachers. I think about the people I went to high school with who chose teaching because it really is the easy option. I wouldn’t want those people training my dog, let alone teaching our impressionable youth. 

      • Kosh103

        And yet if the Govt uses charter schools as is being suggested – where the teachers in the schools do not have to be trained teachers they can be Joe Blog off the street – then the idea that they are using NS to “dig out the bad teachers” is a joke.

        If National allow untrained Joe Bloggs into the class then their idea of this improving failing kids should result in the sacking of the National Govt.

      • Sars

        Who are you to say that Joe Bloggs off the street will be a bad teacher? I tutor in accounting and have a 100% success rate with my students passing exams (from NCEA through to final year Uni) and I’m not a trained teacher. 

        Do you know what I find? In addition to teaching accounting, I also have to teach these people how to write essays, how to research, how to do basic maths, construct a legible argument…the list goes on and on. 

        Clearly, the status quo is not working. Why not investigate the alternatives and see if we can improve the standard of education for all students, not just the ones who seek outside help?

      • Kosh103

        Any move to put untrained joe blogs in a classroom makes a joke of the NZ education system and a joke of Nationals promise to weed out the bad teachers.

        And no offence but getting a kid to pass a test and teaching are 2 very different things. Anyone can help someone memorise facts.

      • Sars

        Oh Kosh, what a sly little dig that was. Memorisation of facts will not help you pass exams; you must think so very little of me to make the assumption that that’s what I do. I don’t just work with these people (they range in age from 15 to 48) to pass tests, I educate them on how to apply information to a set of facts and draw a reasonable conclusion. I’m not sure what your knowledge of accounting is but I can assure you that if a student doesn’t understand the application of theories then they will fail – regardless of whether they can recite the whole text book verbatim. 

        What do you do for a job Kosh? It might help me understand your point of view if I know a little more of your background. Clearly there are bad teachers out there. Terrible ones, in fact. How do you propose to weed them out?We all agree on the issue here – our education system is failing too many kids. The right have proposed a solution and the left have cried it down. What do the left propose to do?

      • Kosh, my son is taught by an untrained teacher, he is Year 10 and doing Year 12 work.

        You are just a mouthpiece for union and Labour lies. Lift your game, I’m over your shit.

      • Kosh103

        @ sars The right have not suggested any answer to getting rid of bad teachers. Rather they have attacked all teachers, called them rubbish and suggested any person off the street can do what a teacher does – which is a lie. 
        No untrained person has the right to teach full time in a classroom as the teacher.

      • Sars

        Kosh – what do you think would happen if National just came out and said ‘we’re getting rid of the crap teachers, be on your best behaviour’?

        The Union would pitch a fit and probably strike forever. At least with what is being suggested there is a way to determine the good from the bad. With that information the schools and the parents can make decision about who they want educating our youth. 

        How do you propose teachers are judged if not in Charter Schools and National Standards? There has to be a level platform to measure performance, the information must be comparable between individuals and easily interpreted by users. It’s simply a more professional and formal model to gauge performance – the system currently being used is simply not working.  

  • Jester

    So Kosh you believe it is acceptable that you sit in class on your android posting your bullshit whilst your year 8 students should be learning?

    Your a fucking disgrace and the epitomy of all that is wrong with “the world owes us a living” teachers.

  • kaykaybee

    Cam – did you know the “standard agreement” link has been changed to go to a stuff one about your court case.

    They’re watching you….

    • Frank

      The stuff pdf was created by Dempsey Woodley from nzei

    • Yep seen that, just blogged about it. Also published the agreement i downloaded last night

  • Sars
  • Agent BallSack

    I’d put money on the chance that Kosh is a secondary school teacher.

    • Sars

      I’m leaning towards that as well

    • Jester

      He’s a year 8 teacher. Bent as a staple and labour through and through

      • Sars

        Year 8 = Form 2. I’m pretty sure when I was at school that was still considered to be Primary School. 

      • EX Navy Greg

        Yep. P.E. teacher, beat the boys purple at the drop of a hat , and teach them how to take a cricket bat from behind without blubbing…

  • PrincipalM

    3 years ago I kept a log of my actual hours, did it over 6 months. pay rate worked out as $17.50 per hour. By the way, I’m a Principal with 29 years in the job, a degree and specialist qualifications. Just for your info.

    • diabolos

      Try asking most self employed people what their effective pay rate is.  I could say that my actual thinking time about my business is chargeable at an hourly rate – truth is it isnt.

      You also get 12 weeks plus paid leave plus guaranteed benefits.

      And always remember mate – there are people out there working far more hours than teachers or principals for $13.00 an hour and they have kids to feed/family to support.

      I’ve never met a poor teacher – and never met one that hasnt travelled extensively overseas.

      Pull the other one.

      • Thorn

        I agree.  Most principals fail to coach their staff to achieve targets, to manage behaviour and to engaged themselves fully in what they are meant to achieve – equipping young minds to be self-sufficient.

    • Jester

      See I have no problem recompensing someone like yourself that puts in the hours to a rate reflective of your position and effort put in. Many teachers (old school) do a bloody fine job.

      However using Kosh as an example, why the hell should a year 8 teacher who spends most of his days on here during lesson time spouting union bullshit be rewarded.

      In a normal business he would be sacked, but sadly nowadays his ilk are like genital warts. Embarrassing to put up with and really hard to get rid of.

      • PrincipalM

        Replying to you rather than the others above as they seem happier with bashing rather than discourse. I have personally torn my hair out more than once over teaching staff that I considered incompetent. It remains extremely difficult and/or tedious to ‘fire’ a teacher. the two year advice and guidance programme is awful in my personal experience. 
        Diablos also mentioned that self-employed people wouldnt know their pay rate, pull the other one. The only people who cant tell you exactly what they earn and how far it will go each week, are those who are earning ‘big’ money that stretches further than the next pay cheque. My calculations were of the hours actually worked, not thinking time, not phone calls, and included holiday periods.  But some people do find ‘bashing’ easier than reasoned debate. And to Thorn, just shows how little you know about schools these days: try googling Key Competencies for a start.

      • Sars

        Wow…PrincipalM you are so wrong about self employed people. 

        Where are you getting your information from? Who have you been talking to that’s fed you such a line of rubbish it almost brings tears to my eyes?

        It find it amusing that you rally against the generalisations and stereotypes of teachers discussed here. You are doing exactly the same thing to self employed people. 

        Do you not understand that income does not equate to cash in business? Have you ever heard of the accrual regime that NZ businesses must prepare their accounts based on?

        I’ll give you a wee lesson – Mr Self Employed builds a shed for Mr Everyman. Mr Self Employed sends Mr Everyman an invoice. At that point, the invoice becomes income that Mr Self Employed must then pay tax on; regardless of when Mr Everyman pays him. Then it is Mr Self Employed’s job to chase that money, on top of his already large workload, to ensure he has enough cash to pay suppliers and feed his family. 

        At least you are guaranteed your cash every month without having to chase it and, potentially, pay tax on it before you have even received it. 

    • diabolos

      Principal – i did NOT say self employed people didnt know their pay rate – what i WAS implying was that there are many hours for which they cannot effectively charge a customer.  Remember customers – the people on the receiving end of a service or product delivery?  Customers are the ones who pay a self employed persons “wages” and those of their staff.  You lot have the taxpayer doing it all for you.   You have got it completely wrong.

      No one is bashing you or anyone – what is being said is you have a cushy income – cushy employment conditions – and you arent required to live in the real world that the self employed and the average waged worker are.  You have no idea of responsibility or hardship – neither do your fellows.

    • Peter Wilson

      Yes, you are well qualified, with specialized skills and experience, and you should be earning more than, say, someone on the average wage. My question is: how much more, and why?

  • Agent BallSack

    To highlight one particular paragraph – 

    “5.5 Tea AllowanceA tea allowance of $54.64 per annum is payable to employees who do not receive freemorning and afternoon tea”

    I remember vividly teachers making a beeline for the teachers lounge at intervals, still  vividly after 30 years. In that first 20 minutes of break, you could cause havoc at school because you knew everyone of those hungry gutted bastards were sipping tea and eating biscuits, and a nuclear bomb wouldn’t displace them. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if nothing has changed.

    • PrincipalM

      in all my years as a teacher and principal, i have never worked at  school where we received a tea allowance, there was, and always is, bog standard gumboot tea and instant coffee in the staffroom. Out of interest, it equates to 27 cents a day. bit different to the $70 a day that EQC guys are getting in Christchurch. Anyway I bring my own coffee to work to drink at my desk. 30 years ago, every workplace was different to what it is today.

      • diabolos

        My piles bleed for you…

      • Sars

        I realise this is an informal forum but not capitalising the beginnings of your sentences isn’t a great way to show how good a job teachers are doing. You are here representing your industry – education. 

      • MrV

        I think this confirms the point though, by having these things enshrined by a Union contract document doesn’t necessarily achieve good outcomes.

        Result: the cheapest tea/coffee is provided to comply with regulations.

        Whereas if there was more goodwill perhaps the school would find the fuunds to provide a proper coffee-maker (for example).

    • Kosh103

      Soo, $1.05 a week extra. Dear God call the newspapers the horror the horror.

      • diabolos

        Point Agent Ballsack is making Kosh – is that teachers inhabit a petty world of jots and tittles – and they spend most of their time worrying about what is a jot and what is a tittle.  They should visit the remuera tennis club – now they know exactly what a tittle is –  If there ever was a proof private schools teach you more – then thats it.  They even come out of the private system with a huge libido.  They’re at it like fucking rabbits in the leafy suburbs.

        Teachers are recipients of a gigantic ‘straining at gnats – swallowing camels” set of employment conditions – and they always seem to want more and more and more.  Their biggest stress is whether some dumb fuck left the lights on in the staffroom.

        What about the kiddies – parents could be forgiven at the coalface – actually experiencing the treatment meted out to kids and parents – for feeling that they are getting sweet fuckall for their donations and fees.

        And they may well be right in that assumption.

  • GPT

    A stupid contract which undermines hard working teachers.  Worst of all it does not even reflect what a hard working teacher has to do in order to get the job done properly.  The old man was a primary teacher (in fairness a teaching principal of a 3 and a bit teacher school aka a good way to kill your self) and his days were 6am start, home for tea at sixish (unless meetings) and then marking and admin until around 10.  School holidays were a bit lighter to be fair (6-8 hours on average and usually a full week leading up to term restarting) but the reality is the contract described above in no way reflects what had to be done.  So that begs the question as to why members belong to a union that undervalues their hard work in favour of their useless colleagues?

  • PrincipalM

    to Diablos, try some cream. I didnt actually ask you to emote on my behalf, but feel free.

  • Vij

    Why do we put up with Kosh?  He is an idiot, that has never contributed anything

    • Kosh103

      LMAO – you know you are getting to the right wing when they cannot handle people disagreeing with them and using truths they cannot knock down.

      • Sars

        But it’s true Kosh – every time I try and address you personally you rant a bit and then completely stop answering. You never address the points I make or the questions I ask – you aren’t here for discourse, you’re here to troll. 

  • Groans

    Hey Whale when ya going to ban Kosh

  • Mista_samoa

    You’re an arse! I slave my bloody guts out for my kids, even spend my own money on them. The problem with people like u you would never make it as a teacher. You don’t even know half the crap we deal with day in day out. Get life and a real job.

  • Paul

    Wouldnt you like to buy kosh for what he’s worth,and sell him for what he think’s he’s worth….huge fucking profit, i fancy.Can his sad arse Cam

  • Anonymous

    Kosh needs to go, his difference of opinion is unacceptable. Boss Robert would have dealt with this a long time ago, but sadly he is too busy fighting off the illegal British sanctions.

    • Kosh103

      I think WO knows that it would be a bit of a knock for free speech on his blog if someone was given the boot for not agreeing with some of the posters.

  • Kosh103

    LMAO – I love it. The right are so scared of opposing voices they want them stopped.

    Grow up cowards.

    • Sars

      You really are a dreadful specimen of humanity Kosh. You could at least conduct yourself with enough dignity so that you can be differentiated from those you call ‘cowards’  You never offer constructive arguments, you rarely address points directed at you and just simply stop commenting on a thread if you’re proved wrong. 

      It’s not simply that you don’t agree; it’s that you do so in such a single-minded, nasty and immature way. 

      • Kosh103

        Now it is nasty not to agree.

        Wow, those on the right are so prissy.

      • Anonymous

        Indeed, funny how Kosh thinks we want him banned just because he offers an opposing view, rather than the fact that he is full of shit and offers no considerate opinion just bullshit after bullshit.