A possible solution to the problem of teacher unions

Earlier I suggested that de-registration could be a tempting way to sort out the teacher unions. I’ve thought about this and that may be a step too far.

I think I have come up with a more elegant solution.

the government could use anti-monopoly provisions in the law  to break up the unions from their monopoly position of representing education workers.

At present there is a single union for principals, a single union for secondary school teachers and a single union for primary school teachers.

I would think that teacher representation could be better achieved with a little bit of competition in the market place.


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  • Evil, and elegant.  Now make sure Stephen Joyce thinks it is his idea, and it might fly.

  • Orange

    One with a conservative political bias or even neutral would be good. It could work easily alongside the liberal weeny one on intraschool issues and offer balance to national ones.

  • Kosh103

    Not so simple. The Govt would bring upon themselves a battle that they would lose and would suffer a great deal of dammage from.

    Trying to bust the teachers union has been tried on many many occasions. And it has always failed.

    Also, dont these laws apply to business and not non-business orgs that people chose to belong to.

  • Orange

    But it would be a case of divide and conquer. AirNZ used it to boot the engineers.

    • Kosh103

      As I said, many a time National have tried and failed to break the teachers union. And any attempt this time will end in the same failure.

      • Dion

        Fancy unionising against the tax payer.  One has to wonder how these people live with themselves.


        Do you guys need 3 branches representing the same industry

      • Kosh103

        Hang on S&M – isnt the complaint that the teachers union is already too big and should be broken up? You want to create one mega union?

        Anyway, there could be 50 unions within teaching, dont you think it should be up to members as to how THEIR union is sorted out? Not the Govt or others who are NOT members or even in that line of work.

      • Kosh103

        You forget Dion, teachers pay tax too and have the right to have a safe and good work environment just like everyone else.


        No,cant see the sense in having 3 sets of people handling 1 set of problems.

      • Kosh103

        S&M –  each sector has differnt needs etc…

        And as I said before, it is up to the members if they want 1, 3 or 53 groups.

      • PaullePaul2012

        ” the right to have a safe and good work environment just like everyone else.” this is not the problem people have with your union Kosh. The problem is that the unions act like they are the major stakeholders in education. They also spend thousands trying to convince the public that everything that anything a National government does is evil.

      • Kosh103

        Nice spin on the truth there paullepaul

      • Kosh103

        Oh and something else that paullepaul either has *cough* “forgotten”, or didnt know – the largest strikes have been under Labour Govts.

  • This is one argument that I think needs to go back to square one. Private schools private funds public school public funds – then all these monied folk can b*****r off and run their own schools with their own money and presumably at the profit they seem to believe is possible while the public schools run with public money can struggle along with unionised labour.  But wait, that would mean no government hand outs to private schools – no not fair!!! We’ve got to give them the tax payers hand outs too, in fact don’t they already get more than public schools do? Notice I didn’t use the term “state schools”?

    • Callum

       Neil, no private do not get the same funding as public. They get a portion of the operational funding that each student would receive in a public school and receive no funding for buildings and other facilities. So in fact it costs the taxpayer far less than if those students just went to public schools, despite most parents at privates schools paying significantly more in tax. I’m sure most people with their children in private schools would happily trade the current level of government funding if they got a tax rebate for the public system they are currently paying for.

    • Gazzaw

      What government handout to private schools Neil?   The schools get 5% of their overheads, the government gets 15% GST from school fees. Go figure.

  • Johnboy

    Just deregister the union, sack all the pricks and let them re-apply for their jobs on individual contracts.

    The tossers are too used to getting their pay in the bank each fortnight when they go on strike now.

    I don’t think we would see much solidarity from the losers when they got the letter from the bank foreclosing on the mortgage.

    Problem solved.

    • Kosh103

      LMAO spoken like a true hater of workers rights. Go back to the 1800s.

  • Peter Wilson

    Principals and teachers belong to the same union I believe. Just they have their own association as well.

    Surely right now, anyone can start up their own union and compete for members? Breaking them up wouldn’t fly. To start with, right wingers would surely be up in arms at the thought.

    • PaullePaul

      Yes, principals and teachers are part of the same union…no one seems to see the obvious conflict of interest….I have seen first hand a situation where a principal was systematically bullying his staff but because he had greater influence in the union than the teachers they defended him to the hilt…the poor BOT was powerless to hold him to account.

  • Billybob

    Simple amendment to the Commerce Act. Alter the section 2 definition of ‘Service’ so that it includes, rather than excludes, work done under a contract of service (an employment contract). Union members can now be prosecuted for being part of a cartel… Which is what unions are.