Cunning Hekia moves teachers towards performance pay without them noticing

The best thing about this step towards performance pay is that the unions pushed for it themselves.

Union pushed for the allowance but says members do not see it as the start of performance-based pay

A pay deal has been signed between the union representing primary and intermediate teachers and the Government to introduce an allowance for 800 expert teachers worth $4 million, the start of performance pay.

Principals will endorse teachers who meet a set of criteria judged against the New Zealand curriculum and they will be assessed by a panel of people who are yet to be decided.

The union, New Zealand Educational Institute, say they took the idea of an allowance to reward experienced teaching staff to the Education Ministry in its pay negotiation round, asking for as many allowances as possible. 

So it turns out you can find out who the best teachers are…despite the teacher unions telling us for years that performance pay couldn’t be implemented because there was no way to tell a good teacher from an average teacher…now all of a sudden they have found out you can.

The “advanced classroom expertise teacher allowance” was agreed to by the ministry, but was capped at 800 eligible teachers.

By 2015, 800 teachers across 2000 primary and intermediate schools will be paid an allowance of $5000 a year – worth $4 million.

The allowances will be contestable – if a teacher stops meeting the criteria or leaves the school it will stop.

So it is measurable…and based on performance…awesome.

NZEI’s president Judith Nowotarski confirmed the new bonus scheme was the union’s idea and she could see how it looked like the start of performance pay in the education sector in New Zealand. “It’s difficult because there’s a number on it.

“I think it could look like performance pay if you don’t take into consideration the development behind it and its intent.”

She also confirmed new and entry-level teachers could take a cut, receiving lower pay scale increases.

“In negotiations compromises have to occur.”

Bwahaha…explaining is losing…nice of the NZEI though to throw new members under the bus to protect the long serving members.

Hekia Parata should get a wriggle on and start implementing full performance pay across the sector.


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  • Mr_Blobby

    They won’t like that. Its called accountability and transparency.

  • In Vino Veritas

    Of course you can tell which teachers are good and which bad. The stats don’t lie. If a teachers students bomb in one year, has succeeded the previous year and then succeeds the following year, then the students heshe gets the following year bombs (after being successful), there’s a problem that needs to be sorted.

    • Peej

      So if some kids do okay in NCEA level 2 but crap out at level 3 what is the sorting that needs to be done?

      • johnbronkhorst

        The part of teaching that prepares them for NCEA 3

      • Bafacu

        Did you not follow the logic? Both sides of the teacher = pupils succeed. Teacher in the middle = pupils fail.
        Teacher in the middle = problem!

      • In Vino Veritas

        Peej, I’ve seen it. Virtually every student in a class. They’re doing well, get a dud teacher and bomb, then get back on track the following year when their teacher changes. Then it happens again with the same teacher the following year. Variables? Yeah, there are some, but the main issue is the teacher.

        • Peej

          Thanks for the example. I’ve seen kids do really well in Level 2 and dip out at Level 3 because the cohort decided that socialising was the thing to do.The Y13 teachers worked the same ways which had seen success before. So how is the performance to be measured – by student success?

          • BevanJS

            Educate Principals to be proper managers and they can make the call / develop their team.

          • Dave

            Yes, and put in properly trained Regional Managers (NOT FROM WITHIN THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT), plus Curriculum mangers, who together, can BENCHMARK the schools in their cluster, and drive best school management and educational practice in their schools, ie, everyone striving to improve performance.

          • Teachersrock

            Schools are not businesses.

          • Dave

            Read the book from Charles Handy Kosh, and just think, What gets measured, gets DONE. Final point, Schools are NOT businesses, but a lot of the operations need improving, and by using MODERN methods, proven as effective in business.

          • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

            But, it’s their TURN! They can’t actually lead!

          • In Vino Veritas

            Absolutely. Why is it that private schools have higher success rates? Kids are just as keen to socialise in private schools as they are in public schools. Even the teachers Union friend, PISA, says that teacher quality is the greatest contributor (or not) to student success.

          • Peej

            Why is it that private schools have higher success rates?

            The main reason is the intake of kids and the homes they come from. If you put the best teacher in front of 25 kids in a decile 1 school and an ordinary teacher in front 25 kids in a decile 10 private school which kids would have the most success ? (Depending on what you term as success.) Those private school kids, by and large, would have had it inculcated into them from before they were born that they were going to be successful in the educational world.

          • GazzW

            Spot on Peej but I would venture to suggest that the success of decile 10 schools does not totally depend on whether they are state or private. Sure, private schools will always have that edge because parents don’t spend $20k a year without having expectations of success from their kids. There are other factors that come into play as well – dare I say ethnic? Chinese & Indian families expect their kids to work hard and the kids do it because they want to be successful. There are also low decile schools that punch way above their academic weight such as McAuley High in South Auckland, an integrated Catholic girls school where an inspirational principal and motivated staff do some magic stuff.

          • thor42
          • Teachersrock

            It is not hard for private schools to appear to do better when they get to pick their kids. They get to reject behaviour problems, they get to reject those with learning problems, medical issues etc…

            It is not hard to do well at tests when the children you have have nothing against them. But this is a fact that the teacher haters on here over look.

          • In Vino Veritas

            So Teachers, you are now using kids with learning disabilities as an excuse for teachers under performance? You have got to be kidding.

    • Teachersrock

      Yeaaaaa, that statement shows how little you understand kids.

  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    It is easy to discern a good teacher from a poor one. Ask them a question relevant to their field of expertise. I went to school in the Hutt and I can safely tell you that about 70% of the teachers I asked questions pertinent to their field but not contained in the textbook were found wanting… That’s why they vote Labour. Not need to know anything in a socialist utopia. Well here’s my question, why not just pick a bum off the street and throw him into the classroom? – If anything, he’d probably be an improvement.

  • Teachersrock

    I love how the simple folk on here assume our current Education minister had the brains to come up with this or that National have managed to get one over on us evil teachers.

    The TRUTH is teachers pushed for this. We asked for it at the previous negotiations but were told by National no. So we pushed for it again. This was our doing and is far from performance pay, despite what the clapping foolish seals on here may think.