Teachers demand more money, but there is no government to give it to them

John Russel, principal of Naenae school and member of the Secondary Principals’ Council has made a surprise amendment at the PPTA conference that teachers receive an immediate 5 percent pay rise as interim measure to relieve teacher shortages.

Russel, a principal for 29 years said “This is the price we are paying for letting teachers’ pay equity drop against the average wage. In a recent survey 80 percent of principals said they were having to compromise on appointments because teacher shortages are so dire.”

“In my 29 years as a principal I have seen the tide coming in and going out. I can tell you that the tide is moving further and further out.”

“Now is the time to inject some energy and reality into this situation,” he said “This is a fundamental first step towards dealing to this crisis. We need to get on with the job.”

There are a number of arguments deliberately left out here.  Sure, there is a teacher shortage in places with high cost of living, such as Auckland.   But the unions also are looking for pay parity.  They are looking to avoid any kind of changes that allow better teachers to be rewarded.  And they have a 30% pay demand across the industry sitting there from a press release about a month or so ago.

Whaleoil submitted an OIA to ask exactly how much the current teachers wage and salary bill is for the taxpayer, and it turns out it is a few dollars short of $4b per year.

But while we are in this period of our election cycle, the caretaker government does not have the power to implement a 5% wage rise, and those not yet sure if they will be the government have no power either way, so it’s all a bit moot right now.

There is little love lost between Whaleoil and the education sector, but I do appreciate there are good teachers in bad situations where they may be lost to the profession because the union’s insistence for a one-size-fits-all policy.

That’s what happens folks – you have a union looking after you, then they protect the lowest common denominator.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.