No More Sense from Seymour
And so it begins.
The non-sensical dribble spews forth from the under-secretary of Education, who gets into a lucrative position on the back of one electorate described on Wikipedia as an “exclusive, affluent suburb of Auckland”.
That’s right. Mr. Seymour is at it again as he launches the ACT Party campaign.
We will pay good teachers more. And great ones even more. No doubt David will be the judge as to which teachers make good teachers and which ones make great ones. I would put money on schools not being able to decide that themselves, and even more money on it being based on student results i.e. National Standards ala Performance Pay.
Of course, one can see his point when he opens with the statement that the average teacher is paid a pittance, and deserve to be paid more.
To fix that, the party is proposing an extra $1 billion in funding for education. “ACT’s proposed good teacher grants will give your average teacher a pay rise of $20,000 per year,” Mr Seymour claimed.
But to receive the extra money, schools “need to opt out of the centralised payroll system and collective agreements”.
This has rubbed a lot of people (in particular teachers) up the wrong way. No surprises there.
But here’s why his solution makes no sense.
Hypothetically Synonymous Seymoronous
Let’s assume that schools go for this, and EVERY school in the country pays their teachers an average of $20,000 per year more than they are already. That is going to cost a lot.
However, none of that has anything to do with collective agreements, the unions, or any centralised payroll system. They are not synonymous with each other.
In fact, under Seymour’s scheme, teachers could stay in the union with the collective agreement, and they could still get paid $20,000 more if he really means it; just get a new collective agreement ratified between the government and the union, or have both – give a bit more to schools to ‘top up’ teacher salaries that are paid through the collective agreement. It’s only because ACT are notoriously anti-union that he is dangling the carrot for principals and teachers to consider.
Pay more Seymour
The second factor is that given the current climate in education, there are teachers leaving in droves, and not always because they aren’t being paid enough. On many occasions, the workload is too much. Refer to this article in March. As a teacher, like many others, I would probably take less workload over getting paid more to ‘compensate’ for the increased workload that is currently expected of us.
While paying teachers more is a genuinely nice touch, Mr. S, if you really cared and were really in touch with the education sector, and you actually wanted to value teachers, then maybe the first step is to work with the union rather than trying to sabotage it into non-existence.
Illogical. Blackmail. Numpty.