The NZPA reported this afternoon that secondary school teachers are set to strike this week after their union rejected increased pay rises offered to them.
I have blogged before on the absurdity of not paying teachers according to their performance. Leaving that aside, when are teachers going to realise that New Zealand is trying to claw its way out of a recession? To have any hope, the government must control, if not cut, government spending. PPTA member teachers are government employees, and just as other government employees have accepted wage freezes, teachers should also accept that these are tough times. But we’re not talking about wage freezes for teachers – they’ve actually rejected an increase and are striking for an even higher pay rise.
I’ll re-paste in some HoS figures from my other blog:
The plain fact is that the average secondary teacher salary is now more than $71,000 or $1365 a week. It has risen since 2000 by more than 45 per cent – almost twice as fast as wages in the public sector as a whole (24 per cent) and the private sector (25.3 per cent).
And to put that into perspective, the graph below shows that public sector wages are still much higher than in the private sector.
Click to enlarge
So teachers are striking. And it is students and parents who suffer.
The strikes mean year 9 students will be rostered home on Wednesday, while year 11 students, who were to be rostered home last week, will now be rostered off on Thursday.
Ministry of Education workforce group manager Fiona McTavish said the ministry was “extremely disappointed”.
“There is absolutely no justification for PPTA to walk away from bargaining a second time,” she said.
Parents, students and the rest of the general public can rightly feel extremely disappointed too.