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Education pay dispute reaches its endgame

By johnboy 2 March 2006 27

The Canberra Times has coverage of the latest teacher’s pay dispute.

The Liberal’s Richard Mulcahy is showing the human side of right wing politics in calling for higher pay for people who do valuable jobs.

As long as we have no way to reward (or even identify) teachers who are perfoming better than others, this is going to remain a vexed issue.

UPDATED: Katy Gallagher has put out a media release on the race to the top with a committment to make sure our teachers are the highest paid in Australia.

Well, it’s what the people want.

FURTHER UPDATE: The ABC is now reporting that the teachers want more, as is the Canberra Times.

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Education pay dispute reaches its endgame
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nyssa76 9:31 pm 03 Mar 06

Chalker has a point re: teaching out of your “expertise”. I’m primary trained, teaching High School English, SOSE, Maths, RE, Art, Japanese, ESL and Food Tech.

After teaching a “subject” for one year the ACT Department deems that you are “suitable” to teach it from here to eternity.

I even retrained in maths, with other teachers, and 70% of us still teach maths after 18 months.

I don’t believe in stop work meetings. Then again, I don’t have a high opinion of Clive Haggar, but that’s beside the point.

They are trying to get the most money for the senior teachers before they retire. It isn’t to attract new teachers as the conditions are still shite (IMO) to support new teachers, irrespective of the new “changes” they have implemented.

Mr_Shab 3:58 pm 03 Mar 06

That comment did sound like I was hacking out on teachers – sorry; it wasn’t meant to. Not having kids, and being fairly thoroughly out of secondary education, I’m not the best informed in the area.

I’m just a cynic encouraging a healty debate 😉

Chalker 3:47 pm 03 Mar 06

was the pay scales page.

Chalker 3:44 pm 03 Mar 06

Yes, that should have been ones, not one’s.

Chalker 3:42 pm 03 Mar 06

Mr_Shab, we do currently have teacher shortages, so it is not rhetoric at all. About the only teachers which are not in short supply are PE teachers, and so you have PE trained teachers having to teach subjects outside their area, like Science, Maths, Technology (not to say that PE teachers are bad teachers, just that this is not what they were trained to teach). It took three weeks after the term started this year for our school to fill a Science and a Drama position (actually I don’t think the Drama position has even been filled yet – there’s an English teacher taking it in fact). This was months after the dept knew these positions were needed.
What I think Nyssa means is that the teacher shortage will become worse, and we won’t be able to get any teachers to fill some positions, even one’s outside their area.

Chalker 3:34 pm 03 Mar 06

Beginning teacher on $43073 for 3yrs, or $46565 for 4yrs trained. Top classroom teacher $66353, Top principal $107799. So those classroom teacher figures you heard on ABC were a bit higher than reality.

You can look at the pay scales here:
(apologies, I don’t know html to put that in a link).

The gov’ment have already knocked back a proposal to create a Master Teacher level which would extend the pay bands for classroom teachers.

As far as work stoppages go, work to rule simply doesn’t IMO produce the required level of media coverage to get the gov’ments attention. It would (again IMO) go on far longer and result in much greater losses to students educational outcomes than a half-day stoppage which is what is currently under proposal by the union.

It is already difficult for the ACT to recruit new teahcers – NSW makes better offers, and so for that matter does private schools. One example (and I’m sure there are more): New teacher offered 6 month contract (rated highly competent btw) by ACT, private school offers permanency and higher pay / better conditions. Which do you think they took?

Mr_Shab 3:16 pm 03 Mar 06

With respect, Nyssa – I think I heard the same rhetoric about teacher shortages in 5-10 years 5-10 years ago.

The people who leave most of the jobs I can think of in the greatest numbers tend to do so within their first 5 years.

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