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Teacher protest 2011 style

By johnboy - 27 September 2011 70

civic square protest

They came to Civic Square, they waved their red flags, they lurched slowly left to right in time to John Lennon covers, they congratulated each other for being there, and they were very sure that giving themselves more money is in the best interests of the future of civilisation.

They really don’t like funding for football teams, which is fair enough, but in the 5 mintues I was there while football was brought up many times there was less explanation of the benefit to education of spending more money on teachers.

A strain of luddism was in the air, referring (IIRC) to computers as “infernal machines”. (It’s only been an education trend for 30+years, surely coming to grips with computers should have been part of their own professional development?)

Every 30 seconds or so one school or other was congratulated on getting 100% of their membership to the rally. The cynic in me wondered how this was being verified.

The protest markers were not entirely filled by bodies, which makes one wonder if turnout was below expectations.

They did, however, appear to be having a wonderful spring morning. No doubt their students felt the same way.

Here’s a slideshow of pictures I took at the rally.

What’s Your opinion?


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70 Responses to
Teacher protest 2011 style
Jethro 12:15 pm 27 Sep 11

My thoughts on the strike and the union’s wage claims:

1. As a former full-time teacher who left the profession to become a part-time worker in another field, and as someone who knows scores of teachers who have also left the profession – teacher workload is one of the most significant complaints of teachers. Over the past few years it has increased substantially, as the increased focus on accountability has increased teacher paperwork and outside of classroom duties. The union should be focussing on the issue of out of classroom work, not just contact hours or wages. Similarly, increased workloads should be put forward as a reason for increased salaries. John Howard always argued that wage increased should be met by increases in productivity. Over the past 5 or so years teacher workloads have increased so it is not unreasonable that their wages increase to reflect this.

2. Teacher wages aren’t terrible. They are pretty good, but not great. The education department is in competition with the Federal public service for quality employees. The public service pays better than teaching and offers better conditions and more clearly defined working hours. An APS 6 earns about the same as a teacher at the top of the pay scale. Similarly, their push for parity with NSW makes complete sense. The ACT does compete with regional NSW for teachers. I know of a number of good teachers who have left the system to teach in Queabeyan, Yass or to work in the public service. In this regard the union’s wage claim isn’t at all preposterous. Indeed, their demand that the 2nd and 3rd year of the EBA include pay rises in line with inflation is more than reasonable.

3. The current wage structure does nothing to reward good teachers. The union stands firmly against performance based pay, but there are a substantial number of teachers out there who would be more than happy to see this introduced. Likewise, the union’s stance against NAPLAN is not supported by all teachers. In many ways the union is a very conservative organisation, and it shouldn’t be confused with individual teachers, who all hold their own ideas and opinions.

4. The issue of putting forward competitive pay to encourage top tier employees to the teaching profession makes complete sense. In countries such as Finland teachers are paid far better than they are here, but the standard required for entry into the profession is also much higher. For example, you need to hold at least a Masters Degree. When I graduated from high school I scored in about the top 5% of my state and was strongly discouraged from studying education at university, as people believed I would be wasting my high school grades on an education degree. Increased salaries are one way of increasing the standing of teaching as a profession and would help ensure the best people consider teaching as an option.

5. Strikes such as today serve to put the public offside and, IMHO, do little to advance the teachers’ cause. Arguing against the implementation of things like IT in schools is ludicrous; however, arguing that the roll-out of new IT systems and the subsequent push for teachers to have online classrooms running in conjunction with real-world classrooms has seen an increase in workload that should be reflected in an increase in pay, does make sense.

peterepete 11:41 am 27 Sep 11

johnboy said :

My surname’s never been a secret.

Thats good. Didn’t think you’d make such a newbie mistake but just in case.
What I want to know is whether they started off with a roll-call?

johnboy 11:32 am 27 Sep 11

My surname’s never been a secret.

PatMan 11:30 am 27 Sep 11

Ben_Dover said :

Jim Jones said :

You don’t think that a strike that doesn’t effect the community in any way might be a bit … pointless?

There are five distinct words here. When “affect” is accented on the final syllable (a-FECT), it is usually a verb meaning “have an influence on”: “The million-dollar donation from the industrialist did not affect my vote against the Clean Air Act.”

Occasionally a pretentious person is said to affect an artificial air of sophistication. Speaking with a borrowed French accent or ostentatiously wearing a large diamond ear stud might be an affectation. In this sort of context, “affect” means “to make a display of or deliberately cultivate.”

Another unusual meaning is indicated when the word is accented on the first syllable (AFF-ect), meaning “emotion.” In this case the word is used mostly by psychiatrists and social scientists—people who normally know how to spell it.

The real problem arises when people confuse the first spelling with the second: “effect.” This too can be two different words. The more common one is a noun: “When I left the stove on, the effect was that the house filled with smoke.” When you affect a situation, you have an effect on it.

Less common is a verb meaning “to create”: “I’m trying to effect a change in the way we purchase widgets.” No wonder people are confused. Note especially that the proper expression is not “take affect” but “take effect”—become effective. Hey, nobody ever said English was logical: just memorize it and get on with your life.

The stuff in your purse? Your personal effects.

The stuff in movies? Sound effects and special effects.

“Affective” is a technical term having to do with emotions; the vast majority of the time the spelling you want is “effective.”

Hey BD – you available to do some private tutoring for my kids? Better still, would you like a teaching job. Appears to be a few around who are disatisfied and they should just quit! Bring back some good old fashioned teachers like yourself!

peterepete 11:27 am 27 Sep 11

Surprised to see Johnboy’s surname next to his image on the photos

Ben_Dover 11:09 am 27 Sep 11

Jim Jones said :

You don’t think that a strike that doesn’t effect the community in any way might be a bit … pointless?

There are five distinct words here. When “affect” is accented on the final syllable (a-FECT), it is usually a verb meaning “have an influence on”: “The million-dollar donation from the industrialist did not affect my vote against the Clean Air Act.”

Occasionally a pretentious person is said to affect an artificial air of sophistication. Speaking with a borrowed French accent or ostentatiously wearing a large diamond ear stud might be an affectation. In this sort of context, “affect” means “to make a display of or deliberately cultivate.”

Another unusual meaning is indicated when the word is accented on the first syllable (AFF-ect), meaning “emotion.” In this case the word is used mostly by psychiatrists and social scientists—people who normally know how to spell it.

The real problem arises when people confuse the first spelling with the second: “effect.” This too can be two different words. The more common one is a noun: “When I left the stove on, the effect was that the house filled with smoke.” When you affect a situation, you have an effect on it.

Less common is a verb meaning “to create”: “I’m trying to effect a change in the way we purchase widgets.” No wonder people are confused. Note especially that the proper expression is not “take affect” but “take effect”—become effective. Hey, nobody ever said English was logical: just memorize it and get on with your life.

The stuff in your purse? Your personal effects.

The stuff in movies? Sound effects and special effects.

“Affective” is a technical term having to do with emotions; the vast majority of the time the spelling you want is “effective.”

Mysteryman 11:08 am 27 Sep 11

JazzyJess said :

Having been a teacher in a former life I sympathise on the issue of lousy pay but could they not have had the meeting at say 3:30 pm? They’re hurting the kids by not showing up to work and doing their jobs.

Of course they couldn’t. The idea is to inconvenience people in order to make their voice heard.

Usually when industrial action inconveniences me, though, I tend to get more annoying with the strikers and I’m less likely to side with them.

Ben_Dover 11:07 am 27 Sep 11

Jim Jones said :

[
You don’t think that a strike that doesn’t effect the community in any way might be a bit … pointless?

Don’t you think a protest which didn’t affect kids schooling may be looked on with more good will by the people who they are trying to influence?

eh_steve 10:57 am 27 Sep 11

s-s-a said :

My child insisted on going to school, having been convinced by reports from kids who attended the morning of the previous strike and got to do fun things. Plus there was going to be a relief teacher!! ZOMG how exciting!

I wonder if “fun things” included taunting the Scabs?

Jim Jones 10:39 am 27 Sep 11

JazzyJess said :

Having been a teacher in a former life I sympathise on the issue of lousy pay but could they not have had the meeting at say 3:30 pm? They’re hurting the kids by not showing up to work and doing their jobs.

You don’t think that a strike that doesn’t effect the community in any way might be a bit … pointless?

poetix 10:24 am 27 Sep 11

Pedantry: that’d be professional development, with one ‘f’. Write it out 100 times. When was the last time a teacher said that? (And that’s probably a good thing.)

Erg0 10:18 am 27 Sep 11

Nothing like a good consensual hallucination to start your day.

JazzyJess 10:12 am 27 Sep 11

Having been a teacher in a former life I sympathise on the issue of lousy pay but could they not have had the meeting at say 3:30 pm? They’re hurting the kids by not showing up to work and doing their jobs.

Thumper 10:09 am 27 Sep 11

I think they need to march to Gary Humphries office.

s-s-a 10:03 am 27 Sep 11

They did, however, appear to be having a wonderful spring morning. No doubt their students felt the same way

My child insisted on going to school, having been convinced by reports from kids who attended the morning of the previous strike and got to do fun things. Plus there was going to be a relief teacher!! ZOMG how exciting!

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