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A noose around students’ necks

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 am, October 22nd, 2010 - 27 comments
Categories: education, john key, uncategorized, wages - Tags: ,

Every time I think John Key can’t get any more cynical and hypocritical in his messaging, he manages to take it to a new level:

Key: Pay hike ‘noose around students’ necks’

There is no new money to offer teachers a bigger pay increase unless they wanted to burden their students with a future of paying off national debt, says Prime Minister John Key. …

Mr Key said the Government was already borrowing $256 million a week.

“Do the teachers really want us to borrow more than that and place a noose around the neck of young New Zealanders?”

Sod off Johnnie. Borrowing $256 million a week to pay for tax cuts for the aging rich is just fine, but finding the cash to pay teachers something closer to what they are worth is “a noose around the neck of young New Zealanders”?

Borrowing $256 million a week because you can’t manage the economy out of a wet paper bag is just fine, but spending some money on something that will actually benefit students for a change is “a noose around the neck of young New Zealanders”?

If you want to talk about the real noose around the neck of the young, talk about the crushing burden of student loans and the bleak and nasty labour market that awaits them.

What a pillock.

27 comments on “A noose around students’ necks ”

  1. Bored 1

    Good point RoB, borrowing to give away cash as tax cuts for the wealthy, then asking those who dont benefit to pay the bill at a future date sounds more like plain robbery to me.

    As an aside I know of a couple of cases where rich parents who dont declare income (its all done through trusts and companies) sent their kids to Uni. Because of the low official parental income these kids recieved allowances etc the rest of us have to be genuinely poor to recieve. It tells you something about the attitude towards the rest of us from some wealthy types.

    • Stan 1.1

      Dairy farmers have been using that rort for years. They just make sure their personal drawings fall under the maximum, with every other operational cost being picked up by the business.

      • ianmac 1.1.1

        And farmers in general. I know of a farmer who build a big new house as a cost listed as a farm building. Another said that he had paid little or no Income tax for decades. And more recently a farmer who sold his farm for over $10million but through a trust bought his daughter a car and house and because his income was below the limit the daughter received an allowance rather than a loan so she could go to university. You gotta be rich to save money. Unscrupulous?

        • KJT 1.1.1.1

          If farmers income was really as low as they declare for tax they would all be out of business.

          Plenty of farming relations who never make any money. New car every two years and the overseas holiday every year.

          Time we slaughtered that sacred cow too. The housing bubble will be nothing compared to the dairy bubble.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      The unscrupulous have always stolen from the poor. It’s how the got rich.

  2. john 2

    John is really an ACT party person as shown by the extreme influence he’s given to this 2 bit freak show led by our wonderful Wodney! This party are so out of sight they consider privatizing all education, you and I would receive vouchers to send the kids to private schools. The beginning of this process is to downgrade the public sector effective pay cuts are a beginning!

  3. Important issue but so few comments? Maybe you should have put “Hobbit” in the title.

  4. wtl 4

    While the media has portrayed the teachers’ dispute entirely in terms of money, I understand that it is very much to do with other issues as well – such as class sizes etc. that are important for providing a good learning environment for the students.

    • Herodotus 4.1

      Except for reducing class sizes for new entrants by Lab that did assist in student welfare. Why were these important issues regarding student welfare not important 2,3,4 or 9 years ago. Why has initially Lab then Nat so under funding dyslixia and no comment from either union?
      Sorry wtl but the way the PPTA has manipulated this aguement and its past actions they $$ are what you see in the unions eyes. The PPTA dont want to stike yet they are at a time most critical to their students. If it was about student welfare then withdraw from extra curricular activities, don’t use your students as mere pawns Actions by the PPTA speak louder than their hollow sounded rhetoric.

      • wtl 4.1.1

        The first part of your point isn’t that coherent. Are trying to say that because they didn’t make fuss about it in the past, there aren’t entitled to now? Sounds like a weak argument to me.

        Anyway, if the government wanted to make it all about money they could simply offer the other terms and not offer any additional money and see what the union does – but they have not.

        At the end of the day though, of course it is partly about money, and considering they are being offered a pay cut (which is what below inflation increase is), you can hardly blame them.

        • Herodotus 4.1.1.1

          Why is this SO important now was the point and not a few years ago when the PPTA and the then govt had a closer formal association?
          Most schools already provided flu injections for teachers. I dont know why the govt accepts that condition (Bar that then every govt employee could also push for this). decrease in class nos results in large capital costs to build new classrooms, that from new entrant class size reductions was not totally funded by the ministry resulting in fund raising.
          With tax creep and Labs (Cullens insistence on not increasing tax theasholds) most of us over the boom years went back in real terms in earning power, sure we got increases in pay by approx inflation/cpi yet the additional tax that was paid meant we went backwards, that coupled with massive interest rates OCR vs inflation (Interest is not counted as part of inflation)

          • wtl 4.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps because this government has set the tone that is going to continually underfund the education sector, meaning the increased class sizes are a certainty? Obviously it will require a capital injection and that is presumably what the teachers are trying to force. Whatever the case, people can and do change their minds, and so my point remains – ‘why didn’t they do it before’ it is a weak argument.
            As for your second point, a pay cut is a pay cut. Whether or not it happened under Labour as well (can’t be bother debating this point) is again irrelevant. No one is going to be happy with a pay cut, and so its easy to understand why the teachers aren’t happy with the current offer.

            • Herodotus 4.1.1.1.1.1

              ‘why didn’t they do it before’ it is a weak argument.- yet the PPTA had a friendly party in govt 2 years ago- to achieve their aims would it not have been strategically more succesful to have pushed this then than with a govt less aligned with the teachers?
              Also we view education in a micro fashion ECE vs Primary vs Secondary vs Tertiary. Where is the thinking of where the money available is best spent? at the start of a childs entry that ALL children benefit or at the end with the elite and a few, instead govt policies sway with emphasis for those who vote (tertiary). On a personel level for me the emphasis should be at the early ages build the foundations,make learning enjoyable and for teachers at this level not to be seen as the poor cousin, assist with learning difficulties when they arise e.g. dyslexia, eye sight, reading recovery etc

              • KJT

                You are right about the early stages. That is where the bulk of the funding should go.
                I think the general knowledge and life knowledge of many primary school teachers, who go into teaching straight from school, needs improving though.

                Very hard to pick up a kid by the time they get to high school.

                As a trained teacher who is currently doing something better paid at the moment until I can afford to teach in Auckland, I can tell you the pay has a lot to do with the quality of Teachers. Many good ones have quit or gone to Australia.
                Also many who have proven competence in other fields who are needed in teaching cannot afford the pay cut.

                The large class sizes, constant emphasis on summative testing and excessive paperwork also makes a lot of good people leave.

      • Vicky32 4.1.2

        Herodotus, sorry I can’t fathom what you’re on about! As wtl says, you’re a wee bit incoherent…
        Deb

      • KJT 4.1.3

        It was the Government who moved the strike into the last term by pretending to have a reasonable offer. Teachers withdrew strike action only to find their was no offer.

  5. Irascible 5

    The cynicism of Key’s statement is revealed in the basic fallacy of the case. The Government’s borrowings are the “noose around the necks of the future generations” – as the Government borrows to fund all developments, social, infrastructural and administrative then it could be argued that all programmes that are based on borrowed money should not be authorised or undertaken because the costs will be borne by future generations. This Key based conclusion is typical of the speculator who doesn’t follow through the outcomes of such an argument, usually because the speaker is ignorant of the facts.
    Key conveniently ignores the fact that the investment in social, infrastuctural and administrative programmes results in a positive capital gain for the country in order to vilify the PPTA and to distract from the anti-state-education policies the NACT party adheres to.

    • Carol 5.1

      Yes, the right, especially the neoliberals, tend to see students and/or their parents as customers. It is more accurate to see them as citizens. Investing in educating citizens (in the broadest sense, not just for today/tomorrow’s jobs) is an investment for the future.

      Educated citizens are more likely to be productive, able to adapt to change, and contribute to society. Saves on spending on crime, unemployment, etc.

  6. Rharn 6

    Educated citizens are more likely to be productive, able to adapt to change, and contribute to society. Saves on spending on crime, unemployment, etc.

    Just why the Nats want to run down the Ed sector.

    Can’t have a proper education system and a private prison system running side by side.

  7. joe90 7

    Relevant?, a review, titled The Myth of Charter Schools, of Waiting for “Superman”, a documentary about a lottery run for places in Charter Schools.The reviewers conclusions,

    Waiting for “Superman” is a powerful weapon on behalf of those championing the “free market” and privatization. It raises important questions, but all of the answers it offers require a transfer of public funds to the private sector.

    And,
    First, I thought to myself that the charter operators were cynically using children as political pawns in their own campaign to promote their cause. (Gail Collins in The New York Times had a similar reaction and wondered why they couldn’t just send the families a letter in the mail instead of subjecting them to public rejection.) Second, I felt an immense sense of gratitude to the much-maligned American public education system, where no one has to win a lottery to gain admission.

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