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Back to school for Parata

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, May 22nd, 2012 - 26 comments
Categories: education - Tags:

Parata on The Nation: “what we’ve had is a five-fold increase in the number of teachers while we’ve only had a 2% increase in students”. There are 52,500 teachers. Is Parata really saying there were only 10,500 a decade ago? The minister needs remedial maths, methinks.

This is the tragedy: our kids’ education being toyed with by nincompoops and dullards whose objective has nothing to do with education and everything to do with crushing teachers’ unions for ideological and political reasons.

Update: It also turns out that Parata has been saying teachers are paid an average of $71,000. In fact, that’s the average including head teachers and those in management. The real average wage for all teachers is $47,000. Guess Parata needs to do some primary school level set theory too.


26 comments on “Back to school for Parata”

  1. Carol 1

    Aha! So here we have the truth about that claim by Parata that the average teacher pay is $71,000.


    Speaking on yesterday’s TV3’s The Nation programme, Ms Parata conceded that while police started their careers at a salary of around $45,000, teachers got around $10,000 less.

    Ms Parata said the average pay for teachers, including head teachers and those in management positions was $71,000 but for the full range of teachers was it was only $47,232.

    • Aha.

      I also could not understand that figure and my wife who is a senior teacher was wondering what happened to her pay … 

  2. Clashman 2

    It’s called lying.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Five times more teachers means that class sizes must now be around the 6 students per teacher mark. Amazing!

  4. Dv 4

    If you divide the amount teachers are paid by no employed ie principals to first year teacher the average is about 71k

    • Carol 4.1

      But using that stat is misleading because most people take it for the median wage: ie that 50% of teachers earn more than that.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      If you divide the amount teachers are paid by no employed ie principals to first year teacher the average is about 71k

      Yeah, just like how port of Auckland worker is paid $200,000 p.a. if you average in the pay of the Tony Gibson CEO and the rest of the executive team.

      • Dv 4.2.1

        This is the comment i made on 19th may.

        19 May 2012 at 5:41 pm

        Parata is quoting average teacher salary of 71,000 , only reached after several years experience.

        that is the top of the scale for a class room teacher AND it started on the 13th of may this year.

        So the 71k cannot be the average for the ‘ordinary’ teacher.

        I smell spin.

  5. tc 5

    WTF is wrong with the so called MSM when they allow a minister to lie so blatantly.

    Are they so under the thumb of this gov’t or are they badly prepared, or both, that they’ve no numbers at their fingertips to be able to refute and challenge a minister.

    Key and his ministers have been doing this for years and continue unchallenged, what a joke our media is.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      Tolley generally stayed away from interviews as she couldnt give any coherent message.

      It seems that Trish Parata is stuck in the same babbling brook

    • muzza 5.2

      TC – This is what you get when you have coporations (media), which depend on advertising revenues, being driven by tabloid style politics, aimed at an ever declining public cranial capacity! Not forgetting that global media is the propaganda arm of those same warmongering, government controlling banking cartels!

      Those who pass as journalists and reporters these days are the epitomy of uninformed (faces), who do not have the thinking capacity or time for proper research. If they lack the numbers to challenge, that is one thing, if they are being told not to challenge, that is another!

      We can expect nothing from the MSM, that is not in their best interests, its as simple as that!

  6. captain hook 6

    so parata cant do sums.
    its a fair bet she cant read either.

  7. fabregas4 7

    I equally find it hard to believe that the average wage of teachers alone is $47k (and I am on their side). There is a consensus I think that the average age of teaching staff in the country is increasing and this would mean that a great number of teachers would have passed through the salary steps. Unit payments would also play a part. That said haven’t met too many teachers who don’t deserve their pay. The cost of training to be a teacher also needs to be considered. Most teachers end up with substantial student debt – too be even greater now with 4 year qualification. If you want to make the comparison with the police – they get paid whilst training and begin their working life, as difficult as it is, without the burden of student loans.

  8. prism 8

    That’s the trouble with percentages. You need to know the base amount that it refers to. They seem such an easy way for us ordinary people to make judgments but are just part of the picture. There’s a cynical saying that 100% rise from 0 is still 0. Percentages are not simple measures and give wrong understandings as in the use of confusing. statistics.

    I read that figure of $71,000 and thought it was amazingly high from my understanding of teacher’s salaries. That it refers to principals and head teachers and secondary specialist teachers in science etc. would be more likely. The throwaway figures given to the media to disseminate amongst the unwary public is another indication of the irrational and sly way that pollies treat their preparation and presentation of policy. In a modern society we expect better than being led by the nose as poor ignorant peasants.

  9. Wayne 10

    Why are so many of the stats in The Standard in the primary articles often so demonstrably wrong. It has been known for a long time that the $71,000 covers all teachers, those starting through to those with management responsibility. The $47,000 is a starting salary for graduates. I know the scale starts lower, but that is for teachers without a graduate qualification and is really a relic of the past. The reality is that all new teachers need a graduate qualification. ZETETIC could have easily checked all of this before he posted.

    [Parata herself has admitted the average for all teachers in $47,000. Teachers start on $35,000 and the peak base rate is $71,000. It’s in the collective. It’s funny how the right begrudge teachers their modest pay when many of them are on massively higher incomes and do fuck all. Zet]

  10. Ross 11

    Earlier this year I asked the Ministry of Education for details of secondary school teachers’ pay. I got dicked around but eventually was informed that the average pay is $65,659 (and this figure excludes the pay of principals, deputy principals, assistant principals, and relievers and also excludes allowances). I was further informed that 6,075 employees (secondary teachers?) were paid below this figure and 15,708 employees above this figure.

  11. Stephen D 12

    I was told once that some time back, a teachers pay and a backbenchers pay were the same rate. Is there any way to verify that? Can’t find my round the Statistics Dept.

  12. captain hook 13

    All this focus on teachers.
    what about the pupils.
    how are there percentages.
    are they getting any smarter?

  13. Wayne 14

    As the Collective demonstates (good that it was included in the comment by Zet) the starting salary for a Q3 teacher (a person who has a 3 year degree) is $45,568 and a Q3+ teacher (a person with a 3 year degree and a diploma of teaching) is $46,908. I suggest it would be very difficult for anyone now to get a first time teaching position without these qualifications. That is why $47,000 is not the average.

  14. sunshine 15

    So is this the same math that says port workers get 91,000 a year?
    Every day we see more and more common trends, privatisation, reduction of services, figures that don’t add up…pretty obvious really. How thick do they think we are?
    Oh yeah, they want to cut education, so they make sure people don’t have the thinking skills to analyse their spin.

  15. Hateatea 16

    Payrates for Primary teachers
    Pay for primary school teachers varies depending on qualifications and experience.

    With a three-year Diploma of Teaching qualification, you start on $34,847 a year. Pay rises each year for seven years to $55,621 – the maximum on this pay scale. 
    With a three-year Bachelor of Education (Teaching) or equivalent, or an Advanced Diploma of Teaching, you start on $45,568. You can reach a maximum of $67,413 after seven years.
    With four years’ tertiary study, you start on $46,908 a year, and can reach a maximum of $70,877 after seven years.

    and for Secondary
    Secondary school teachers with four years’ tertiary study start on $47,023 a year, but can earn more depending on additional qualifications and experience. 
    Pay increases each year for seven years according to a fixed scale, with the maximum pay $71,000 a year.

    Secondary school teachers may earn more than this if:

    they take on management roles such as dean or head of department
    they teach the shortage subjects of maths, physics, chemistry, English, or te reo Māori, where they receive an extra $3,500 a year for up to five years, paid in their third, fourth and fifth years of teaching
    they teach in a school that is identified as one that is hard to staff, where they receive an extra $3,500 in their third, fourth and fifth years of teaching
    they teach in a private or independent school, which sometimes pay an extra $2,000 to $3,000 a year.

    Source: ‘Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement’, 2011, and Ministry of Education website.
    Either the minister assumes that all are on the maximum or she is feeding us spin in the hope that we will believe her uncritically. Surely not?

  16. DH 17

    Something I think Labour & Greens need to improve on is their research & challenging of this Govts abuse of statistics. We’ve had this discussion on average teachers pay before and it’s still not settled. This link shows the numbers;


    Note a couple of points they make;

    “The total base salary bill for secondary teachers for that fortnight’s pay was $46 million. The total allowances bill for secondary teachers was $4.5 million. ”

    Then they say;

    “Added together, base salary plus allowances provided the total pay for secondary teachers.

    “We divided that total pay by the 18,522 secondary teachers on the teacher salary payroll, and arrived at the figure of $71,110.”

    But, and here’s the big but, their factoid says….

    • Payday: 7 April 2010

    • Number of FTE secondary teachers: 18,522

    • Total base salary paid: $46,023,875

    • Total allowances paid: $4,494,135

    • Total pay: $50,518,010

    • Total pay divided by number of teachers = $2,727.46

    • $2,727.46 multiplied by 26.07 (total number of pay periods per year) = $71,110.

    Note the bit about FTE teachers. That’s stands for Full Time Equivalents and it cannot exist on a teacher salary payroll, it’s a calculated number not a real one. Yet they claim to be using payroll figures. That suggests the numbers are not simple maths as stated in that article and may have been manipulated to give a false average.

    It also still hasn’t been resolved whether the average includes the 310 principals and 627 senior management who are counted as teachers by MED but don’t actually teach. They’d take the average up a lot since they get paid heaps more than teachers. Info on that here;


    Would be nice to see this settled for once & for all.

    Also note that Paratas 52,000 teachers is not FTE, they use the big numbers when it suits them.

  17. Simon 18

    So using these figures.

    50,518,010 as total pay for fortnight and 26.07 pay periods

    for 18522 FTEs you get $71,110

    for 52,000 teachers average is actually $25,327.
    This also includes all part time teachers.

    Median will be somewhere in between

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