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Key’s crocodile tears for teachers & doctors

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, September 20th, 2010 - 31 comments
Categories: class war, john key, national, tax, wages - Tags: ,

John Key told Breakfast this morning that he supports the teachers and junior doctors’ claims for a pay rise ‘but we simply don’t have the money’.

This is the same John Key who is borrowing half a billion dollars this year for tax cuts for the wealthiest 9% of taxpayers, eh?

It isn’t a question of what the government can afford. It’s a question of who matters to National – the rich do, teachers and doctors don’t.

31 comments on “Key’s crocodile tears for teachers & doctors ”

  1. ianmac 1

    A week ago Key was saying something about “Teachers are out of touch with reality.” This implies lack of sympathy with their case. Changed the tone a bit hasn’t he?

  2. D14 2

    Must have noticed the stuff? poll which was approx 50 50 for/against teachers.

    • lprent 2.1

      Self-selecting online poll? Who cares…

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Actually 50/50 from a website that is generally right-leaning (white-collar professionals browsing the web while at work) is actually pretty good support for the teachers, higher than I’d have expected.

  3. Mac1 3

    How much money per annum is calculated to pay both claims at the rates sought by the unions involved?
    Anti-spam ‘drawings’.

    • Blighty 3.1

      The teachers’ is about $30 million isn’t it?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Wasn’t that the amount that NACT increased government subsidies to private schools?

        • Tim

          No…Key gave private schools 50 million. This would have paid for a 6% pay rise for teachers. It would also have reduced class sizes significantly…but I guess when the National front bench all send their kids to private schools they don’t really care.

        • Anne

          $35 million it was DTB.

          Bloody abhorrent! What makes it worse in my view is that private schools are exempt from Nat Standards – excuse being the can’t enforce it. Well, that has never stopped them changing laws to suit themselves before. The truth is: it suits them not to have their own kids and grand-kids subjected to the Standards.

          • Anne

            Your comment wasn’t up when I posted Tim. I thought it was $35mil. but perhaps there was something else as well.

  4. prism 4

    It is a matter of fact that developing nations bringing education to their people, especially women, gives a huge boost to improving their stats of wellbeing and wealth. We teeter on the edge of being a developed country with modern industries, and have a huge dependence on businesses in extraction of natural resources, agriculture and farming products. The scions of those businessmen don’t have the wit to understand Fred Dagg’s ironic “We don’t know how lucky we are.” Education is needed to keep our country from sinking into ruts of lack-lustre common-sense policies that get recycled in different clothes, every decade or less.

    There is an item on Bryan Crumps evening program on RadioNz this week which looks at the freezing out of humanities studies with the trend no doubt in favour of those directly concerned with industry, finance and management.

    I think this is a part of the waning interest in a broad education and encouraging enquiring minds, to just a factory process turning out strata of learners, with teachers as head of factory lines. It sounds rather like ant behaviour. I was shocked to find they are so smart (item recently on RadioNZ) – one of their behaviours is to direct the nurture of their young ants so they are precisely programmed for particular tasks.

  5. tc 5

    A fair few voters with families were conned to vote nat’s on the tax cuts north of $50 porky combined with their alleged labour lite approach to education/health/welfare i.e keep funding it as it was.

    Wonder what shonky cons they’ll try in 2011 to cover up the 2008 lies…..it’ll probably work the way Phildo’s tracking.

    • Vicky32 5.1

      Well, they deserved what they got then, these greedy people who were ‘conned’! (Just heard TV3 explaining that a tax cut for a worker on 28,000 which will be wiped out by the GST rise, really *is* fair – and the Phil Goff really is an idiot for suggesting the removal of GST on fruit and veges. NACT don’t need PR people, they have TV3! )

      • Bill 5.1.1

        Notice that the guy on $28 000 ( some $3000 or $4000 above the average wage) was touted as being a part time worker?

        • Vicky32

          It gets a bit cponfusing really! TV3 said that the ‘average wage’ is $51 000, and I don’t know anyone who comes near that, even if they are working full time, even in the case of a professional! So what on earth *is* the average wage?

          • Bill

            The mean average is the sum total of all wages divided by the number of all wage earners.

            The mode average is the wage that most people earn.

            The median average is the wage that is half way between the lowest wage and the highest wage.

            The media don’t use the mode average which is strange given that it best reflects the reality of most people.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    “It’s a question of who matters to National – the rich do, teachers and doctors don’t.”
    I shouldn’t need to point this out, but looks like I do.

    Some teachers, and most junior doctors will be getting pretty reasonable/big tax cuts from National.

    • Red Rosa 6.1

      Tolley was on TV yesterday, saying that the average secondary teacher’s salary was $70k. $70k! She probably worked out from that figure, however derived, that half the teachers would then get tax cuts.

      There are a few statistical niceties here that need pointing out by the cognoscenti. But my guess is that the average salary is a good deal less than $70k, and a good deal less than half of all teachers earn over the average. Y’know…means, medians and all that jazz.

      Presumably the PPTA have something to say on this one.

      • BLiP 6.1.1

        Its classic government mathematics and overlooks the difference between the “average” and the “mean” – and bloody mean it is too.

        (Captcha = evened!! C’mon, lprent, admit it – you and your buddies get together every couple of weeks with a bottle of whiskey and sit around loading up the dictionary while giggling amongst yourselves, I *know* you do ☺ )

    • Tim 6.2

      Bollocks. Very few teachers earn anywhere near $70,000. Any teacher that does would have to have management responsibilities as this is beyond the top of the scale. So the ‘big’ tax cuts, which most people would see as the massive 6% drop in the top tax rate, will not make one bit of difference to teachers.

      Stop repeating Tolley sound bites

  7. Fabregas4 7

    The $70k figure is actually a real concern to us all because it is an average amount not the amount paid to an average teacher. So the average teacher (one without extra paid responsibilities such as AP, DP, Curriculum Leader) is more like $60- $65 but only after they have worked their way through the grades over 10 or so years. The fact that teachers average salary is going up is the worry because it signals that there are less ‘new’ teachers and that the profession is becoming dominated by ‘older’ professionals (not being disrespectful to them just saying). Maybe a good hard look at the salaries would help to recruit some younger people? Starting salary is around $40k right now.

    • Bored 7.1

      At $60 -65K teachers are well out in front of the average wage…which just shows how piss poor that is. And a large chunk of the teachers will recieve a tax cut. To be honest Key is technically correct, there is no money given that it has gone to the SCF bail out, tax cuts and the Canterbury earthquake. I would conjecture that teachers were representative of the electorate in the proportion who voted National. That greedy bunch should hang their heads in shame asking for a double dip and placing their interests so far in front of the average worker.

      • Fabregas4 7.1.1

        The average wage is not a fair comparison here. I would not compare teachers say with supermarket workers. Teachers should be compared with other professional groups who study for three years at leastt- try doctors, lecturers, chemists, etc. Average professional incomes and teachers $65k may not look quite so generous. And as an aside, if you broke it down to an hourly rate, in my experience, it becomes less attractive. One last thing, the right always talks about having to pay what people could get overseas – think Telecoms boss for example. Why not teachers?

      • Tim 7.1.2

        This is utter crap. Teachers have four years of tertiary education. If you looked at the average wages of accountants, lawyers or any other professional with a similar level of tertiary education, you would find that the average wage is a lot higher than 60 – 65K. So anybody that gets a payrise is double dipping? By your insane logic farmers that had damaged property replaced and were also in SCF would also be double dipping…really????

        The average worker would benefit from ensuring that their kids receive the best education possible. Not taught by the silly teachers that didn’t work out that in Hong Kong they can earn 120k a year.

        • Bored

          Tim and Fabre, you miss my points in your rush to defend teachers position. So again, without any desire to object to what teachers are claiming which I agree is probably fair and reasonable, I said / implied:

          1. That because teachers are well above the national average wage the Key government will drive the wedge between them and lower paid workers.
          2. That the government are correct that there is no money given the pressures of SCF, earthquake, tax cuts etc and they will claim that to pay teachers more will mean more borrowing.
          3. That a large proportion of teachers probably voted National and need to look at themselves hard as they voted for tax cuts and now want pay rises as well.

          Do the above observations cause you problems?

    • Fabregas4 7.2

      From PPTA web site slightly more accurate information tahn mine.

      “This is blatant misinformation – the starting salary for a secondary teacher with four years training is $45,000 and if those teachers pass an annual appraisal based on professional performance standards, they can progress to the sum of $68,000. You do not have to be a maths teacher to see that no matter how hard you try you cannot get an average of $70,000 from those figures.

  8. Zaphod Beeblebrox 8

    The international market for scientific and engineering talent is really hotting up at the moment. The Obama administration is showering US Universities with research grants and money to recruit talented PhD and masters students and the Chinese and Koreans are also upping the R and D ante. The race is on to develop new engineering, medical, enviromental and scientific technologies as they know that is where economic prosperity will come from. And they don’t care where the scientists come from, as long as the technology is developed by their researchers. The rest of the world are struggling to keep up. Of course the most vulnerable countries to losing their best brains are the poorest who cannot afford to keep their educated. So they lose out both ways- they become stuck with and under-educated workforce using outdated technology whilst losing the people who could be helping them improve productivity and create propserity.

    Meanwhile in NZ……..we argue over whether we can pay our teachers another 1%.

  9. N0rdmeyer 9

    Tolley has been completely disingenuous on her $70k figure. This is classic National Party statistical manipulation. What she has said is that at the half-way point of their career teachers earn on average 70k. But half way through their career the vast majority of teachers are at the top of the scale. So this isn’t an average at all – it’s the top! This calculation conveniently rules out all the teachers who start teaching at about 35k, get completely pissed off about their pay and conditions and head off to Telecom, TPK, UK or Australia for a much better paid job.
    The Government has shown no interest in settling this dispute. They have put a whole lot of claw backs on the bargaining table, taking away the aspects of the collective contract which teachers have previously won (non-contact time, compensatory mechanisms for a series of large classes). They should offer the teachers 2% this year and the same next year and withdraw their claw-backs and then we would have a settlement.

  10. Giarne 10

    Let’s put some facts into the equation here (all figures as of 1 July 2009 from relevant collective agreements) as Tolley seems completely unable to know who she’s employing and how:

    A teacher with a 3 year degree starts teaching on $44,348, with a honours or 4 yr degree starting salary is $45,653. A third of the teaching population (approx 11,000 teachers) either have a diploma or higher diploma (which was what they were able to enter with at the time they entered teaching) and sit on their maximum rate of either $54,132 or $58,044. The maximum for a teacher with a 3 yr degree is $65,609, with 4 yr degree, PhD, masters or Doctorate, the top step of the scale is $68,980.

    Units are $4,000 per annum and are for roles and tasks above and beyond the regular classroom teacher. No teacher in a small school (under 50 students) even gets units yet they still do all the oversight of the curriculum and extra curricular work. There are now more units available in schools but not all teachers have them, it is hard to have an “average” for how these are distributed, each school sets its own Unit Policy and there is a lot of flexibility and a miriad of ways schools utilise them.

    Perhaps Tolley added Principals into the mix (their scale goes from $76,288 – $143,708 : note here that this top salary is for Principals where the student population exceeds 2,401, the most Primary Principals would get is around $110,ooo.

    What this proves is that Tolley desperately keeps repeating mis-understandings like this deliberately in order to ensure it becomes a truth. Any member of the media or public are able to download copies of the Collective Agreements (from either the unions website or Ministry of Edcuation) and could have checked her ridiculous figures. I suppose we trust our MPs to get their facts straight, that might be a reasonable assumption for the public to make but surely the media should be checking. Thanks to blogs like yours these figures are actually challenged.

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