For some reason that I can’t quite puzzle out, the Nats hate public education. Even an elitist fool should be able to see that a well-educated workforce is valuable and public education is the cheapest way to achieve it. Yet National is attacking education at every level from early childhood to tertiary. The latest ‘offer’ to the secondary teachers would have required them to take 2 years of after-inflation pay cuts.
The teachers were offered 0.5% this year, vs 1.5% inflation, and 1.9% next year, vs over 5% forecast inflation. So that’s more than a 4% real wage cut in two years. Two years in which the economy is (supposedly) growing.
Now, to be fair, there is a one-off $1,000 payment in addition to the wage increases. But it’s only a one-off. that’s an old trick employers use to try to placate workers while not permanently increasing wages. If teachers took that deal, they would be negotiating from an even lower base wage in real terms the next time round.
There’s also an additional 3000 middle management allowances worth $1000 each, which looks like nothing more than an attempt to wedge senior teachers from junior ones.
It’s all cheap nastiness from National. The Nats promised teachers (50% of whom, I hear, voted National) higher wages and now they’re screwing them over and trying to publicly vilify them.
At the same time as saying the cupboard is bare for the people who teach our kids, the Tories can find hundreds of millions of dollars for tax cuts for the rich and to bail-out South Canterbury Finance investors.
Teachers don’t want to strike but we can’t expect these vital workers to put up with pay cuts when they could earn much more overseas. The solution to this problem is in National’s hands.