Hipkins trying to resolve teacher pay dispute

Teachers had their biggest strike ever this week, protesting over what they claim are insufficient wage increases. Minister of education Chris Hipkins spoke to the crowd of teachers who gathered at Parliament, saying there was no more money available. Teachers responded by threatening more strikes.

Hipkins is now trying to resolve the deadlock.

RNZ: Minister intervenes in teachers’ pay dispute, calls forum

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has called for a forum with the teacher unions, the NZEI and PPTA, to resolve what he calls an impasse over pay and conditions.

Secondary school teachers will start five weeks of industrial action on Tuesday when they refuse to teach students in year nine. The action comes hard on the heels of this week’s joint strike with primary teachers.

In a release tonight, Mr Hipkins said the government was committed to progressively taking action to address the concerns of teachers and principals.

The talks were set down for 6 June.

“The issues being raised by teachers are many, varied and complex,” he said in tonight’s statement.

“We will make no further comment until after the parties have met.”

The primary teachers’ union has yet to announce its next move, but it has already held three strikes and further action is considered likely.

One problem that is probably unresolvable is pay scales that don’t reflect effort and effectiveness. Teachers claim they work long hours, and I’m sure some do, but they get paid the same as teachers with similar a length of service who do the bare minimum.

Teacher unions have always been strongly against performance linked pay rates.

This can mean that better teachers can leave to find better paid work elsewhere, while more mediocre teachers stay with fairly good pay for their efforts (but there are still good teachers who are underpaid).

When he was opposition spokesperson on education Hipkins had an easy ride on the side of teachers complaining about the National government. It is a lot more challenging for Hipkins now that he is up against teacher demands.

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  1. Performance pay can be a nightmare. What criteria do you use? Its simple in a sales position but what-about medicine? Do you just reward the GP who sees the most patients, but might deliver poor service, or the one who sees the least but might be delivering better service?
    People based professions defy the simple solution of performance based pay. And in any case, my experience is the boss usually just rewards blind loyalty.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  1st June 2019

      Let pupils and parents choose their teachers and see what happens.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  1st June 2019

        Einstein couldn’t have taught me to be a mathematician. so it would be grossly unfair to penalise the teachers who couldn’t teach me what I couldn’t do. I still can’t do long division. I did once set myself an equation in Roman numerals and managed to do it…eventually….

        I was reading at three and by the time I was seven I was reading Dickens and other classics, as well as being able to spell words like phthisic and antidisestablishmentarianism, but that was innate ability and environment.

        How would these things be measured ?

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  1st June 2019

    How unreasonable of teachers to expect Labour to deliver the promised land.


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