Showing posts with label pay rise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pay rise. Show all posts

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Teacher Pay rise, EBA 3

Well, it's official. Teachers have voted no to EBA3. About 65% voted no. We will not be getting a lower than inflation pay rise.

It will be interesting to see how the public and the new state government (whoever it is) responds.

This was the same pay rise that the union said was great... yet the majority of union members thought otherwise. The union was not representing the wishes of its members and believed negative publicity would change the minds of teachers. I suggest that there are a few members of the executive (re: President and secretary) that are in trouble at the next union election.

Who was the union representing if not the teachers and administration of schools during this negotiation - personal self interest? I would join a union that represented my interests, the interests of my colleagues and clearly researched goals for public education.

Clearly the SSTUWA does not do this and is following its own agenda that is leading to poor morale and teaching standards. It is appalling. Some housekeeping is now necessary.

Reporting in the media (the ABC in particular, though the West and commercial stations are similarly guilty at times) keep stating a 16-21% pay rise. What they fail to mention is that this is 16-21% over three years and the final 2% is applied on the last day of the agreement. For a fair comparison we should take 16-21% subtract 2 and divide by three. Thus for the majority 4% per year which at best is 1% + inflation or perhaps 2.3% + inflation if you are at the lucky end.

This type of reporting by the media actively misleads the public into believing that a 16-21% (in one year) pay rise is being declined by teachers and administrators. Government employees or consultants employed by the government being trotted out in support of the government proposal is not supplying an independent or well researched viewpoint.

The current payrise and activism by teachers is intended to redress the lack of parity in teacher wage claims over the last 15 years, raise awareness over OBE issues and address the constant reduction in conditions in the vocation (a major cause of the current teacher shortage). A 1% + inflation payrise with reduced conditions does not correct this parity issue.

A better solution would have been to bump the entire payscales by say $10,000 this budget and again by $10,000 in three years time and only apply CPI to incremental scales for the life of the EBA. This would have established parity without misleading percentages and recreated an attractive profession to graduates by creating entry and exit points comparable to like 4 year university graduate careers.

Perhaps our new premier Mr Barnett will take note.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

EBA3, WA teachers' pay claim and DET

Trolling through the blog log I've noticed lots of searching for details on the new EBA. I'm not an expert but the best explanation that I've found (as we are still waiting on the union and DET detailed explanations) can be found here (again by Marko Vojkovic): - sadly this forum is now closed (updated 1/8/2009)

The new proposal doesn't seem to live up to the hype in the newspapers or the video release by the union (about half way down the following hyperlink.. click on the unflattering picture of Anne Gisborne for nine minutes of monotone summary):

The net result seems to be at best a 1% increase and at worst a 2% decrease after inflation is applied with significant loss in conditions. It does not seem to be inline with Twomey recommendations. We shall await more detail.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Teaching salary and pay claim

The pay claim in WA is not about annual percentage increase. It's about about redressing the lack of increases over a long period of time. The reasons for teachers falling behind other professions by at least $20,000 are many and varied but the ramifications have been widespread.
  1. Students no longer see teaching as a desirable profession - TEE scores are low
  2. Teacher morale is low
  3. The perception of teachers in the community is low - we are seen as those that couldn't find real work (who else would spend 4 years getting a degree (that a budgie could get entrance to and pass) - then to accept wages lower than manual labour)
  4. Student performance in schools is lower than expected (although many point the finger here at OBE) - as evidenced by state school TEE performances
  5. Extra curricular work has become the norm and expected rather than a point of difference between teachers
  6. Union has weak support and leadership
  7. DET has a teacher shortage in critical areas of schools
  8. Business has become critical of quality of student output from school and has publically supported the need for teacher pay reform
  9. Students are leaving the state school system for private school education despite having access in many cases to smaller class sizes and access to long term experienced teachers bound in place by 'tenure' type agreements

Unfortunately the community does not equate professional status with social justice or good education. Professions in WA are not valued by the community by the work that they do (and the promotion of social equity) but by the money that they earn.

If we are to change the mindset of the public, raise expectations, raise morale of teachers in the profession and improve the calibre of those entering the profession, a fixed rate increase is required (such has been done in other countries) with a publicity campaign explaining why the teacher rise is different to other rises (such as public service rises) and a good idea before inflationary increases are addressed.

When the mean salary of a teacher approaches at least the average WA salary, then we have a starting point for an improvement in the ongoing education saga.

Monday, July 21, 2008

DET Pay rise and the fine print

It seems the new pay rise has been delivered and interesting stuff is beginning to hit the fan. My criticism and scepticism of the union (and reason for not joining until now) seems to be valid.

The pay rise offered (in the scant terms described and according to heresay) is below inflation, is over three to four years, has reduced conditions and has the approval of the union. DET looks to be negotiating hard and trying to get this resolved quickly before the imminent state election.

Union information is posted here:

but here is the counter argument to union information posted by Marko Vojkovic at :

"The official base rate increases are:4.5%, 4.5%, 4% and a floating 2% at the end of the agreement. That equates to 15% over 3+ years. If you take into account it is only backdated to this pay period, it is almost over 4 years.

It is a 1.5%-2% increase on EBA 2 with extra trade offs. The 15 hours PD in your own time is there as is the flexible working hours (which strangely do not appear in the summary) These are from 8am to 6pm.

There are increases for ST2 in terms of a new level, but these must be applied for and involve extra duties so it is unfair to include them in any pay rise. It is a complete sell out. The Minister required Executive to endorse the package before showing it to members.

There was a deadline for the Executive to accept it without actually seeing the full package. Ross Greenwood, the financial analyst on the Today Show on Channel 9 stated that the cost of living has increased by 4.8% and if your wages do not increase by that amount, you are taking a pay cut. This offer asks teachers to take a significant pay cut over 4 years.

This is the complete opposite of the Twomey Report recommendations.Once again, we have been let down by our 'experienced' Senior Officers.When was this offer negotiated and by whom?

If arbitration is suspended, then we are back in negotiations. Either our Senior Officers have been negotiating in secret or they have accepted DET's first offer without presenting a counter offer.

Either way, I feel incredibly let down. Even the way it has been presented to members reminds me of those misleading government ads.

We will now see a huge VOTE YES campaign waged by our Union Senior Officers and their group of sycophantic supporters who believe that what is good for the Labor Party is good for teachers. This can not be allowed to happen yet again."

As always the devil is in the details and the fine print.

Updated here (6 October 2008).