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Teachers Pay: Symptom of NZ’s Poor Productivity

10 June 2002

Lift teachers pay to international levels and demand performance....

Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, said two critical issues stand out about the predictable rejection by secondary teachers of the pay settlement negotiated by PPTA and Government representatives:

- Teachers are poorly paid by international standards, and the package rejected by rank-and-file teachers did nothing to encourage holding them here against opportunities elsewhere; and,

- The PPTA “union” is misreading growing evidence that current policies are failing to invest in areas critical to boosting productivity.

“We have a Catch 22,” said Mr Barnett. “A top performing education sector is critical to lifting economic growth to the levels needed for us to pay teachers top international salaries.

“But we can’t afford to pay top salaries across the board until the union resistance is removed to taking risks and putting in place performance based contracts.”

Taxpayers deserve to know that teachers are performing to high standards, and that is far from the current situation based on standards achieved by school leavers.

“Let’s offer teachers an increase in salary to get them up to international scales, and put along side a performance based system aimed at excellence.”


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