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Teachers – Pay Them More But …..

14 June 2002

Business accepts that teachers should be well paid for helping to educate school leavers who are highly employable.

"But teachers shouldn't push for higher pay unless they can also demonstrate their performance will improve," warns Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce

At the end of the day, the take-home pay of teachers comes from the hard won taxes generated by former students working in businesses, noted Mr Barnett.

"The value and performance of teachers is in the number and quality of school leavers they assist who are highly adaptive, passionate about seeking information, innovative thinkers who are self-motivated, and who are confident that they can solve problems."

Performance indicators for teachers need to embrace curriculum success, employability and international measures to show improved education outcomes by New Zealand schools, said Mr Barnett.

Mr Barnett described Alliance MP Laila Harre's notion of giving teachers automatic annual pay rises based on inflation as soft headed paternalism.

Good teachers need to be paid much more, but pay scales should be tagged to reward individual performance. "The best thing that could come out of this dispute is for teachers’ pay scales to be lifted closer to international norms, but with a trade off that future rises will be based on performance achievements."


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