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Good Teachers Deserve A Better Deal

“If New Zealand’s hardest working teachers don’t receive a pay rise they’re going to stop turning up to school like the kids, the Government should adopt ACT’s Teaching Excellence Reward Fund,” says ACT’s Education spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“Teachers are reportedly dissatisfied with the Government’s latest pay offer. The problem is that due to compulsory union contracts even the teachers who go extra mile are paid the same as those who are turning up to eat their lunch.

“Many New Zealanders can recall a teacher who made a real difference in their lives through their commitment and dedication. ACT has a policy that rewards these teachers for their commitment, when only 39 per cent of students are regularly attending school we need motivated, hard-working and inspiring teachers more than ever.

“ACT would establish a $250 million annual fund that will be allocated to schools, based on the number of teachers at that school.

“Principals will oversee the fund. They would have discretion to provide awards to teachers who have demonstrated excellence. There is no formula imposed by Government, this is not ‘performance pay’ it is an Excellence Reward Fund that a principal can use over and above normal salaries, just like any boss of a small to medium enterprise is in charge of remuneration.

“Principals, who are accountable to their Board of Trustees, will be able to provide awards to any teacher in their school, including managers and other members of the senior leadership team. This would be on top of the current teacher remuneration framework.

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“I was a teacher for 22 years. I watched as some teachers put in minimal effort but were paid the same as those who prepared well and went the extra mile.

“The fund would reward exceptional efforts and performance of teaching staff, extracurricular involvement and acknowledge high performance in middle management.

“Principals could also use it to attract hard to staff subjects. The future of our country depends on students doing well in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM). However teachers with STEM qualifications are often harder to attract because they have higher earning potential elsewhere.

“With total discretion, a principal could reward a top performing teacher with an extra, say, $15,000. The effect of the policy would be to seriously change the range or people considering teaching.

“As education standards plummet this is the sort of real change New Zealand needs. ACT wants to reward the hard working teachers that will be so influential in helping kids reach their full potential.”

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