Monday, October 18, 2010

"An excellent offer"

Teachers will be going on strike this week after unanimously rejecting the government's pathetic pay offer. Meanwhile, the government is trying to point the finger at them, saying that they had turned down an "excellent offer". Really? Let's look at it:

Teachers were offered a half-per cent pay increase in the first year, a 1.9 per cent increase in the second year, a one-off payment of $1000 and an additional 3000 middle management allowances worth $1000 each

That compared with an earlier offer of no increase in the first year, a 1.8 per cent increase in the second, and the one-off payment.

A claw-back in teacher conditions was still on the table, and a previous offer of preparation time for part-time teachers had been taken away, Ms Gainsford said.

So, in exchange for claw-backs and reductions in working conditions, they get half a percent, around a third of inflation. As for next year, they're being offered 1.9% when inflation is expected to top 4%. These aren't pay increases - they're cuts.

If that's all the government is offering, then its no wonder teachers are going on strike. And unless they start offering something of actual benefit, then the strikes will continue, and the parents of New Zealand will have to start minding their own kids.