Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Teachers deserve a raise

Primary and intermediate school teachers are on strike today in effort to get higher pay and better conditions. Good on them. Teachers are massively underpaid for the work they do, and there's been an exodus from the profession as a result. Unless the government does something serious to improve things, they're going to find themselves with an even bigger shortage in coming years.

The government is of course pleading poverty and saying that the strike is "too early" - which is a bit rich coming from Ministers paid (respectively) quarter of a million and half a million a year. To point out the obvious, teachers are as deserving of nurses of a pay rise. But I guess Labour, "the worker's party", would rather spend $2.3 billion on pointless war toys than ensure the proper education of the nation's kids: something which will make far more of a difference to our wellbeing than searching for mythical submarines from non-existent enemies ever will.

During their time in office, National ran down our public infrastructure with cruel austerity. That included not just the physical infrastructure of hospitals and schools, but the human infrastructure, the people who staff them. The coalition government was elected to reverse that. If Jacinda Ardern wants to keep her half a million a year, she needs to deliver on that core promise. Alternatively, she can see disappointed voters kick her out in 2020. Her choice.