Teacher Work, Teacher Pay

NSW teachers just won a substantial pay rise:

The 12 per cent increase over three years will lift the salary of a beginning teacher to $50,522 by January 2008. Classroom teachers will be paid $75,352 and high school principals $129,506.

According to the Department (MS Word), the salary progression will be as follows:

                               Current           Jan ’06           Jan ’07           Jan ‘08
Starting teacher         46234             47621             49050             50522
Top of scale               66348             69334             72454             75352

There are a few factors in teacher pay.

  1. We want to attract good people into teaching. I’ll release a paper later this year showing that higher beginning teacher salaries do indeed raise the TERs of those doing teacher education courses. From this perspective, the proposed pay scales should boost the TERs of potential teachers by a point or two.
  2. We want to keep the best people in teaching. Most occupations do this through some form of merit pay. Teachers could do the same, but teacher unions – in NSW especially – oppose it. Paying the most talented teachers only 50% more than starting teachers is a virtual guarantee that many of the most able teachers will leave the profession.

On the topic of teachers, it’s remiss of me not to have blogged on Jennifer Buckingham’s CIS paper arguing for school-based teacher education as a way of getting more talented people into teaching (my paltry excuse is that I was sent it under embargo, and then forgot about it after the embargo was lifted). I don’t agree with much of what the CIS puts out, but I think on schools, Jennifer is singing from the same songsheet as progressive Democrats and Blairites.

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1 Response to Teacher Work, Teacher Pay

  1. Guy says:

    Indeed. Absurd that one of the most important jobs in our society attracts such a low wage, particularly when one considers the wages associated with the vast swathes of largely ineffectual middle-management roles subsidised by the corporate sector.

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