Teachers\’ Pay

This is simply monstrously silly:

Teachers remained on course for their first national strike in 21 years last night as the Government refused to cave in to pay demands.

The National Union of Teachers, Britain\’s biggest classroom union, said the walk-out was set to go ahead next month after ministers failed to improve a 2.45 per cent offer.

Why are we even having national pay talks for teachers? As we know, the cost of living varies enormously across the country (female white collar wages being 60% lower in the NE than they are in London) meaning that a national wage will overpay those living in cheaper areas and vastly underpay those in more richly rewarded ones,

As we\’ve seen with nurses this actually leads to worse health care in the higher income neighbourhoods.

Simply abolish national wages and the negotiations that come with them. Devolve the wage negotiations to the school level. This might mean a rise in the total budget (it would certainly lead to a substantial increase in London, that\’s for sure) but if that\’s the price that has to be paid to get the right number of teachers into the schools then so be it.

There\’s nothing very revolutionary about this idea: after all, we do think markets are pretty good at allocation, don\’t we?

8 comments on “Teachers\’ Pay

  1. The theory and desperate hope – I think – is that with better real pay for teachers ‘oop north, compared with the London smoke, the better teachers will all flock up there to so improve the standards of educashun that George Orwell in: The Road to Wigan Pier (1936), chp.7, will be finally refuted:

    ” . . To the working class, the notion of staying at school till you are nearly grown-up seems merely contemptible and unmanly.”
    http://www.george-orwell.org/The_Road_to_Wigan_Pier/6.html

  2. “This might mean a rise in the total budget (it would certainly lead to a substantial increase in London, that’s for sure) “

    I doubt that it would, because otherwise the teaching unions would already be demanding local pay negotiations. As it is they have worked out that the majority of their members will be paid less if national pay scales are ditched.

    The ‘affordable housing’ for ‘key workers’ scam is a big hidden cost to the economy that could be removed if local pay negotiations become the norm. So even in London the overall costs might not rise a great deal.

  3. “About half of newly qualified teachers leave within three years of joining the profession.”

    But that, sadly, could be due to factors other than pay – such as badly behaved and motivated kids.

    Do we have any stats on teacher turnover by region?

    Some regions have disproportionately large numbers of failing schools:

    “ONE in five of the country’s worst 50 schools based on 14-year-olds’ test results can be found in Yorkshire, according to shocking figures published today. . . Dozens of secondary schools from across the region are languishing at the bottom of the league tables for key stage three tests in English, maths and science.”
    http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/schools/Tests-gloom-for-Yorkshires-failing.3824612.jp

  4. There is no wonder teaching is in such a state. I have spent a year covering two maternity contracts and only found out today that the second person i am covering is coming back 2 days before the end of term. Meaning I wont get paid for the holidays. I just thought after all i have done. Is there any point. I feel let down again and again by teaching.

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