Proper payday pressing


The ongoing debacle surrounding teacher pay is nothing short of disgraceful.

As professionals, teachers have shown a large degree of tolerance over what is simply not acceptable. How likely is it that any other industry would respond in such a tempered manner and continue to work despite the ongoing issues? It's hard to imagine wharfies, meat workers, health workers or police putting up with the level of disrespect our teaching staff have.

Any other workforce would have downed tools some time ago and it says a lot about the commitment of the teachers, teacher aides and other support staff that they have hung in there so long. Maybe that's why they have been treated with such disdain over National Standards, league tables, class sizes and performance pay.

So often we hear about how important the formative years are in setting the right path of development for intellectual achievement and to develop productive members of society.

Time and again the disregard shown for those on the frontline makes a lie of all the posturing about the importance of the work that goes into those early years.

That such an important sector would have foisted upon them a system that is badly broken and appears not to have been tested properly warrants further investigation. After the latest pay cycle this week the Education Ministry reported steady progress, and noted: "Every pay day we have seen continued improvement." One would hope so, but improvement is not what is required: the system needs to be fixed - urgently.

While the ministry was patting itself on the back, the NZEI reported a similar number of complaints as previously received. Clearly there are still major flaws with Novopay and many will await the outcome of an independent review, which will hopefully shed light on this mess and bring some accountability.

In the meantime, those responsible will no doubt be wishing for the end of the school year lest staff finally lose what little patience they have left.

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- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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