Teaching, Pay and What Matters
In 2019 the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) / Te Wehengarua signed a new collective agreement with the government, with some highly sought after improvements.
- Increase to Trained Teachers base salary scale (get paid more!)
- Add a further salary step (get paid more!)
- Increase Units from $4000 to $5000
- Increase Middle Management Units from $1000 to $2000
- $1500 lump sum
- And many other things..
This is all well and good - it is important to get recognised, monetarily, for the work you do. However, in the two years since this agreement has come into effect, I have had some enlightening conversations with other teachers (both management, and not). The comments revolved around:
- how over-worked they felt,
- how there was never enough time in the day to do their best work,
- taking work home,
- marking in evenings and weekends,
- not having time during the day to do anything except tread water.
But the thing that stood out to me most was that the increased pay/units does not improve the culture/systems of teaching. The pay is nice, of course, but it does not:
- give you more non-contacts to do better lesson preparation,
- give you more time to prepare different resources for extremely diverse learners,
- allow you to get marking done during school time,
- allow management personal to spend more time working with their staff,
- allow management to spend time making things more efficient,
- allow teachers time to learn Te Reo Māori to use in the classroom,
- and so much more..
The money makes you feel better about taking work home; about the years lost off your life to stress; about the time away from your family and friends; about the time spent working instead of eating healthy, exercising, sleeping well and looking after your mental health.
Makes you wonder - are we asking for the right thing?