Teacher suffering from old-fashioned pay structure: IPA

TEACHERS in schools are suffering under an old-fashioned industrial relations regime and an outdated salary structure according to research by the free market think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs.

"Teachers are paid according to a 'one size fits all' model that pays the best and the worst teachers the same," says John Roskam, executive director of the IPA.

"Promotion is based on time served and the completion of box-ticking exercises rather than on the quality of teaching in the classroom. Under existing regulations a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who wants to be a teacher must be paid the same as a 22-year-old inexperienced graduate.

"The industrial relations regime that teachers work under means they sacrifice salary in exchange for more time off work. For example, a teacher earning $75,000 a year has 11 weeks away from work and 17.5% holiday leave loading. On a 'standard year' of 48 weeks work this equates to a salary of over $95,000 a year."

Freedom to Teach by IPA Research Fellows Vicki Stanley and Darcy Allen, documents 600 pages of regulations stifling schools, teachers and principals.

"Teaching ... is managed ... according to systems established in the 19th century. If we are to provide young people with the best possible education we must think of teaching as a profession in which teachers are rewarded on ... ability."

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