Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Brumby's cave-in to the militant teacher union

Victoria’s 43,000 teachers secure wage increases of up to 15.2% as Premier Brumby caves in. Victoria’s teachers become the highest paid in the country with starting salaries for graduate teachers being $51,184 – an increase of $5000. Mr Brumby declared that the $2 billion budgetary cost would be offset by productivity improvements – teachers will work an extra 10 minutes per day.

I suppose at least he didn't award their ambit claim of 30%!

One teacher a Jason Pietzner said he ‘was still coming to grips with what the deal would mean over time. It says we will be the highest paid teachers but I wonder if that will be the case in three years' time after the other states have struck new deals’.

The Victorian taxpayer clearly has more to look forward to.

Melbourne’s Pravda called the deal a 'win-win' outcome. The teachers get more money and the government will get greater teacher productivity. I agree with the first part of this claim.

Last September the Victorian Government awarded police salary increases of 14%. Public service unions around the country are lined up for their next round of wage negotiations and will undoubtedly insist on parity. Wages have been galloping away for state public servants around Australia in recent years. Sharon Burrow has told workers they are not responsible for inflation and deserve to be compensated for foreign fuel price increases and food cost rises.

Federal Workplace Relations Minister Gillard urged ‘restraint across the economy’. Should I laugh or cry?

My expectations are that, with Labor holding a monopoly on political power in Australia, there will be a dramatic economy-wide surge in wages over the next year or so followed by rapidly rising inflation, huge rises in interest rates followed by a severe contractionary monetary policy needed to get things ‘back on track’ that will lead to hundreds of thousands of low income Australians being unemployed. The Coalition will be returned to power both Federally and at the State level around Australia but another generation of Australians will have their lives devastated by the latest batch of incompetent Labor yahoos.

I really do hope I am wrong on this one.


Anonymous said...

As far as I can tell, our whole education system is falling to bits from mid high school on. We get kids that learn nothing at high school and then we allow them to learn nothing more at university, and then wonder why they take 6 years to get to the place that it used to take 3. We also wonder why any "hard" courses are dissappearing and then thank ourselves lucky for the pool of immigrants that exist.

Given this, I'm surprised too many people would complain about higher teacher salaries. The main problem I see is that we now start seeing "productivity" being traded for higher wages, which has been a complete failure in universities given that productivity may as well be synonymous with lower standards. I don't see why it will be any differences in the high school system.

Anonymous said...

Harry, it's a tight labour market. Surely, as a professor of economics, you would understand that in a tight labour market workers manage to bargain high wage rises for themselves. It's happening all over the country, in the private sector, in the public sector, in unionised industries and in non-unionised industries.

Teachers aren't slaves. They can always leave teaching and find a better paying job, and that's what a lot of them are doing. If you want to attract and retain teachers in the current environment, you have to pay them more. It's the way markets work.

It's all very well to say that the Victorian government should simply should hold the line on teachers' salaries, but the schools have to be staffed.

As it is, teachers' salaries, not for graduates, but for experienced teachers, will still be pathetically low. By way of comparison, most of your commerce students will be earning after 5 years, more than the maximum a teacher could earn.

Anonymous said...

I agree with spiros and it seems as though the productivity offsets are real, unlike your fictional offsets such as more papers written of which you attempted to justify in the past, they appear to reduce costs.

Anonymous said...

Mr Clarke your last paragraph is very silly.

This could only happen if a certain type of bargaining occured. ( I will let you find out what it is called.)
however it is ILLEGAL.
For example if Victorian nurses tried to get a similar wage rise because of what the teachers got they woulld find, as you would if you had read about this topic, they cannot!!

Just for the record when was the last time we had militant unions getting large wage rises.

Well we have to go back to the late 1980's when a little bloke was treasurer. Yes that's right that's how far back it happened.

Wake up it is 2008 now. Unions have been declining for over 25 years!

If Unions had any power at all what do you think wages would have been doing given we have experienced economic growth for 17 years?

Anonymous said...

And Harry, did you not know that last month Liberal leader Ted Bailleau promised that he would make Victorian teachers the highest paid in the country?

Perhaps he said it because, as we all know, the Liberal party is controlled by The Unions.

hc said...

This gets me irritated Spiros. The line is that something is excusable because the Liberals propose the same thing. It is foolish.

I am emphatically not the mouthpiece of the Liberal Party as you would know given my views on pokies, tobacco and climate change.

Yesterday Brendon Nelson opposed means testing the baby bonus again something I have supported on this blog.

How about sticking to the issue rather than turning it into a party political thing that is ultimately pointless snark?

Anonymous said...

Harry, it was you who made the party political snark that

"with Labor holding a monopoly on political power in Australia there will be a dramatic economy-wide surge in wages"

the clear implication being this would only happen because the Labor Party is beholden to the unions and union leaders, such as Sharan Burrow (not Burrows).

It was I who made the economically correct point that what is happening with wages is entirely due to the tight labour market, and has nothing to do with Labor being in power federally and in the states. That Ted Bailleau said he would have done exactly what Brumby did reinforces the point.

Anonymous said...

Harry, I remember in a thread several months ago you supported the Victorian teachers receiving a wage increase. Have you now changed your mind about this?


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