Teacher pay is a hot topic in 2019, with the threat of strikes in primary and secondary education. Teachers have been offered higher pay, but is it enough?
A combination of factors are causing angst within the public education sector and have resulted in teacher shortages in many areas:
- Teacher pay has increased less than many other industries over the last 10 years.
- Housing costs have increased much faster than salaries, especially in Auckland.
- The teaching workforce is ageing; not enough new teachers are entering the profession.
- Teacher training enrolments declined over 2010-2016 (though are starting to recover).
- Increased immigration has meant many more children to teach.
Teachers are not alone in complaining of the increasing cost of living outstripping slower pay increases. Employees in many other professions are also experiencing pain. However teachers are on fixed pay scales and by and large don't have the power to increase pay by switching to different schools. Some teachers could leave the public school system or change careers but if done at scale there would be severe teacher shortages within public schools.
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