Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.
In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow by a miserable 0.9 per cent. Construction workers on the other hand saw their incomes up by 2.6 per cent.
“This reinforces the fact that the Minister’s decision to pour millions into the education crisis after eight years is an abject admission of defeat. Teachers are lagging in the pay stakes and this is just too little too late.
“National’s solution is not to pay our teachers properly or treat them with the respect they deserve. The Government has just run down their status and pay.
“The Government is facing a grave teacher shortage especially in Auckland because teaching salaries can’t keep up with the Auckland housing crisis.
“To add insult to injury, Hekia Parata is now talking in terms of wanting to increase class sizes by reintroducing bulk funding.
“If the Minister thinks her approach to education is improving our kids’ lot and our schools’ ability to deliver quality teaching then she is completely deluded,” says Chris Hipkins.