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Teachers deserve no more, or less, than private sector workers

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  • Teachers deserve no more, or less, than private sector workers

    To my mind, public school teaching is an easier job than most. It requires a modest education, offers several months off each year, a short work day when compared to many professions and job security to the extent you can’t be fired for even egregiously poor performance.

    So what exactly are teachers striking about now? Bill Tufts, author of Pension Ponzi, notes: “Teachers, in the span of a single generation, went from being members of the lower middle class, to upper middle class, to upper class today.”

    The Drummond Report found the median salary of public school teachers in Ontario three years ago was $95,000. Add to that 30 per cent, or $28,500, in benefits and the option to retire as early as age 53, with a generous indexed pension for life starting at 70 per cent of their highest salary. That adds up to about double the average teacher’s salary in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries and is the second highest in the world, behind Germany.
    http://business.financialpost.com/ex...sector-workers
    Last edited by Glenco; 19-05-2015, 01:10 PM.
    “Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity,”-Marshall McLuhan

  • #2
    I think teachers are overpaid and underworked compared to other places. For example, in Japan, when it is school holidays for the kids, the teachers are expected to go to the school and prepare next years materials / work on projects, working a full day. Whereas in Canada, the teachers get paid for a big vacation. In writing that, the school system is excellent in Canada, and while we may overpay teachers, educating our kids is moderaltey important to society.
    Last edited by moahunter; 19-05-2015, 01:21 PM.

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    • #3
      It's a fine line between attracting those qualified enough to teach math and sciences at the high school level, and overpaying. I've heard an interesting perspective that while providing competitive pay, one way to attract people is to create a community of respect for teachers - something I think really isn't there today.

      The salary's posted above for Ontario are quite high, but maybe it's attracting the best people? I wonder if there is a difference between elementary and high school pay? I don't recall there being any, but there really should be.

      Bottom line though, teachers that go into teaching complain a lot for what they get. They really should know what to expect...
      EDACC-EAD-YEGDT FTW!

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      • #4
        I think teachers earn a fair salary, but this is just not correct. Teachers have well above average education (in Alberta, most have two or more degrees, all have at least one), and they have responsibilities of a manager. Yes, they get some time off in the summer, but they also do not receive vacation pay (i think it's the only profession that doesn't). Tell me, in what other managerial position in Alberta is 60-100K a lot of money?

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        • #5
          ^Management? Really?

          And 6-8 weeks vacation time in the summer, plus spring break plus 2 fulls weeks at Christmas/new years is a huge benefit when compared to other professions who tend to max out at 4-5 weeks and don't get all the in lieu/ non stat days that teachers get.

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          • #6
            As one who hails from a family of teachers, I can say it's not as easy a job as many of you think.

            Many off hours are spent preparing assignments, marking assignments, prepping exams and marking exams. They organize field trips, dances, Christmas concerts and graduation ceremonies. They do double-duty as coaches, career advisers and babysitters. They have to put up with parents who are as whiny as the kids. They are in the classrooms 2 weeks before the kids return in the summers. Now imagine doing all that and having to put up with your own kids at home.

            I say they deserve the compensation.
            “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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            • #7
              Originally posted by highlander View Post
              ^Management? Really?

              .
              Yes, really. They make decisions that affect their students lives. They have to set up programming for students with special needs, they need to find learning strategies that work for their students and fair ways of providing accurate and timely feedback, and reporting results to parents. They are accountable to professional standards and a code of conduct.

              They also take a lot of crap from people who disagree with them, whether it's admin, students, or parents. And they are also expected to do a whole bunch of unofficial things as part of their job, take on projects, and be part of committees and initiatives.

              Of course, everyone has gone to school so they think they know what a teacher does. Teaching is one of those jobs where everyone else has the benefit of knowing the job better than the the teacher and the luxury of none of the lonliness or responsibility of the one making the decisions.
              Last edited by Snake Eyes; 19-05-2015, 01:54 PM.

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              • #8
                If you've ever been a teacher (a good teacher) or been around one (lived with one, been in a relationship with one) you'd know they work off the clock the hardest, have no weekends due to prep, and most quit in the first 3 or 5 years due to stress. Beginning salary for full course load and intro teacher (first 5 years) is just over 30K, and in BC it's under 30K. The summers off and weeks of holiday time is not what the real life of a teacher is. A poor teacher has that time off because they are set in their ways and are now relying on a formula to teacher their kids.

                Teachers do not have a walk in the park.
                Live and love... your neighbourhood.

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                • #9
                  My main concern with teachers wouldn't be their salary or benefits. It would be the near bulletproof job security they receive once they're on a permanent contract. I think most teachers work hard for their pay and deserve our gratitude for it, but there's a significant number that are outright bad at their job, and will never, ever be fired for it. And that makes the entire profession look bad.

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                  • #10
                    I am happy that teachers make a lot of money, they are very valuable members of society.

                    I do not like the narrative of teachers being underpaid as it makes the job less desirable (have similar thoughts towards police, firefighters, etc...). The compensation, security and pensions should be well publicized to encourage more competition and higher quality of candidates.

                    Unfortunately there's too much self interest by public sector unions to keep promoting that narrative for the purpose of labour negotiations. I know a few teachers and they feel justly rewarded when looking at their compensation objectively, but until they looked at it objectively, they were told they were underpaid.

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                    • #11
                      If parents believe that their children's education is important, why shouldn't teachers get paid like they are important?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bolo View Post
                        I am happy that teachers make a lot of money, they are very valuable members of society.

                        I do not like the narrative of teachers being underpaid as it makes the job less desirable (have similar thoughts towards police, firefighters, etc...). The compensation, security and pensions should be well publicized to encourage more competition and higher quality of candidates.

                        Unfortunately there's too much self interest by public sector unions to keep promoting that narrative for the purpose of labour negotiations. I know a few teachers and they feel justly rewarded when looking at their compensation objectively, but until they looked at it objectively, they were told they were underpaid.
                        There already are lots of high-quality candidates, just like there are for firefighting, but a lot of new grad teachers never get a chance and move on to other opportunities. From that perspective they certainly are not underpaid.

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                        • #13
                          It actually goes in waves. Sometimes there is oversupply of teachers, like most urban areas across Canada right now, sometimes there is a shortage. For something that should be predictable, it's a balance provinces strangely have trouble making.

                          As well, there is a high attrition rate for teachers with many quitting in first few years.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by River Valley Green View Post
                            If parents believe that their children's education is important, why shouldn't teachers get paid like they are important?
                            Teaching is relatively easy when parents believe that education is important, because they get support. Teachers at schools where the parents don't support their children's education are really earning their money.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Snake Eyes View Post
                              It actually goes in waves. Sometimes there is oversupply of teachers, like most urban areas across Canada right now, sometimes there is a shortage. For something that should be predictable, it's a balance provinces strangely have trouble making.

                              As well, there is a high attrition rate for teachers with many quitting in first few years.
                              Some of that attrition is people who were never cut out to be teachers, but a lot is just the stress and workload of a beginning teacher. The first year in a grade (or after a major curriculum change) is a massive workload, teachers in the first few years should be excused as much as possible from the extra-curricular stuff and given the easiest assignment. Unfortunately due to union seniority politics they usually get the worst, hardest classes in the most difficult schools, and if they do get into a good school they tend to make more changes from grade to grade than the more senior teachers who teach the same grade every year and do much less prep.
                              Last edited by highlander; 19-05-2015, 02:28 PM.

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