If you think education is expensive, try ignorance’ – never has that observation been more relevant.
The country – along with much of the world – is being pounded by the economic crisis. Unemployment is rising while everyone agrees we need more qualified school leavers.

..Their plight belongs to all of us, for it will certainly cost us all.

We have a government that has talked up its intention to invest in infrastructure. Surely, for a nation proud of its achievements and ambitious for its future, that begins with intellectual infrastructure?

Other countries are already upping their investment in public education. They have recognised that, when times are tough, priming the knowledge pump reaps returns. The head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, noted in January 2010 that “investment in education in stimulus packages will have much more effect than tax cuts.”

Much of this education investment around the world has been directed at teaching; quality learning is, after all, an outcome of quality teaching.

Attracting and retaining the teachers we need comes down to how much we’re willing to pay. Right now, New Zealand teachers have one of the lowest starting salaries in the developed world, yet they work some of the longest hours. After 15 years’ experience, a New Zealand secondary teacher’s salary is 17% lower than the OECD average.

The PPTA is asking for a 4% salary increase. Comparatively, that’s moderate. The teachers of Queensland and South Australia have just been awarded double digit percentage pay rises.

Socialist Appeal supports the action of the PPTA to secure a new collective agreement and a 4% pay rise.

The PPTA have called a one day strike on the 15th September as part of their campaign to secure a pay rise, as well as low level industrial action in the classroom.

Socialist Appeal says:

  • Support the Industrial Action

  • Defend State Education

  • Call a generalised movement against the government cuts