Are teachers short-changed?


Teachers in New South Wales have poor pay and conditions that are in relative decline compared with other professions in Australia. My two grandchildren have just started their Primary School education in a State School and as I was a State School teacher for over 40 years, I believe high quality education for every Australian child is vital and achievable in a country as wealthy and abundantly resourced as our country.

I was comparing with a teacher from Switzerland the pay senior teachers are paid in Switzerland compared to Australian teachers.

Teachers in Switzerland do not have to stop classroom teaching if they want to be paid a reasonable salary during the latter years of their teaching careers whereas Australian teachers must leave the classroom to receive a reasonable salary after their initial 10 years of teaching.

And the reason I was given why the Swiss government pays its State School teachers high pay throughout their careers compared to Australian teachers is very simple – Australia has many valuable resources below the ground but Switzerland has no such buried wealth. Switzerland’s only has two valuable resources, both of which are above the ground – it’s magnificent scenery to attract the tourists and what is between its citizens’ ears. And that is why its citizens, and its governments invest so highly in education, because a reasonable salary encourages our very best teachers to remain as classroom teachers for their entire teaching career and a higher salary encourages a greater number of young people to consider teaching as a highly valued, lifelong career.

Do you think it’s time to provide all Australian children and grandchildren with the very best education, for who you choose to vote for in the coming election will reflect how much importance your politicians place on the quality of your children’s education?

Harry Johnson, Iluka