So, the Victorian Liberal government is trying to introduce performance based pay for teachers despite saying during negotiations with the AEU earlier this year that it was off the table and there being no structure for this created in the recently completed EBA.
The line used is that as there are a certain percentage of students who are under performing, so it goes that a similar percentage of teachers must also be underperforming. No consideration of students’ socioeconomic circumstances, ethnic origins (language difficulties, indigenous issues), student and parental expectations. Many student and their parents just do not have high expectations. The MinisterPeter Hall insists that there are no set pass/fail rates for teachers. Yeah, sure, pull the other one, it plays Jingle Bells …
Principals were properly consulted over the matter but given a dictum by the DEEDC (acting under their masters orders obviously) and are now be being expected to define around thirty per cent of teachers as underperforming and thereby deny them of a move up the pay scale. The most cynical response to this is that it is a budgetary measure designed to save money.
But the concept of performance-based pay in teaching, so long exposed as ineffective in places like Britain and the US, is part of the Liberal agenda. The education department has published guidelines for employee reviews, and thes will be expanded in the near future apparently.
Industry and organisations such as the IPA support the concept. Industry in this country are either too lazy or too fiscally tight to train new employees, they want them ready groomed and pliant. It often complains about the cost of training someone who might leave for another job after training is completed. Well, that’s the cost of doing business, a risk you take. Get over it.
But more over, industry expects schooling to more closely suit it’s needs and not have to pay for that education; to benefit from the public purse while not contributing and Liberal governments are willing to comply. There is something about the public purse and coalition politicians.
Accountability is another factor brought up. Politicians, especially those in the coalition had better be careful when trotting out that chestnut. It was noted recently that there seems to be a disproportionate amount of criminality within coalition ranks, at least when compared to asylum seekers.
For some reason the teaching profession in this country is seen as fair game, blameworthy for all societal ills usually by the very people or organisations that created the problems. The school bully always blames his victims.
Performance-based pay doesn’t work. Our schools are not under performing. It is a myth conjured up to facilitate the introduction of ideology.
And those pontificating in Spring St could well find themselves up for a fight. Fairwork Australia and the Federal Court beckon.
Indeed, since original writing this, the AEU has applied to the Federal Court for a declaration that the State of Victoria has contravened the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2013 and the Fair Work Act by seeking a mid-cycle change to the performance and development process. An interim injunction has been applied for.