Coalition Federal Government signals performance pay for teachers ahead of election
The current Coalition federal government’s proposal to implement a vague and undefined plan for performance pay for teachers, as a condition of additional school funding should it be re-elected on 2 July 2016, has been condemned by IEUA-QNT members.
IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary Brad Hayes said any plan to link performance to salary was reckless with similar structures proving ineffective as a means of improving student outcomes when implemented by overseas governments.
“With the election looming, the Coalition federal government has not only pledged just one third of the school funding committed to by the ALP but has stated that this would be provided on the basis of implementing performance pay which would determine teachers’ salaries via yet unknown performance measures,” Mr Hayes said.
Federal Labor has committed to an additional $4.5 million in school funding as opposed to $1.2 million from the Coalition.
Mr Hayes said the Coalition’s plan to “link teacher salary progression to demonstrated competency and achievement against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, rather than just length of service” was a threat to the current entitlements of all teachers in our sector.
“The assumption that teacher performance has a direct relationship to standardised test results reveals the painful lack of insight the current federal government has when it comes to complexity and nature of teaching and learning.
“It is impossible to articulate a universal definition of quality teaching that might be used across all schools and sectors and this lack of a universally accepted definition makes it difficult to envision any truly objective means of assessing which teachers receive ‘performance pay’.
Mr Hayes said linking teacher salaries had also been shown to be detrimental to the collegial collaboration essential for good teaching practice.
“It seems that every few election cycles the Coalition raises the spectre of performance pay for teachers and every time such ill-considered plans are rejected by educators across the country who know that simple correlation cannot be made between the teacher and the calibre of the student learning.
Mr Hayes said the Coalition’s undefined plan for performance pay for teachers as well its attacks on crucial working rights and conditions of Australian workers, including parental leave and penalty rates, meant members had a clear choice at the ballot box when it comes to protecting the profession and building a better future for all Australians.
“The Coalition has made it clear what they intend to do if re-elected. Now it is up to all Australians, including IEUA-QNT members, to determine the future we want for our schools, our students and our communities,” Mr Hayes said.