Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rewarding the Educators of the Land...


Deciding what to pay a teacher is always a tricky thing. Since the Government, invariably, is the main employer, there's is almost no competition for manpower thus the prevailing policies becomes the main motivator that will dictate the size of pay increases, if any.

Britain has always set a target of 2% for inflation. That serves as the rationale behind the 2.45% pay increase. On paper, it does look fair. In fact, teachers seem to be better off with their pay increases above the target inflation rate. However, the key word here is 'target'. National Union of Teachers (NUT) has threatened to hold a strike over what they called a paycut. NUT's stand is that the 2.45% is well below the 4% inflation of Retail Price Index (RPI).

But if one puts things is perspective, the English police got only 1.9% pay increase. To rub salt onto the wound, it's illegal for the police to go on strike, unlike their fellow civil servants in schools. Though it is becoming physically dangerous for the teachers in the classrooms, it is nowhere near the risks taken by those policing the streets.

It's really a dilemma, isn't it? I mean, unlike many professions, teaching doesn't really have a tangible target. One can never effectively measure the influence that an educator has on his/her charges, much of that can manifest only much later in life. So would it be wise to penalise the people who passes on knowledge to the next generation?

One would wonder where the money goes to then. Well, at least a portion of it will go towards providing the infrastructure and services required to cope with the influx of immigrants.

The benefits of foreign talent comes with a price.

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