About that 24% pay hike for teachers

Posted By: John Moore · 1/5/2013 5:14:00 PM

You've heard the figure again and again: Since he was elected Dalton McGuinty has raised teachers' pay 24%!  What an outrageous figure. Did you get a 24 percent pay raise? Who do teachers think they are?

There's no question our province's teachers are well paid. They should be. They are university educated people specially trained to not only look after your kids but to teach them; to give them basic and essential life skills and in some cases ignite a passion that could change the course of their lives. I don't know a single person who wasn't heavily influenced by a teacher. I guess I have been especially lucky because from Miss Parks to Mrs. Miller, Miss Kilpatrick, Dr. Lewis, Dr. George and Mr. Peterson (and that's just up until high school graduation) I had teachers who were dedicated and creative and loved by their students. 

So lets' agree that it's not outrageous to start someone at $45K a year with pay upgrades after several years on the job that reflect the fact that with time most teachers become more skilled at their jobs. For those teaching specialties who may hold Masters and PhDs and who continue to improve their skills through training the pay can top out in the low 90s.

But back to that mind boggling 24% pay increase under McGuinty. I finally went back and did the math. Allowing for the fact that the teachers agreed to a two year pay freeze we can spread a 24% pay hike over the years 2003 through 2014 when the new "deal" expires. If you compound the inflation rate and include Bank of Canada projections for the next two years you end up with goods and services rising during this same time by 22.9%. Perhaps not the most outrageous raise ever handed out. True, not everyone gets cost of living but instead of begrudging it perhaps we should all be asking for it (for the record Astral Media tends to keep up with the cost of living). 

The ball (or grenade) in this whole mess is now in the teachers' court. Here's hoping they heed the advice of The Star's Friday editorial and agree that they've been beaten up by a shameless government, but it's time to move on. Revenge can come at the ballot box. 

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  1. Walter posted on 01/05/2013 10:14 PM
    In a way, I agree that 24% is not a meaningful number in itself - because nobody in the media bothers to put it into context.

    First off, how much did others make during the same period. How much of an increase did the average private sector worker make in this time period? In the public sector, how much increase did the doctors who help maintain our health make during this time? How much of an increase did the engineers who manage our roads, bridges and water infrastructure make? I think they recieved much less than the teachers.

    The next issue is how much more difficult did the teachers job become in that time. Did the teachers have to have larger classes to deserve the extra money - actually the opposite is true. Did teachers get a cut in their preparation time - again the opposite was true. For doctors, the number of sick did not decrease. For engineers, the number of roads and water systems did not decrease.

    Without knowing the numbers, it is hard to put into context whether teachers got more than they deserved or not. It does appear that the Liberal government fealt that the best bang-for-the-buck was to use taxpayers money to buy the teachers union.

    It worked for 3 elections.
  2. DMCP posted on 01/06/2013 12:32 PM
    Actually since the McGuinty government came to power the increase is closer to 30% (learned your math in a Quebec school did you?) Speaking for myself working in the private sector during the last 9 years my increase was 18%. During that time the terms of employment also changed as my workload increased to cover off for colleagues who were terminated for no other reason than the company didn't make their quarterly numbers. I consider myself one of the lucky ones. So excuse me for thinking that the teacher's issues are a non issue.
  3. Sandy posted on 01/06/2013 05:32 PM
    Get it through your thick head Moore. Most people don't mind teachers being paid a "reasonable" wage but we do not expect anyone on the public dole to get sick day handouts. I am tired of feeding the bloated pensions for these people. Problem for me Moore is that many teachers act like condescending weak spoiled pigs represented by unions who are incapable of negotiation unless they get everything they demand. As well, IMO, the highest paid teachers are way over paid.
  4. Laurie Weston posted on 01/07/2013 08:03 AM
    Understand like the NHL players who are compensated so much beyond the incomes of their fans and ticket buyers, the teachers get little or no sympathy because their TOTAL package wages, working conditions, benefits, pension etc. exceeds what the working people who pays the taxes for this service, could dream of earning in the private sector. They appreciate the education ( If you stood at any GO station and spit today you would probably hit a PHD) and they value the importance of GOOD teachers. Remember it is virtually impossibe to get fired for incompetence, disinterest or bad behaviour in public service unions (see police).
  5. dlhughes posted on 01/07/2013 04:12 PM
    I find it interesting that Mr Moore names six teachers as a having influenced him personally in his argument as to their value. I think this would be about the same for many people. The problem is most people will have had upwards of 30 or 40 teachers by the time they leave high school. With around 15 to 20 % of the teaching ranks worth while, I would venture poor teachers are 15- 20% of the ranks as well. Leaving 60 to 70 % as average, neither horrible nor terrific. While its unfair to judge a group by its weakest members, it is also unfair to present a large group as valuable because a small minority have excelled. Like all of society the mediocre are the norm.
  6. kenfromcanada posted on 01/08/2013 12:55 PM
    In the 1960's - the NHL expanded from several teams to many more. And hockey became really big business - and the players woke up and said - PAY US MORE. Following suit were the other major sports.
    And now the old adage about playing for the love of the game - was gone - replaced by - PAY US MORE.

    And the teachers, police, and other public sector areas started - not long past the NHL - demanding PAY US MORE.
    And now the old adage about - doing it for the love of - policing, teaching, etc - was replaced by PAY US MORE.

    The public mantra from these unions were - 'for the kids', 'serve the public'. B.S. - admit what it is: Where else can a moderately educated person get paid just under $90,000 a year and have a great pension?

    So, those that are genuine in their love of their job - a lot less than those who are in it for the money. And to my detractors - I do what I do for the money - and admit it if asked!
  7. dfafd posted on 01/17/2013 12:53 PM fdsg dafd
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