3 Sep 2017

ACT leader blames unions for teachers' poor pay rates

3:09 pm on 3 September 2017

The ACT Party leader says the teacher unions are to blame for poor rates of teachers' pay.

ACT Party David Seymour 21 June 2017

David Seymour said the current system often protected under-performing teachers. Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox

David Seymour is proposing to boost funding for schools - but only if they agree to take teachers out of collective pay agreements.

He said teachers had lost ground against the average wage over the past 30 years.

And Mr Seymour said the reason was a 1970s style pay system.

"The unions insist on paying the best teacher and the worst teacher in New Zealand exactly the same and often protecting under-performing teachers.

"What we're saying is that we'll raise teacher pay on average by $20k, but we won't have that model anymore."

Mr Seymour said ACT could lift its support and win more than one seat in Parliament.

National's education spokesperson Nikki Kaye said her party didn't agree with its support partner ACT on introducing performance pay for teachers.

But, speaking on TVNZ's Q + A, Ms Kaye said she couldn't rule it out as a point to be discussed between the parties in coalition negotiations.

"That's not something that we've supported, the only thing I'd say is I've had a lot of feedback from teachers across the country, they quite like ACT's policy in terms of paying teachers more, but we don't support performance pay."

Labour's Chris Hipkins said Ms Kaye's comment showed National was open to performance pay if ACT pressed it in coalition discussions.

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