Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Saskatchewan teachers plan strike

*Fair Warning - I'm going to be a little politically incorrect here*

Saskatchewan teachers plan strike

I need help understanding something, and maybe Blogging Tories can help me out.

Why do we feel that teachers need to be paid as much as they currently are? Why is it generally agreed that teachers are underpaid and that they DESERVE more?

As I've pointed out in the past, a Saskatchewan Teacher with 10 years of experience and 4 years of university (1 undergraduate degree) lands in the top 10% of all earners in Saskatchewan. Their salary includes a generous pension as well as excellent health and disability insurance. In short, they are being paid very generously compared to those they are working for.

So it comes back to my original question... Why do we think that they are underpaid? Are we, as a society, so indoctrinated as to not see the truth? Are we (ironically) uneducated as to their actual salary and benefits level to properly judge whether they are being paid commensurate to their value to society? Do we overvalue their worth to society, or is it merely that nobody wants to take the opposite stance, that they have overstepped what we expect of them and as such they are being overpaid for what we want?

Or is it simply a matter of a union once again distorting the value of their membership by removing the ability for the market to determine the value and ability we want to pay for?

All I know is that I don't know of one teacher, both past and present, who isn't being paid a comfortable living from the first day they secure a full time teaching job until the day they die. Can any private sector worker say the same thing?

I invite someone to make a proper case to help me understand why we feel teachers are underpaid.


  1. WE don't feel they are underpaid, they and their fellow parasites, the politicians who want all those juicy union votes feel they need more money.

    They just use our wallet (by force i might add) to finance their empires and pension plans. :O)

  2. The problem is that it's not just them and their fellow parasites - there's a segment of the population that constantly says that they're underpaid. My question is "by what measure"?

    I don't want to upset, embarrass or belittle teachers here - I know a lot of good people that are teachers - I just want to know why they think that they are underpaid considering by all objective measures, they are being paid quite comfortably.

  3. As a teacher, I always find it tough to be lumped in with the kind of union politics that tend to drive these kinds of discussions. I usually find myself in the minority amongst many of my peers, so I try to avoid a lot of of the public and government bashing that I hear from time to time and go about doing my job the best that I can.

    I feel that teaching should be significantly more merit-based than it is. I don't like the fact that there are a lot of dead-beats who have got themselves into a nice contract and coast through the remainder of their careers. As a teacher fairly early in my career, when cuts need to be made (as they are happening in Alberta), I find my job on the line far more often than other who I know are not near as passionate about the job.

    Don't paint all of us teachers with the same brush that the unions are. Many of us could care less for their politics... we're just trying to do the best job that we can.

  4. Thank you for the words Jason, and please don't get me wrong - I DO think that there are some teachers that are worth the money we pay them, and more. It's too often though, and mostly through the union politics, that the lowest common denominator are used as the biggest reason why all teachers shouldn't be paid as much as they are.

    If we can find a way to reform to allow merit pay, I'm all for it. If there were a way to introduce market reforms in order to provide incentive for the good teachers to stay longer, regardless of age, and weed out the poor teachers from the system, I'm all in. What I do know though, is that as long as we're stuck with a system that rewards longevity regardless of results, then I'm afraid that I will always be sympathetic to those few who ARE being underpaid for the quality of job they do while viewing negatively the remainder who underperform and actually ARE being overpaid.