Pay-rise stats show government strangling education pay

Posted By TEU on Feb 7, 2013 |

Tertiary Update Vol 16 No 3

The latest data from Statistics NZ show public sector workers involved in education and training averaged pay rises of only one tenth of a percent during the last three months of 2012. Their pay rise for the whole year was 1 percent according to the same Labour Cost Index data. By comparison, those working in education and training in the private sector got pay rises of 0.3 percent for the three-month period and 1.3 percent for the year.

TEU deputy secretary Nanette Cormack said the government, through its State Services Commission pay expectations, is strangling pay rises in public education.

“The Labour Cost Index data shows that education professionals receive the lowest average pay rise of any occupation group last year – just 0.8 percent. The government needs to own up to its cost-cutting actions, which are making it harder, day-by-day, for education professionals to look after their families and pay their mortgages.”

Meanwhile the Quarter Employment Survey data released on the same day presents a grim picture for other workers a well.

“The fall in the average wage from $25.27 to $25.25 along with the continued slow wage increases measured by today’s release of the Labour Cost Index (LCI) show current wage increases are simply not going to do what is necessary to raise living standards for New Zealand families”, said CTU Economist, Bill Rosenberg.

‘The fall in the average wage was due to a fall in private sector pay where the average wage fell from $25.26 to $25.17. However there is a mixed picture with the LCI showing private sector increases continuing to outstrip the public sector.”

“For those who did get an increase in the last year, the median increase was 3.0 percent and the average was 3.7 percent. However, the proportion of workers getting no increase at all has now risen to 45 percent.’

“There needs to be a focus on wages, with a significant increase in the minimum wage, stronger legislative support for collective bargaining, and widespread adoption of a Living Wage as essential ingredients,” Bill Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg also noted that the gender pay gap, measured by the difference between the male and female average wage, was again well over 13 percent – at 13.4 percent, a fall from last quarter’s 13.9 percent but still notably higher than the 12.3-12.9 percent range of the last two years.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Lincoln quals review will affect many jobs
  2. New policies needed to lift employment: CTU
  3. Houkāmau, Prince and Clayton elected
  4. Should academics appraise their bosses?

Other news

The man credited with turning around the fortunes of WITT – the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki – is leaving under a cloud, and staff are angry. Why is the WITT board prepared to let him go? – Taranaki Daily News

According to the latest data from the United Kingdom, more than a third of the academic workforce is now on temporary, fixed-term contracts. Moreover, the official staffing statistics conveniently exclude the 82,000 academics employed in jobs such as hourly paid teaching, which are classed as “atypical”, so the real figures look much worse – The Guardian

University tuition fees look set to disappear in Germany after opponents in one of the last states to levy them forced a referendum. Regional governments in seven of Germany’s 16 states started making students pay for their studies over the past decade, but all but two later dropped fees. Those two states now also look set to scrap them – The Windsor Star

Overall, international students studying at universities and ITPs were satisfied with their experiences of living and learning in New Zealand in 2011. 88 percent of university students were very satisfied or satisfied with their experiences. 90 percent of ITP students were very satisfied or satisfied with their experiences – Ministry of Education

The appointment of Belinda Hutchinson as the chancellor at the University of Sydney has sparked fresh debate in the campus: how much business experience is too much? The QBE chairperson’s appointment represents a break from the past, when Sydney University chancellors have usually been steeped in the academic world. The Sydney Morning Herald

The University of Manitoba is embarking on a new approach to technology commercialization — they’re giving it away. Well, not exactly. But instead of hard-boiled negotiations between the university and industry partners on royalties and licensing agreements for intellectual property developed in-house, the university will make the research available to partners with no financial commitment until the company itself starts making money from the technology – The Winnipeg Free Press

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