Performance pay for teachers 'first step to AWAs': ACTU

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Performance pay for teachers 'first step to AWAs': ACTU

The Federal Government's move towards performance pay for teachers is the first step to putting them on individual contracts or AWAs, says the ACTU.

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The Federal Government's move towards performance pay for teachers is the first step to putting them on individual contracts or AWAs, says the ACTU.

Federal Education Minister, Julie Bishop, has threatened to withhold funding unless the States start rewarding teachers for their classroom success.

ACTU President, Sharan Burrow, said the move towards performance pay in schools is an attack on the professionalism of Australia's teachers that will not improve the education system.

She said the Howard Government has done nothing for the educational needs of the majority of Australia's children except lead an attack on the teaching profession and divert funds to private schools.

Inadequate funding

'This is the height of hypocrisy from a Government that has inadequately funded public schools for ten years,' Burrow said. 'The Howard Government doesn't care about more money for teachers or more money for public schools.

'If they did, they would not have slashed the share of public school funding over the last ten years. Now, 70% of Australian kids go to schools that get only 35% of Federal funds.'

Burrow said the Howard Government and Julie Bishop are 'simply attacking teachers to distract from the issue that public schools are now getting $1bn less per year because of Federal funding share cuts'.

Teacher against teacher

'The Australian Education Union and the ACTU support accountability and standards, and better pay for teachers,' she said. 'There are processes that have been negotiated by teacher unions to deal with under-performing teachers in every State and Territory.

'We don't support this thinly disguised attempt to bring in AWA individual contracts in schools and the Government's extreme IR laws that will pit teacher against teacher and exacerbate inequality.

'But instead of addressing the really important issues for Australian students like class sizes, Minister Bishop is trying to push teachers onto individual contracts that will cut conditions and force teachers to compete against each other in the workplace.'

Minister's speech

Federal Education Minister Julie Bishop's address to the National Press Club on 7 February in which performance pay was raised can be found at the department's website.

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