Teachers are demanding a 10% payrise!
Teaching unions in Scotland are demanding a 10% pay rise for their members, this comes just weeks after they were granted a 2% rise in pay and a promise that there would be a review of the payscale and promotion rules in the near future.
Now please don't get me wrong, I think teaching is a really hard job and these guys are worth their weight in gold but a 10% rise!!
Teacher's pay scale is similar to the one used in the NHS, they get a similar amount of money and a yearly pay rise for the first few years in line with their growing experience. The amount of that salary is also roughly equivalent to an NHS band 5 staff nurse.
Now I am not saying teachers don't work bloomin' hard because believe me I know they do, but come on! They work Monday till Friday and while I appreciate they often take their marking, lesson plans etc home with them, essentially they work 9 - 5. My friend does her marking over a glass of wine at night once her kids are in bed. They get every single weekend off ever, the full six week summer holiday, the easter holiday, they never work on Christmas day (they get two weeks off here too) and then there are the October holidays and several bank holidays throughout the year and they will never be asked to work a nightshift or come in for an extra day here and there due to staffing issues. they also get guaranteed three breaks a day at set times for set amounts of time.
Compare that with my life and my measly 1% payrise - I work 12 hour shifts, days and nights; every single year I have to work either Christmas eve and Christmas day or new years eve (big thing in Scotland) and new years day; I'm not allowed to take more than two weeks holiday at a time and get a total of seven weeks throughout the year which I may or may not be able to take at a time that's convenient for me. I cant take my work home with me for obvious reasons, I would get struck off if I did; I couldn't tell you the last time I left work on time and I am very very lucky if I get two half hour breaks in a twelve and a quarter hour shift, one half hour if its nightshift, if I can get off the ward to take it (although an hour is always taken off my wages!!!)
I would love the working pattern of a teacher! Now its a very stressful job and I totally appreciate that none of us would be where we are if it weren't for the teachers that taught us when we were in school, but if we are allegedly all in this together then who on earth do they think they are to demand a ridiculous pay rise like that! Apparently the threat of strike action is very real and I personally think its ridiculous. What about the nurses, doctors, health care assistants, physios, domestics, radiographers, admin staff, police officers, fire fighters and many many more public sector workers who work way more hours for less or similar pay to that of teachers? The starting salary for each of these jobs (yes even doctors) is less or the same as that of a newly qualified teacher and the working conditions much worse. If we must accept that there is no money in the public purse to even fund an inflation equal pay rise for the last several years then so must teachers, who have received more than any of the rest of us already.
The saddest part is they will almost certainly get another pay rise while the rest of us get nothing, although I doubt they would get 10%. The reason being? Teachers can and will strike while in general the rest of us will not. Fire fighters did strike several years ago but in general the emergency services and NHS don't strike (in fact it used to be illegal for police officers and fire fighters to strike!). Although everyone and their dog knows that the NHS is understaffed, the blame for the issues it faces is placed sorely at the feet of its workers, whereas teachers are never blamed for poor exam results or any other issues, the blame is placed on a lack of teaching staff.
The biggest issue here is the fact that I feel this way. I feel so resentful towards teachers right now because they are making these ridiculous demands, I shouldn't feel this way, I should be standing up for their right to decent pay but when my pay and conditions are so much worse its hard not to feel resentment about their much better pay and conditions apparently not being good enough for them.