Professional pay, not performance bonuses
The AEU opposes current performance pay proposals from the State and Federal Governments on the grounds that:
- They are unprofessional in that they assume teachers will not be committed to students without competitive rewards
- They are ill informed and divisive in that they reward the few for the work of many
- They are anti-educational in that they fail to recognise the collegiate nature of teaching and the developmental nature and complexity of the teaching and learning process
- They go against the research consensus about how to reward and motivate teachers and improve the quality of learning for all students
- They use inappropriate evaluation criteria such as NAPLAN testing which was not designed for this purpose and which will encourage teaching to the test and discriminate against teachers whose students or subjects are not involved in the test program
- There is no research evidence that one-off bonuses improve teaching or attract and retain teachers
- They ignore the national development of professional teaching standards as the appropriate criteria for rewarding teachers
- They are not part of a professional career structure for teachers.
The AEU believes that outstanding classroom teachers should be rewarded through recognition of their teaching knowledge and practice without the need to take up administrative tasks or to promote out of the classroom. Such rewards should be incorporated into the teacher career structure as part of an industrial agreement.
Accordingly, the AEU calls on the State and Federal Governments to commit to a professional pay scheme for teachers which recognises the collegial nature and complexity of teaching, enhances the status of teachers and enjoys the confidence of the profession as a whole. For these reasons it should be based on:
- Agreed professional teaching standards
- An independent and fair process of assessment
- Valid and reliable evidence of achievement and not include measures which would be detrimental to student learning and unfair to teachers such as the use of NAPLAN results
- Salary increases not one-off bonuses
- Salary levels high enough and competitive enough with other professions to make teaching a desirable long term career
- The necessary level of recurrent funding to pay those teachers who meet the agreed criteria.