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Education, IES - "Investing in Educational Success", New Zealand

How does taking an extra $30k a year become a pay cut?


John Gerritsen, Education Correspondent at Radio NZ should be hanging his head in shame for this headline:

“Principals agree pay cut for key role”

The same line was also used here:

Principals vote for pay cut


What’s the problem?

For those not in the know, it sounds like secondary principals have slashed their wages in a noble move to back the government’s Investing in Educational Success (IES) proposal.

And by framing what happened as a pay cut, there is an implication that secondary principals are so enamoured by IES that they are willing to pay for the privilege of being part of it.


Since when has agreeing an EXTRA THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR instead of forty thousand dollars a year been a pay cut?

Yes, that’s right – despite the headline, the truth of the matter is – and I quote – secondary principals agreed only to “reducing the extra money paid to principals who take two days a week to lead a cluster of schools from $40,000 a year to $30,000”

Pay CUT my fat hat.


Upon Querying Radio NZ

When I challenged the misleading headline on Twitter, Mr Gerritson responded:

“Yes, original headline was “School principals agree $10k pay cut for top jobs” – was abbreviated to fit on our site”

Sorry, Mr Gerritsen, I think you rather missed the point, there: the longer headline is no better.

Let me spell it out for you – THERE IS NO PAY CUT.


Tired of Journalists’ Spin, Misrepresentation and Untruths 

Whatever your position on IES (and there are many), it is outrageous for our national radio station to have headlines that manipulate the truth so wildly.

Surely if we have learned nothing else this week, it is that people are sick and tired of spin and would like some honest reporting from journalists.

Furthermore, just how does reducing the payment by one quarter address what Radio NZ calls “the suspicion that the principals leading a cluster will wield considerable, and unwelcome, authority over their peers”?

Gerritsen says this concern was fuelled by the amount of money those taking the role would get, but that’s just rot.

Concerns about secondary principals’ authority over other schools – particularly primary schools – has nothing to do with exactly how much they are paid but about what their goals will be.  All along, the Minister has stated the person in that role will have to focus on ‘raising standards’, and it is this and the entrenching of ropey National Standards that concern parents and teachers.

To reduce it to a petty squabble about who gets the most money is to seriously misrepresent the issue.

~ Dianne


Further info: Principals vote for pay cut – Originally aired on Morning Report, Wednesday 20 August 2014

About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi


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