The teachers' union has given the government an ultimatum: 13% or nothing. If I were the Chief Personnel Officer, I would offer nothing.
In fact, most teachers really deserve a salary cut, but I would be generous and offer 0%. I find it nonsensical that workers (of all types) think that saying they cannot live on 2008 salaries is an argument for a pay increase.
All over Europe, tens of thousands of workers who have lost their jobs wish they could be paid their 2008 salary, or even half of it. Many workers in Greece and Spain, for example, have gone to Sweden looking for work.
Many who had highly paying jobs are now willing to work as sanitary workers, cleaning public toilets, for far, far less than they earned in 2008 and are thankful for it.
So why are we even considering giving teachers an increase when they are proving once again what an irresponsible bunch they are, thinking nothing of absenting themselves two days out of five (40 per cent) in any one week?
I heard that about 30 per cent of teachers showed up for work. The other 70 per cent said they were staying home to "rest and reflect".
From what I saw on television, the instigators did not stay at home and what they were doing could hardly be described as "resting" or "reflecting".
I believe that 30 per cent is a true reflection of the percentage of good teachers in the system and I would have no problem giving them an increase in salary.
But talk to any principal and they will regale you with horror stories of the poor attitude of many teachers (late-coming, absenteeism, refusing to go to class even when in school, not marking pupils' work, etc).
Needless to say, these are the very ones making the loudest demands for salary increases. If only it were possible to pay an increase to the good teachers out of the salaries of the bad ones!