Duncan Garner: Reset the salaries of female-dominated professions

Opinion 13/05/2019

The biggest strike ever looms - 50,000 teachers off, and hundreds of thousands of students and parents face mass disruption.

The day before the budget as well.

That's a clever ploy by a bunch of unions.

But they showed us their hand a long while ago. They had this planned for months, no matter what this Government threw at them they were never going to agree - $1.2 billion bucks, hundreds more teachers, a $10,000 pay rises for all of them, but it's still a right royal one-fingered salute to the Government.

I think they'll start losing public support though.

But here's a way around it, this Government needs to accept the historical pay bias against teaching, nursing, midwifery, aged carers - all those professions that have been dominated by women.

Grab a bunch of pay experts and compare what they earn with other professions, and properly reset the salary scales.

To end this debate once and for all.

I think the best teachers are well underpaid for this crucial job. I met a woman in the supermarket the other night, a teacher at Westmere Primary who works part-time.

After 20 years she was buggered and went landscape gardening for the rest of the week - which not only was good for her soul, but wallet, too.

It paid more than the teaching gig, and she was more relaxed.

Teachers used to earn the same as MPs 50 years ago, now MPs earn twice as much, at least.

That is wrong. Reset the salaries, have a difficult discussion, but this sort of strike and disruption can't keep happening.

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.