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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 12 June, 2002, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Pay rise tackles teacher shortage
New York
New York wants to recruit and retain teachers
Teachers in New York could receive a large pay increase - but the deal will mean a longer working day and more accountability.

The deal being hammered out in New York City, one of the largest education authorities in the world, would see 80,000 teachers offered increases up to 22%.

The city's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, says that a "tentative settlement" had been reached with teachers' unions, in an education authority with 1.1 million pupils.

Across the United States, as in the United Kingdom, school authorities are facing a shortage of teachers.

And the mayor said the new salary levels would "increase both the recruitment of new teachers and the retention of experienced teachers".

But the deal, if ratified, will mean teachers accepting an extra 20 minutes to be added to the working day.

The proposed contract would also see greater accountability for teachers with the "first substantial revamping and streamlining of the disciplinary process in over 30 years".

A committee is also to investigate the "viability and desirability of merit pay".

Pay rates outstrip UK

Under the proposed contract, the starting salary for teachers would rise to $39,000 (26,500).

And at the upper end of the scale, experienced teachers will earn up to $81,000 (55,000).

In London, where there are around 60,000 teachers and a recurrent problem with shortages, starting salaries are around 21,000, including the highest level of London weighting.

For teachers who have crossed the performance "threshold" to access a higher salary band, teachers in London could earn up to around 36,000.

Teachers are in demand in many countries around the world - and many schools in the UK depend on recruiting staff from other countries.

These have been drawn usually from countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

The United States has been running a massive recruitment drive, trying to find another two million teachers this decade - many of which will be expected to be attracted from other countries.

And the pay rises in New York could raise the stakes in an increasingly global teaching market.

See also:

22 Apr 01 | Education
28 Aug 01 | Education
04 Mar 02 | Education
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