The W.A state government is tackling Western Australia's chronic teacher shortage, by offering first year graduates up to $70,000 a year consisting of a base salary of $50,000.
This reminds me of a nursing student I met afew years ago in my local fruit and veg store serving behind the counter. We got to chatting and I found out that she was in her first year of nursing, well that was it, this was like waving a red flag to a bull. To cut a long stort, I gave this girl some timely career advice
She is now in her 4th year of teaching and on her way to starting on $50,000 VS $41,000 as a graduate nurse.
The Western Australian News carried the pay rise story on it front page:
"The public school system has to be competitive against other job opportunities outside of teaching and this is an important step toward achieving that End. This is part of out efforts to raise the status of the profession and raise the appeal of teaching. The fact of the matter is we are in the market place for new graduates from interstate and W.A and we have to look at what we have to do to make teaching attrative"
This raises the question of what makes nursing attrative, is it the low pay that makes nursing attrative to a school leavers, or is it the rotational shift work, or the hazardous working environment that makes nursing an attrative career choice ? The government does not seem to realise that nursing needs to be a competive opption for school leavers.
I wonder if we will see any of our State government apply the same recruitment and retention stradegy to nursing as W.A has applied to the chronic teacher shortage.
W.A is currently negotiating the public hospital nurses EBA, so far the state government has effectively ignored our log of claims and have offered W.A nurses a meager pay rise over 2 years.
With attitudes like this, nursing will remain a very unattractive prospective career choice. I predict the Chronic shortage of Nurses will continue unabated and that we will see more tax payer funded holiday recruitment trips of state officials for nursing recruitment.