Is Teaching a Liveable Wage? Why Educators Need Second Jobs to Survive.

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Young woman with stack pile of books and piggy bank full of debt rethinking future career path









I’m sure everyone remembers that one teacher who really inspired you to achieve bigger and greater. What if I told you that the same teacher must get two another job just to pay make ends meet.

The salary vs that actual job -The teacher pays penalty.

Teaching is incredibly demanding. Teachers wear many hats – caregiver, social worker, therapist, safety monitor, and more. Despite their love for the job, many realize they could earn double in other sectors. Who’s to blame for the low pay?

Teachers’ strikes

Recent strikes in many schools highlight the deep-seated issues within the teaching sector. From pervasive student bullying to budget cuts, educators are facing numerous challenges. A teaching union reveals a troubling trend: members are working up to 25 hours of unpaid overtime per week, feeling “morally blackmailed.”

Despite their dedication, many teachers struggle to make ends meet, often taking on second jobs. A survey by the National Education Union (NEU) paints a stark picture:

  • 85% feel underpaid given their skills and workload, with only 7% considering their pay fair.
  • Financial worries plague 56% of educators, while 39% express some concern about meeting bills.

These findings underscore the urgent need for systemic reforms to support teachers and ensure quality education for all.

Why is teachers’ pay so low?

Teaching, historically viewed as a predominantly feminine career, faces gender pay disparities. With inflation on the rise, schools implement budget cuts, with staffing costs, notably teacher salaries, bearing the brunt. Unfortunately, pay increases fail to keep pace with inflation, diminishing teachers’ purchasing power.

Contrary to the misconception of teaching being confined to classrooms, many educators work extensive hours beyond the norm. Shockingly, 22% report working 60 hours or more weekly, while two in five UK teachers work 26 hours unpaid each week.

Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, aptly describes this situation as “daylight robbery,” noting that teachers lose an average of £15,000 yearly in unpaid overtime.

The situation is exacerbated by gender pay disparities and budget cuts, with teacher salaries failing to keep up with inflation. Many educators work extensive unpaid overtime, losing up to £15,000 annually. These findings emphasize the need for systemic reforms to support teachers and ensure quality education for all, recognizing the crucial role teachers play in society.

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