I went to meet a bunch of people in London. The congregation was meant to be part of a stag do. I mean, it was a stag celebration but I didn’t really attend most of it. The plan was brunch, a rugby match and then whatever followed. I knew that the brunch was going to be either outside or in a well distanced restaurant and so I was happy with that but as the time approached to attend a rugby match travelling via crowded trains and being in a stadium I felt unsure about the covid-ness of it all. Now, I had been to a gig where you had to show your vaccinated status to get in and there were quite a lot of people but it felt mostly safe. I didn’t want to be in an England crowd at Twickenham.
Another things that’s been bothering me recently is the pay rises the government has paid teachers over the last ten years. I find this really interesting, partly as I’m a teacher and partly because I can’t believe teachers are not as angry as they really should be. Over the last ten years the government has deliberately followed a policy of austerity. This was their political choice. We now know it wasn’t necessary as when the covid pandemic hit they decided to spend a fuck-ton squared and even then the controls were so poor that BILLIONS was lost. Here’s a graph showing teacher pay over the last ten years compared to where it would be if we had JUST received pay rises in line with inflation.
Back to the stag. We met at a place near Waterloo station but I walked in from London Bridge station which was about a twenty five minute walk along the South Bank. It was a really nice walk and I started on the river close to HMS Belfast and then walked past the City Of London, the Golden Hind, and a lot of eateries. Fortunately I didn’t have to walk past too many of those “people who stand still for money” as they annoy me intensely. The brunch was nice and the restaurant staff were very tolerant of the pranks played on the stag.
Here are some numbers for you wrt the pay. The pay rise over the last ten years amounts to around 13.2% total pay rise since 2010. Inflation in that time has caused an increased in prices of around 37%. For comparison the CPI, and clearly you are going to use whichever inflation measure works best for your argument, has increased 25% in that time period. I used the Office for National Statistics to get my data. If my pay had increased by the CPI it would be around 46,000 now which is still clearly above what I am actually paid. In essence I have had a real terms pay cut every year for the last [over] ten years.
There’s nothing like mixing up all your graph types when you are trying to make a point but I was curious how much MPs have awarded themselves over the same time period. They’ve had a pay rise of around 25% meaning that they are inline with the lower of the inflation measures. So, the people voting to not pay public servants according to the lower rate of inflation have awarded themselves that exact rate. We all know that’s not even the best of it. Over that time MPs have given themselves plenty of expenses to be able to pay for things that they would say are required as part of the job, and I would mostly agree, but I would also argue that many MPs play the system to enrich themselves. This pay doesn’t take into account any other jobs and directorships that MPs take on.
I think the problem is that too many of us do our job because we like being a teacher. We feel a “calling” or feel we should do the things that are considered normal of us. I personally don’t think that. I don’t feel the calling and I don’t feel this job is a vocation. This job is one that is bloody hard work and no one will be there to thank you at the end of it. That’s not how all this works. You don’t get a special seat in heaven. You just stop doing this shit one day and it leaves your life. Salaried jobs are bollocks. We should be paid for what we do and in a specific time frame otherwise the organisation is stealing from you.
Comms#1985 and so here are some things that happened in that year:
- “Neighbours” starts on Australian television.
- First mobile phone network in UK.
- South Africa ends its ban on interracial marriage.
- 56 die in the Bradford City football ground fire.
- 39 fans die in the Heysel Stadium disaster.
- Windows 1.0 is released.