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Teachers on the dole

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My motivation for this entry is an article by Spiegel Online which is only available in German. The article wonders why so many teachers in Germany are frequently on the dole, while they are no civil servants (yet). The Spiegel reckons that many teachers are working part-time, that half or two-thirds of a regular teachers´ income won´t pay the bills, and that therefore, the dole needs to be added to these teachers´ incomes.


Spiegel Online seems to know as much (or little) about teachers in Germany than any of you may do, no matter in which neck of the globe you may be reading this entry.

So let me explain. Maybe it is of some interest to you, and if not, maybe Spiegel Online can still learn a thing or two here.

The problem is that there is no social insurance for teachers in the civil service. Employees in the private sector and their employers jointly pay social security contributions, but as teachers in the civil service are expected to become civil servants and hence not to be prone to lose their jobs any time in their lifetime, they are exempted from this scheme. (Thus, the state saves its share in teachers´ social insurance.)

But not every teacher does become a civil servant in the end. If the state decides that it doesn´t need that many, some teachers just don´t receive that status. This leads to temporary stints at schools with a temporary lack of teachers (or a long-term lack which isn´t defined as such, because that would require more regular teachers) – and once there is a vacation, these makeshift teachers drop right into unemployment, at least for a few weeks.

There is probably no country in any place where payment for teachers would be lavish. And to be on a temporary dole during vacations still means that you continue to have an income. No question.
But here is one: how can the state expect parents, students, and the press to cherish education as something that matters, if governments want to have teachers on the cheap?
Paying them throughout the years – still cheap enough, but enough for a life – would be a good investment, if they really want to make education a priority, and if they really want education to be perceived as a priority.


Written by taide

March 28, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Posted in civil service

Tagged with , ,

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