Friday, May 4, 2012

Do social workers get performance pay?

Is that a silly question? ---Social worker on performance pay? I come into contact with social workers quite a lot in my job as a school counsellor and they are a great bunch of people to work with to keep our kids safe. Sure there has been a great deal of bad publicity about incidents where the system has not worked in the best way, but I believe that is more about funding than bad practitioners.  Just like teachers, there can always be found a bad apple, but they are not common. Then system has a way of weeding them out.
Now I ask you--- should the Social Working profession be on performance pay? This is where I really do need one of you reading this in NZ (or elsewhere--- just to keep the debate real) to make a comment or two. Would it work? What would it do to the collegiality of the office? How would you measure performance and then reward the ‘winners?’
Transfer that argument to the classrooms in our schools and I think you can find an answer. I do not want to work in a school, where you need to look over your back, and not share resources, because if you did, it may hinder your chances of making the ‘lucky list.’
For those of you who have not worked in a school recently, then don’t’ say you have observed and you know what you are talking about. Being in a classroom, day after day, handling some of the problems that our friends in the Social Worker office also handle, then try to talk to someone who really does know—not a tame lackey of the system but one who is at the chalk face or who is in a position to closely observe and hear the goings on in a classroom.
The Minister of Education must have had someone whispering in her ear, as I said in my last blog on this subject, so it is interesting that she has slowed down and said she is concentrating on ‘appraisal matters.’  I hope her colleagues are listening. If not--- goodbye my dear MS Parata. Your heart is in the right place though.  Do we actually have a Minister of Education who is listening?