The things you learn reading the Human Rights Commission annual report

The report for 2013 is here.

On page 150 we get to see the staffing profile – 143 employees (of whom only 38 are male) – and the salary rank those individuals earn. More than half of the Commission are on salaries above $72,900. That is well above the median income for Australia. Over 90 per cent of the Human Rights Commission employees earns above the median wage.

AHRC staff profile 2013

I imagine Tim Wilson will be one of the statutory office holders. How much they are paid is reported on page 101 of the report.

AHRC staff senior salary 2013

So the top nine employees are the SES Band levels and the Statutory Office holders. Between them they earn $2.3 million (basic salary) out of a total salary and wages budget of $12.3 million. So 6.3 per cent of the employees take out 18.65 per cent of the total salary budget.

What else can we say about the salary and conditions of this organisation? Employee Benefits (salary + super + on costs and the like) came to $16,384,000. The federal government pumped in $17,979,000. So 91 per cent of all government expenditure earmarked for the AHRC is spent of salaries and wages and super (plus odds and ends). Another $6.9 million came from the sales of services and operating a sub-lease (Really?). So I reckon they have some $8.5 million to provide whatever it is that the AHRC actually does.

I don’t want to comment on the value of that $8.5 million (except to suggest that it is probably less than $8.5 million) but even in an accounting sense we the taxpayer are paying some $16 million in salaries to get $8.5 million of human rights programs.

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278 Responses to The things you learn reading the Human Rights Commission annual report

  1. JC

    Google letting you down?

    Okay lets play this game

    Top 20 universities in the world league tables.

    QS World University Rankings 2013

    Welcome to the QS World University Rankings 2013/14. Compare the world’s top universities, sort by region and subject, find the best universities in your academic field, and create your own personalized ranking based on what matters most to you.
    QS World University Rankings® iReg approved and QS Stars

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

    United States

    2 99.2

    Harvard University Harvard University

    United States

    3 99.0

    University of Cambridge University of Cambridge

    United Kingdom

    4 98.9

    UCL (University College London)

    United Kingdom

    5 98.8

    Imperial College London

    United Kingdom

    6 98.7

    University of Oxford University of Oxford

    United Kingdom

    7 96.8

    Stanford University Stanford University

    United States

    8 96.5

    Yale University Yale University

    United States

    9 96.2

    University of Chicago University of Chicago

    United States

    10 96.1

    California Institute of Technology (Caltech) California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

    United States

    10 96.1

    Princeton University Princeton University

    United States

    12 94.3

    ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

    Switzerland

    13 93.8

    University of Pennsylvania

    United States

    14 93.6

    Columbia University

    United States

    15 92.5

    Cornell University

    United States

    16 92.1

    Johns Hopkins University

    United States

    17 91.3

    University of Edinburgh

    United Kingdom

    17 91.3

    University of Toronto

    Canada

    19 90.9

    Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

    Switzerland

    19 90.9

    King’s College London (KCL)

    Okay, so there 14 of the top universities which are private and run essentially as not for profit private universities. This is despite the mountain of public money thrown at public universities around the the world.

    Want to try Australian schools?

    Why the extra “u”? Just making fun of leftwingers constantly referring to eduucation and the way some of them pronounce the word like the Lying slapper for instance.

  2. Tel

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/30/home-schooling-outstanding-results-national-tests/

    Regarding the third reason, there is new research showing that the average home-schooler who takes standardized achievement tests is doing very well. The study, commissioned by the Home School Legal Defense Association and conducted by Brian Ray, an internationally recognized scholar and president of the nonprofit National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), is called “Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics.”

    The study included almost 12,000 home-school students from all 50 states who took three well-known standardized achievements tests — the California Achievement Test, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and the Stanford Achievement Test — for the 2007-08 academic year. The students were drawn from 15 independent testing services, making it the most comprehensive home-school academic study to date.

    The results reinforced previous home-school studies conducted over a period of 25 years.

    Five areas of academic pursuit were measured. In reading, the average home-schooler scored at the 89th percentile; language, 84th percentile; math, 84th percentile; science, 86th percentile; and social studies, 84th percentile. In the core studies (reading, language and math), the average home-schooler scored at the 88th percentile.

    The average public school student taking these standardized tests scored at the 50th percentile in each subject area.

  3. JC

    There’s no doubt that research speaks very kindly of homeschooling.

    One of my kids was essentially self schooled… the last two years of school was from a hospital bed with the exception of about 4 weeks in total. She scored amazingly well too.

  4. JC

    The kid also sat for the US SAT in order to gain admission to a US university.

    What it taught me is that the amount of money we spend on schooling is basically wasted. There may be a case that it provides good socialization skills but even then it needs that sort of money being spent on it.

  5. Carpe Jugulum

    “The correct comparison is public ed vs fully privatized ed and comparable outcomes.”

    Is this a pisstake?

    My eldest child went to public school in Australia and Private in Japan, the Oz public school system rewards failure, fails to motivate the under achiever but constantly lets down the high achievers. I saw my daughter being motivated overseas and given a free ride in Oz, it’s a disgrace.

    The 2 youngest of the Jugulettes were educated privately in Australia and Japan, they were constantly challlenged to do better, parental involvement in how well your child was doing was actively sought, FMD we’ve had teachers ring my wife at work to update her on how well or not well the kids were going.

    You cannot compare the private sector to the public as one has to get your child educated the other just has to let them pass and feel good about everything.

  6. wreckage

    Techno, your comments on my comment suggest that you basically understood what I was saying. Yes, government expenditure is a zero-sum game. Expenditure and revenue are fixed (or close enough) and de-coupled (or close enough) in the short to medium term. Therefore every cent spent on seat-warmers cannot be spent on (for example) disabled kids. The only caveat is that government funding is not fully fungible, due entirely to rigidities in the legislation put there to prevent re-allocation, for good or for ill.

    Beyond that, you earlier implied that universities would be crippled in terms of output if they depended on paying students. I contend that their primary output is students. You then agree. If I misunderstood you earlier, I apologise.

    So, you’re an engineer who doesn’t work in the PS yet knows intimately the workings of departmental budgets, and who presides over award ceremonies?

  7. Tel

    There may be a case that it provides good socialization skills but even then it needs that sort of money being spent on it.

    I would have thought that sporting teams, chess clubs, computer clubs, bush walking clubs, etc are better for learning social skills and require vastly less public funding. They don’t require teacher’s unions either.

    OK, showing my age to mention “computer clubs” but these days we could say 3D printing or something like that.

    The thing about teaching is that with modern communications it is very easily outsourced and large components of it are easily automated. The pressure to drive this is going to become huge when you look at the price of an education in the USA and we are starting to go the same way in Australia.

  8. Techno

    “Okay, so there 14 of the top universities which are private and run essentially as not for profit private universities. This is despite the mountain of public money thrown at public universities around the the world”

    And you’re saying that none of these universities receive any public funding? Don’t benefit from any public scholarships? Don’t attract interest-reduced student loans by government intervention? Really?

    Remember what you said: “fully privatized education”

    Off you go, then.

    “Techno, your comments on my comment suggest that you basically understood what I was saying. Yes, government expenditure is a zero-sum game”

    But the choice of whether to spend on a given area in isolation is NOT a zero-sum game, to the economy as a whole. That’s what matters – whether an investment/expenditure pays off in the longer term, economically or financially.

  9. Techno

    “OK, showing my age to mention “computer clubs” but these days we could say 3D printing or something like that”

    A friend was telling me recently about his daughter being involved in precisely that at her (public) school. They have 3d printers, circuit-etching equipment, her last school project involved some custom digital circuitry that she’d constructed, driven by an arduino. Apparently that’s where public schools are at now.

  10. Techno

    “Regarding the third reason, there is new research showing that the average home-schooler who takes standardized achievement tests is doing very well”

    No surprise there – home-schoolers think home schooling is very good. Does your article point out that standardised testing in the US is self-selecting for home-schoolers, but not for the public school system?

    Even in-favour researchers agree that it’s not a straight like-for-like comparison, because the parents of home-schooled children are (necessarily) much more engaged with their kids’ education, which would have affected the results no matter how they’d been schooled. So what that means is that parents with the skills and inclination to home-school their kids are parents whose kids are likely to do well anyway.

    And also consider that homeschooling massively reduces the student-teacher ratios, and assuming that imposes no opportunity cost skews the results a bit. What would that parent be doing otherwise? What is the actual cost?

  11. Techno

    “Beyond that, you earlier implied that universities would be crippled in terms of output if they depended on paying students”

    But they DO depend on paying students. What do you think HECS is?

    “I contend that their primary output is students”

    At the undergraduate level, yes. They do more than that, though.

  12. JC

    Techno

    Those private universities would be able to survive quite well without public funding. The bulk of their funding comes from fees and the enormous mountains of money they receive from benefactors.

    Fully privatized….? Stop splitting hairs, you douchebag.

    These 14 universities are private without much government interference.

    Now, back to the subject. You were the one who brought up the social benefit of public funded eduucation vs private.

    Evidence. Go!

  13. Techno

    “Fully privatized….? Stop splitting hairs, you douchebag”

    Sorry, but that’s what you said, and I think it matters because it’s the point of what we’re talking about – should the government be involved? The only way they can NOT be involved if is the education really truly is “fully privatised”.

    “Now, back to the subject. You were the one who brought up the social benefit of public funded eduucation vs private”

    No, I said that there’s a general economic payoff to public investment in education, and the government should therefore be involved in funding it – which is what it IS doing in those universities that you’ve listed. They get research (and other) funding, they get tax breaks and their students benefit from government-subsidised student loans and scholarships.

    There will be people who can afford to fund their kids’ educations privately, at least at the primary/secondary level. There’s no doubt about that. I don’t think our economy would do very well if we pulled the plug on public education and left parents to make do as they can, though.

  14. JC

    “Fully privatized….? Stop splitting hairs, you douchebag”

    Sorry, but that’s what you said, and I think it matters because it’s the point of what we’re talking about – should the government be involved? The only way they can NOT be involved if is the education really truly is “fully privatised”.

    “Now, back to the subject.

    You fucking idiot. You’re back to the subject you don’t want to talk about.

    I don’t think our economy would do very well if we pulled the plug on public education and left parents to make do as they can, though.

  15. JC

    Da economy is an abstract term, you goose. I don’t live for da economy. I/we live for ourselves, not what we can do to help da economy. That’s how you leftwingers think. Fascist.

  16. Techno

    “I/we live for ourselves, not what we can do to help da economy”

    That’s why you’re not the government. Keep in mind that “the economy” is the thing you buy goods and services from – and vice versa. So it’s not all THAT abstract. If you make it harder for people to participate, then you’ll effectively shrink the economy, and that isn’t good for you.

  17. .

    No, unlike the bizzare metric the ABS concocts where the number of Australians with a Cert III or higher is a sign of “opportunity’, in the real world, the requirement to get a qualification simply locks people out of jobs.

    You are forgetting education is a consumption good as well.

    There will be people who can afford to fund their kids’ educations privately, at least at the primary/secondary level. There’s no doubt about that. I don’t think our economy would do very well if we pulled the plug on public education and left parents to make do as they can, though.

    You are not trying to think creatively or seek answers that already exist.

    A kid might get less than 2 hours of individual attention at school, some of it disciplinary.

    Two hours of a tutor per week would be more productive and cost less than uniforms and travel to school in some parts of Sydney.

    Some people could literally pay this out of cash on hand saved by not purchasing or using consumables.

    You still might get group learning where there is a reduced rate for six or so children.

    The reason why people can’t afford to educate their children is that the Government taxes us too heavily. 45% of a new home price in Sydney is taxation. People borrow three-ten years of income to pay off part of their 30 year mortgage on tax.

    Take that out, education of a high quality is affordable to all. Such supply constraints impact upon rents as well. There is no reason why schools couldn’t discriminate on price. What benefits the least well off, however, would be illegal if done very well (1st degree price discrimination). Apparently we have to protect the wealthy from cross subsidising indigent consumers. We must hobble the market from having any pro social function. This is the role the ACCC has been given.

    Another problem is that there is a constriction on the licensing of schools. A brilliant tutor, educator and administrator (say a young principal) with a well rounded education cannot open up their own school and charge competitively, affording quality educaiton to the wealthy and indigent alike.

    They can only operate as a tutor, furthermore, they are not entitled to any Government funding even if they are massively more efficient.

    Putting kids in a school using 18th century principles under a massive bureacracy is not cheap or efficient. It simply readies them for factory work. Please do not bang on about positive externalities when you are training children for industries that no longer exist.

    Back on topic – the HRC is basically useless and it would not be replaced by the private sector – profit or non profit if abolished.

  18. Tintarella di Luna

    Putting kids in a school using 18th century principles under a massive bureacracy is not cheap or efficient. It simply readies them for factory work. Please do not bang on about positive externalities when you are training children for industries that no longer exist.

    dot I am sure you are familiar with Dr Ken Robinson and his take on the current education paradigm

  19. JC

    Keep in mind that “the economy” is the thing you buy goods and services from – and vice versa.

    Are you retarded? We buy or meat veggies and stuff from stores we like. We don’t buy it from da economy.

    I buy my newspapers online from News Ltd. I don’t buy them from da economy.

    Stop being an idiot.

    And yes dot lets get back to the subject.

    Close the fucking thing down and legislate not to pay any retirement comp to those poisonous zombies.

  20. Tel

    These 14 universities are private without much government interference.

    It’s not like they have much of a choice though is it? If governments want to interfere then they interfere, and private individuals just shrug and live with it. So now the argument Techno is really using is, “Ha ha, you can’t escape government interference in your life so therefore you need more government interference.” I don’t accept that.

    Since no animal on Earth lives completely free from parasites, therefore Techno’s argument would also conclude that parasites bestowed upon us our ability to walk upright.

  21. Tel

    A friend was telling me recently about his daughter being involved in precisely that at her (public) school. They have 3d printers, circuit-etching equipment, her last school project involved some custom digital circuitry that she’d constructed, driven by an arduino. Apparently that’s where public schools are at now.

    Really? You are attempting to claim that because some particular group of entrepreneurial individuals went beyond the standard government-issued curriculum and sought out self-improvement, therefore “that’s where public schools are at now” implying that all public schools can claim credit for this.

    Can you back up that claim?

  22. .

    Yes Tinta, and also Ivan Illich & John Taylor Gatto.

  23. .

    A friend was telling me recently about his daughter being involved in precisely that at her (public) school. They have 3d printers, circuit-etching equipment, her last school project involved some custom digital circuitry that she’d constructed, driven by an arduino. Apparently that’s where public schools are at now.

    Bullshit.

  24. wreckage

    Even in-favour researchers agree that it’s not a straight like-for-like comparison, because the parents of home-schooled children are (necessarily) much more engaged with their kids’ education, which would have affected the results no matter how they’d been schooled.

    So in other words, there are reasons it works, so therefor it doesn’t? Have you considered that people who want to be engaged with their children’s education abandon the system in frustration? That would be our experience. Every attempt we have made, for five years and at several public schools, has been thwarted or rebuffed; or we get a large sheaf of photocopies.

    There is no scope – none – to shift priorities to suit the child. Without a nearby private school, our daughter would have ended up repeating a year due to massive inflexibility, un-firable dead-wood, and insider trading (where teachers and their friends know that one particular teacher is useless and make damn sure their kids are assigned to a different class).

  25. Techno

    “Techno’s argument would also conclude that parasites bestowed upon us our ability to walk upright”

    Actually, have you heard of mitochondria?

  26. Apparently that’s where public schools are at now.

    I wouldn’t be too certain of this.
    All of my sisters are schoolteachers, in state schools. The oldest can barely use a computer, despite being only four or five years out from uni (she has never used skype, as she has no idea how it works, cannot type a letter on a word document, etc.)
    The others come at teaching from the perspective of “how can I avoid being beaten up in the schoolyard today? and how can I avoid my class descending into racial/sexist abuse?” Actually teaching stuff to kids is waaaay down their list of priorities.

    Using 3d printers, circuit-etching equipment, nope not even on their radar screen.

  27. wreckage

    Actually, have you heard of mitochondria?

    They’re not parasites. They’re extremely efficient.

  28. Techno

    “Using 3d printers, circuit-etching equipment, nope not even on their radar screen”

    Well, it seems there’s some variation between schools then (and possibly between states)

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