An Open Letter to Ray Hadley of Radio 2GB

Dear Mr Hadley,

Today I came across a recording of a conversation you had with Cheryl, a primary school teacher who called in to defend NSW teachers’ decision to strike for better pay and conditions.

I’m not a huge fan of industrial action myself, but the point of this letter is not to argue the merits or otherwise of such action. Politics and democracy gives us the opportunity to have differing points of view and avenues to discuss them openly and maturely.

Rather I take issue with your abhorrent attitude towards Cheryl, who you decided you could treat with little or no respect because, “It’s my show!”

You also state that such disregard for teachers, as opposed to say the police, or nurses, is just, “A fact of life.”

The bulk of your tirade (if I may call it that) against Cheryl and the teaching profession seemed to be formed around three key points: hours worked, salary (obviously) and the nature of the job.

I’ll address each in turn.

1. Hours worked – No doubt you trump the teachers here Mr Hadley! You say that you work from 5am – 7pm, six days a week! An incredible effort. But what I find even more incredible is that for a man who obviously puts in so many hours of research, time and again you are picked up by ABC’s Media Watch for being a little frugal with the truth.Obviously comparing a teachers workload to yours only serves to highlight how little they do! Everyone knows teachers only work 9am – 3pm, five days a week – and only 40 weeks of the year!

2. Salary – Assuming a classroom teacher has been in their job for eight years, they can expect to earn a salary of around $85000. That equates to approximately $70/hour. Not bad I’m sure you’ll agree. But surely you feel a little disingenuous talking about how much people are worth when you earn $100000 alone for your “blink and you’ll miss ’em” spots on Channel 9. Let’s not forget the salary from 2GB which is reportedly anywhere between $2 million – $5 million! A little maths demonstrates that if you work as hard as you say, you’re raking in approximately $460 per hour.  Obviously I’m assuming you’re only earning $2 million 😉

3. But of course the disparity in our pay packets is justified when you attack Cheryl and every other teacher in the country by effectively saying anyone could teach. As a teacher myself, I’m a realist, I know there are good and bad teachers, just as there are bad and very bad shock jocks… but you know what? I’d bet (only if there was pre-commitment legislation of course!) that you wouldn’t last a week in the classroom, let alone a term!

But what really made me laugh was when you alluded to the fact that no-one else could do your job! (It was actually at this point I thought this may have been a prank call!)

I hear plenty of people who bully, vilify and harass others as you do. I see plenty of people who lie, promote homophobia, racism and who are just plain wrong on many things. Yes, these people do speak for some Australians, and yes, occasionally, the law of averages suggest they may make a valid point. But ALL these people are usually propping up a bar late at night somewhere and doing it for free!

Let’s be clear Mr Hadley, the reason you have been so vitriolic towards teachers is because they have challenged Barry O’Farrell and his Liberal Government. They have had the temerity to suggest that capping a wage increase at 2.5% may not actually be particularly fair given that inflation is running at 3.5%. I reckon your maths teacher could explain why.

And while your teacher’s explaining that, get them to show you that having a 20% share of the listening audience means that 80% AREN’T listening to you.

Having said that, just because you’re not as popular as you think you are doesn’t mean I was going to let this through to the keeper.

Should you be prepared to have a more mature conversation than the one you had with Cheryl, please feel free to contact me through http://danhaesler.com.

I should be able to squeeze you in… I have a few free periods.

Your sincerely

Dan Haesler

31 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Ray Hadley of Radio 2GB

  1. mrumens Reply

    It doesn’t take a lot of talent to put people down and make up stuff. I think it’s either something to do with not long enough on the teat or controversy earns big bucks. The latter is a prostitution of integrity. Guess it’s not much use appealing to Ray Hadley’s integrity if he doesn’t have any.

    • Dan H Reply

      Hey, thanks for your comment.
      No doubt controversy earns big bucks… but who does that reflect worse on? Society or the media?
      Cheers,
      Dan

  2. Sean Reply

    Why r u so worried about Ray? I would think that someone in your position would be more worried about how the generation you are teaching are turning out, lucky for you that this is not part of your EBA because I understand how hard you work but I would hate to see you have to return so much of your salary.
    Parents and teachers hold the key I thought not cash!!!!! Clever Article but any dummy can produce that Dan!
    Hope you enjoy correcting spelling and grammar coz I thought the holidays were approaching and you might be bored.
    Sean

  3. Aussie Bob Reply

    Oh Dan. You really can’t take the fact that you are used as a pawn of the teacher unions for their own political agenda. So please tell me how many times you went on strike during the 16 years of Labor govt in NSW? I’ll look forward to your answer.

    The fact is that there are thousands of teachers throughout Australia and unlike your breed, Ray is actually paid on performance. When did you last receive a ratings report on how effective you were? Ray get his every 5 weeks and happens to be the top performer in Australia’s most competitive market. If he doesn’t perform, he would no doubt be gone in a flash. How long would it take to remove you from your job and under what circumstances could that happen? I again look forward to your answer.

    And when was your pay linked to performance indicators? No, I didn’t think it had been. So Dan, please get back to your cushy job providing mediocre teaching performance to our children.

    If the Liberal government are such devilish employers, perhaps think about resigning and getting a job in the private sector. Yeah, didn’t think so.

    • crazyHorse Reply

      Hadley’s popularity as a shock-jock in the red-neck radio market might be linked to his ability to be rude to people like Cheryl, but the real issue is his rudeness to Cheryl, independent of why he was or is rude (ie. shock-jock value).

      .Hadely was rude, and all your ramblings, AussieBob, are irrelevant.

    • Dan H Reply

      Hey Aussie Bob!
      Wow! You really are fan of Rays aren’t you?
      To answer your questions… I have only been on strike once (for 2 hrs) in fifteen years of teaching – in protest of John Howard’s proposed Work Choices legislation.
      Teachers went on strike in NSW in 2009 in opposition to the Labour Govt, so your argument falls at the first hurdle I’m afraid.
      With regard to performance… I am rated every hour of every day by my students. If I’m not cutting it… they let me know – I’m sure you’ve heard how rude teenagers are nowadays… and unlike Ray I can’t just “hang up” on them because it’s my classroom and I don’t like what they have to say.
      With regards to performance related pay I’ll direct you to an informed piece about the subject (yes… yes… I know… I wrote it….)
      With regard to your last point, what so many people who don’t teach fail to realise is that for many teaching is “a calling.”
      We do it DESPITE the pay… not becuase of it. All we ask for in return is some modicum of respect… after all EVERYONE can name their favourite teacher.
      Not sure how many other professions can claim that.
      Cheers for your comment, I appreciate you taking the time to read my piece and discuss it.
      Cheers,
      Dan

    • Eric Hixon Reply

      I wonder how you’d go in a classroon Aussie Bob? were you the one who stole my lunch money way back in the days when I went to school??

  4. jonesytheteacher Reply

    Nice work Dan, but he’ll never see it I reckon. He’s too busy working all those hours, looking for the next target of his misplaced stereotypical moral outrage rants. But most tellingly he’s not looking for truth, he’s after ego boosting, salary raising, head swelling ratings. Rest easy in the knowledge that the work he does will be long forgotten while your work lives on in your students.

    • Dan H Reply

      Cheers for stopping by Jonesy!! I appreciate it!
      I know what you’re saying… still it would be fun to have a chat with Ray!
      Dan

  5. WhitbyDunlop Reply

    Hey, Dan. I’m on your side, but you don’t need to start in on late night drinkers.

  6. John Doe Reply

    I tend to agree with your sentiments, Dan, but isn’t your name calling and sarcasm putting you at Hadley’s level (Whomever the is; I don’t listen to shock jocks)?

    • Dan H Reply

      Hey John…
      Probably a fair call… although I’m not sure I called him names… I just pointed out some of his behaviours…
      Guilty as charged on the sarcasm tho… 😉
      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment!
      Cheers
      Dan

  7. Smithe Reply

    Nice to see you having a go at Hadley.

    The guy has an ego the size of the Hindenburg, but like all hydrogen-filled 2GB gas bags, he’s pretty easy to light-up.

  8. greg s Reply

    Hey, Dan H, what a great letter to Mr Hadley – the one who must be obeyed and listened to!

    I’m from Brisbane and listened to it online, and have never been so embarrassed or disgusted at the treatment Cheryl received.

    To be sure, Hadley won’t personally reply, but you may get one of his spin doctors to say something. After all, they do his editorials for him every day. Hadley wouldn’t have the intelligence to argue rationally about anything, except perhaps football.

    Good luck, mate.

    • Dan H Reply

      That’s the thing… I enjoy listening to him comment of football… and he does often fight for some good causes… but I feel he lets himself down badly when he carries on like this!

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!
      Dan

  9. Michael Cusack Reply

    You are comparing apples with oranges. A teacher takes a class of students with open minds and teaches them how to think and reason. A shock jock talks to an audience of closed minded bigots and tells them how to react.

  10. Daniel Reply

    Good on you Dan, coming from a family of teachers I know how terrible that job is, coupled by the fact that with two parents working full time as teachers, money was always tight.

    I recently graduated high school and went to study engineering, and looking at who went into teaching from all my friends from different schools, the ones that went into teaching were kinda third grade (no offence meant). Their is no real incentive for ‘best and brightest’ to go into teaching when the top level pay, say around $90 000, is the same pay you can get in your first year of doing engineering.

    • Dan H Reply

      Daniel… no offence taken.
      Like I’ve said before, teachers go into teaching despite the money, not because of it.
      Cheers
      Dan

  11. Sue Peterson Reply

    The problem teachers’ have is that everyone thinks they’re an expert because we all went to school. They don’t see the time spent on preparation and extra curricular activities, report writing, marking etc that goes on after the bell rings and on weekends. My daughter teaches austistic children and has to do an individual learning program for every child in her class. The parents come to her for help with their behavioural problems as well. The arrogance of mouthpieces like Hadley just make me sick. I bet his kids went to a private school which he had no problem paying thousands in fees for. What does he think those fees pay for? Not just the school pool and cricket pitch, they go to the teachers’ salaries so the school can pinch the best teachers from the public system, educated in a tertiary system paid for by the public purse. BTW.

  12. Eric Hixon Reply

    Thanks for your open letter, I was once named on air and my email address broadcasted to the public ( for which I recieved some very nasty and bully boy emails)because I sent Hadley an email about his bias towards anyone who had a different point of view to him and his abuse to me when i rang his station to ask him when he was going to ask the hard questions of his friends in the Liberal Party. He went beserk at me on air. What a sad man he is. I do listen to him and Jones because it gives me a laugh.

  13. Peter Reply

    Hi Dan, just came across this letter. Unfortunately shock jocks are left floundering when in comes to intelligent debate and are about as childish as the politicians that the radio stations owners command them to support. After putting 2 children through the education system I believe 2 things about teachers. A bad teacher who has no interest in teaching and finds a child’s thirst for knowledge some source of annoyance or who shows empathy to students in matters of social justice. These teachers cause far more harm than good and have no right to be in the teaching profession. The other is the dedicated teacher who brings out the best in a student by encouragement and understanding. These teachers no matter what their salary is are the most underpaid people in Australia. Unfortunately shock jocks who attack teachers like Cheryl go from one topic to another and have a very limited knowledge and only engage in themselves in a short term view on complex matters. In short their lack of credibility and integrity has been fostered by their belief that money and power measures success.

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