Firstly, thank you for your concerns - we understand and appreciate that you're invested in the welfare of music teachers in NSW and around Australia, and are aiming to maintain a fair and just rate for their time.
I'd like to answer your concerns as we run our organisation with transparency, and we want you to feel comfortable with the work we do and how we run. Initially, I'd like to give you a bit of background about myself.
I was a music student at the Melbourne University Conservatorium, and would be in constant discussion with friends and classmates about how difficult it was to find a suitable job while studying that paid decent rates.
Teaching in schools did not fit our schedules, and a large number of private music schools were not paying enough to make it worth our time. One school was paying as little as $15 an hour, but we were resorting to teaching there due to lack of option.
I created this organisation to provide flexibility to music teachers when they're teaching. Our teachers are all contractors, and after hired, are never forced to take on students if they feel it's not worth their time or worth what they're getting paid.
We currently have over 50 teachers with paying students in Melbourne and many more teachers who're available and waiting to work. We tell our teachers up front in interviews that this job does not guarantee students. We hire our teachers as contractors and not as employees for this very reason. We never advertise this role as a full time position, and always advise teachers that if they are in need of work urgently, to look for positions outside of MGen as well. There is no exclusivity clause with us.
Our teachers have told us time and time again how much they love our service, and we're happy to provide some of these references if the public would like more examples.
While we are a mobile music school, we do have a number of costs that need to be accounted for. These include:
- Rent for our office space
- The salaries of my business manager and graphics/web designer
- Advertising costs
I would like to note here, that as the founder, I myself am still not getting paid through the business and that is because there are other aspects that still need that money more than I do.
I'd like to also draw your attention to our Social Projects which is where we direct our profits too. We run Music Education programs in developing communities all over the world! As a social enterprise our activities are Not For Profit, meaning that all of our profits are directed back into the organisation and the running of our Social Projects.
We have to find a healthy balance between how much is appropriate to charge the student as compared to what is a fair rate for the teacher. After consulting with many people including music students, parents in the community, other music teachers of all skill levels, we settled on our prices and pay rates.
As of this financial year, we've had to increase our prices to include GST which has been a massive hit to our students - we were encouraged to lower our teachers fees to absorb this GST cost, but we didn't feel that was fair to our teachers. We ourselves weren't able to absorb the cost as already our profit margin is quite small.
We understand that our rate does not suit many teachers who're highly qualified or have a lot of experience, but many of our teachers who're just starting out are really happy with our rates and are very well suited to our students who're mostly beginners. We are a service for our teachers, just as much as for our students. We go to extra efforts to personality match our teachers and students so that both can get the most out of the relationship.
We are a community, not a business, and aim to stay this way. We listen to our community which is our teachers and students and honestly, we've had a total of 2 complaints in the 3 years we've been running in regards to this issue, and both of these complaints were from outside parties.
The Sydney music community has responded amazingly to our job ads - in the last 2 weeks, we've had over 30 people apply for a job through us, which indicates to us that the pay rate is acceptable to them.
We hope you understand, and please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any other concerns - we are here to listen and provide the best service possible, not just too our students, but our teachers as well.
If you'd like any further information, more specifically about our finances or operations, I'm happy to answer any of your questions - please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll respond to you honestly and in a timely manner.