Was the Transition to the Performance-based Contract at Vocational Schools in Moscow Region Successful?
The goal of our study was to compare the working conditions, salary size, and professional outcomes of teachers at schools that switched to the competitive performance-based (so-called ‘effective’) contract in comparison with teachers at schools that did not switch to this employment framework. The study focused on teachers at 83 vocational secondary schools (VSS) that are subordinate to the Ministry of Education of Moscow Region. We conducted an opinion poll to obtain direct information from teachers. We sent questionnaires consisting of 31 questions to 253 teachers. Of the respondents, 105 were included in the experimental group and 148 were placed in the control group. The results of our study show that teachers who work in organizations that have switched to the effective contract model have a higher subjective assessment of their own financial situation, greater expectations regarding their future income, greater confidence about the compensation plan, and a better opinion of the prestige of the teaching profession than teachers at schools that have not adopted an effective contract. The only parameter that cannot be interpreted as an unambiguously positive result is an increase in the frequency of teacher performance assessments at schools that have adopted an effective contract. It was also possible to establish the existence of a moderate relationship between the individual nature of the employment contract and the level of trust that teachers have in their compensation plan. In addition, we established another moderate relationship between informedness and the level of trust that teachers place in their compensation plan. Thus, we can recommend implementing the performance-based contract model at all VSS in the Moscow Region, because it has a positive impact on the immaterial motivation and financial position of teachers. By conducting additional measures to increase teachers’ informedness about effective contracts, we can increase their level of trust in them.