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More strikes to come? Teaching union label latest pay offer 'unacceptable'

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THE latest pay offer for teachers is 'unacceptable' according to Jersey's largest teaching union the NASUWT which has issued a warning that industrial action could now be escalated.

Picture:DAVID FERGUSON. (24919753)

On Monday night the National Education Union accepted the latest pay offer from the States Employment Board after weeks of negotiations and days of strike action.

But now the NASUWT has urged the SEB 'to get back around' the negotiating table to address 'serious shortcomings in its current offer'.

A pay increase for 2020 of 2.1% above inflation, comprising of 1.3% consolidated increase as well as an additional 0.8% conditional on reforms and efficiencies has been offered.

Commenting on the offer, Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT said: 'The NASUWT has continued to seek an agreement through negotiation that meets the legitimate expectations of teachers in Jersey.

'While the NASUWT recognises and welcomes that important improvements have been proposed to the pay award imposed on teachers earlier this year, the current offer is not acceptable.

'Of particular concern is the approach proposed by the SEB to the review of Supplementary Allowances (SA).

'The NASUWT does not dispute that is reasonable for the Government of Jersey to reform approaches to the ways in which teachers are paid for taking on additional responsibilities that benefit children and young people.

'However, the principle objective of the SEB on this issue appears to be to use its proposed review of teachers’ terms and conditions to take money away from teachers, rather than to conduct an objective investigation of the ways in which SAs operate in practice.

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'NASUWT and its members have highlighted ways in which the employer could save significant amounts of money through more efficient management of non-staff costs in the education system.

'Better use of public resources in this area would save many times more than the amount that would be recouped through cutting investment in pay for additional responsibilities. The fact that the SEB has failed to acknowledge this simple fact and has persisted with its proposed attack on SAs is unreasonable and difficult to understand.

'Implementation of the current offer would undermine the existing terms and conditions of many teachers and could result in other teachers currently not in receipt of an SA being asked to take up additional tasks and responsibilities for no additional pay.

'The NASUWT will never collaborate in the imposition of any reforms to teachers’ terms and conditions that risks such adverse impacts on their pay, workload and career progression prospects.

'The NASUWT will now be consulting with its members on next steps, including potential escalation of its industrial action. In the meantime, the Union urges the SEB to get back around the table to address the serious shortcomings in its current offer.'

Jack Maguire

By Jack Maguire
author

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