Unions: No movement on teachers’ pay

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PAY negotiations between teaching unions and the government remain locked in a stalemate, while teachers in Guernsey have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.

The two main teaching unions representing around 850 teachers in Jersey say they have yet to receive any official response from the States Employment Board about the possibility of further talks.

Meanwhile, the NASUWT said that 76% of its members in Guernsey had voted to support strike action, with 87% in favour of ‘action short of strike action’.

No details have yet been given about what action may be taken, although it is understood that all States-run schools in Guernsey could be affected, including the special-needs sector and schools in Alderney and Herm.

NASUWT Jersey representative Marina Mauger said there had been no response from the employer to a request for further discussions made in mid-February.

She said: ‘We’ve heard nothing at all from the SEB, which is very disappointing and frustrating.’

The other main union, the NEU, confirmed to the JEP that there had been ‘no movement’ during the past two weeks.

Jersey unions had submitted a request for a pay rise of 15.4%, representing the rate of inflation at the end of 2022 – 10.4% – plus 5% to cover what was described as a series of real-term pay cuts in recent years.

The government offered an increase of 7.9%, a figure already accepted by other groups including police officers, prison staff, civil servants and manual workers.

The JEP has asked the government whether there was a willingness to take part in further talks with teaching unions. In a response dated 20 February to a written question by Deputy Rob Ward, Chief Minister Kristina Moore, who is the chair of the SEB, said: ‘Pay talks are continuing with school leaders’ unions and teachers’ unions.’

Having previously carried out informal surveys with members about the government’s offer, the main unions in Jersey had sought further talks before taking a decision about whether to hold an official ballot regarding industrial action.

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