MEMBERS of the NASUWT teaching union are being balloted on whether to take industrial action after rejecting the government’s pay offer.
The ballot – for both strike action and activity short of strike action – opened on Monday for members of all States schools, including Highlands College, grant aided colleges, and independent schools. It will close on 12 June.
The NEU teaching union has also previously confirmed it would be balloting members.
In a statement, the NASUWT said the ballot was the result of ‘the failure of the States to address the years of real-terms pay erosion that teachers have suffered since 2008, or to address spiralling workloads’. In its statement the NASUWT says that teachers, who are being offered a 7.9% rise, have suffered an 8.8% real-terms pay cut since 2008 when inflation is taken into account.
The current rate of inflation in Jersey stands at 12.7%.
Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT general secretary, said: ‘Due to the unwillingness of the States to re-enter into negotiations with us over pay and workload we have been left with no choice but to open a ballot of members for industrial action.’
He added that the current pay offer was ‘insufficient’ given the ‘historic erosion of pay, the lack of competitiveness of teachers’ salaries compared to other professions, and the acute recruitment and retention issues that Jersey schools are currently experiencing’.
Dr Roach continued: ‘Salaries are also increasingly uncompetitive compared with the UK, once the higher cost of living is taken into consideration.
‘Pay has been eroded during a period when teachers have seen their workloads spiral upwards, a toxic combination which has left teachers feeling increasingly frustrated, demoralised and angry.’
Mediation talks are due to be held between the unions and the government next month.