Education Minister looks at opportunity to ‘move forward’ with teachers

Picture: JON GUEGAN. (37726768)

REBUILDING trust and fostering clear dialogue with teachers are some of the ways that the Education Minister hopes to prevent future industrial action and retain valuable education staff.

Deputy Rob Ward said improving retention would ensure the government spent money effectively and provided good services to Islanders.

Multiple teacher strikes and industrial action took place last year in a long-running dispute over pay, which was finally resolved last month.

Deputy Ward said: “We need to view education as an investment not cost, as the return from every well-educated person on the Island is significant.”

Addressing States Members this week, the former teacher added that he was “confident” that there would not be further disputes between teaching unions and the government.

“We have managed to reset trust that has been lost in the education profession over the past two years and beyond because of the industrial strike that was happening.”

He said: “The potential for industrial action only happens when the dialogue is not there and the wrong decisions have been made, which is what happened before.

“We have a clear line of dialogue and a clear line of value for the profession that gives us an opportunity to move forward with staff.”

Deputy Ward said that efforts to improve collaboration between the government and teaching assistants in schools would include updating their employment terms, roles, pay scales, career projection, as well as professional training programmes.

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