The Manx Labour Party has come out in support of teachers engaged in talks with the government over pay and working conditions.

Talks between the NASUWT and DESC appear to have hit a wall, with teachers this week backing action up to, and including, striking.

NASUWT members are now working to rule, meaning that breaks and clubs are not covered, for example.

The MLP, which has two members of TynwaldJoney Faragher and Sarah Maltby, said that the island’s teachers could have already gone on strike were it not for their sense of duty towards their students and that this sense of duty ‘has been used over the past decade to justify the erosion of wages and increased workloads’.

It added: ‘Ultimately, duty doesn’t pay the mortgage or rent, it doesn’t pay bills and it doesn’t pay back student loans.

‘Wages for educators have fallen dramatically in real terms while workloads have increased. We support a fair wage rise that recognises teachers’ value; brings them real-term benefits against inflation and is sufficient to address the recruitment and retention crisis being experienced on the island.

‘Falling real-term wages and increasing workload has resulted in teachers leaving the field in droves, placing an unsustainable burden on an already understaffed education system. All workers are being hammered, and all workers deserve a better deal.

‘The Manx Labour Party was founded 100 years ago by workers and we will continue to push to improve the rights and wages of all who labour.’

Pupils in some year groups at both Ballakermeen and St Ninian’s High Schools had to be sent home as schools struggled to cope. Some pupils from Ballakermeen are still being told to stay home until half-term.

The government has given teachers London fringe pay scales and an additional Isle of Man weighting of 1%.

This saw all teachers receive an uplift between 2% to 7.6% and was backdated to September 1, 2021.

The National Education Union and the headteachers’ union have both accepted the deal, so the different positions are likely to have caused conflicts in some staff rooms.