Education Minister Julie Edge says the department will not be making a new offer to teachers, as the dispute over this year’s pay deal carries on.

Last week saw members of the NASUWT down tools for two days in the first of a series of planned strikes.

While the island’s four other unions have accepted the offer, members of the NASUWT, the largest teaching union on the Isle of Man, rejected it. However, as the other four accepted it, it can be imposed upon them.

Ms Edge said that the offer that was made was ‘full and final’.

She added: ‘We’ve had four unions accept it, we are implementing the uplift in December and backpaying in February.’

Regarding last week’s strike, Ms Edge said that on Tuesday, 30% of teachers joined a picket line, with ‘70% of our teachers in front of students’. 

Ms Edge also confirmed that the strikes largely affected secondary schools, with many primary school teachers choosing to go to work, defying the union.

Under the new deal, every teacher and lecturer on the Isle of Man will receive a pay rise month of between 8% and 11.9% with the higher salaries coming into effect before Christmas.

This also sees newly qualified teachers beginning on a starting salary of £36,557. In England, outside of London, the current starting salary for teachers is £28,000. Within the London Fringe the starting salary is £29,344. In Outer London it is £32,047 and in Inner London £35,402

However, while this benefits new teachers, one of the criticisms from the unions has been that this fails to address the issue of retaining experienced teachers, who the union says have experienced a 30% real-terms cut in pay, based on inflation measured by the Retail Price Index.

Ms Edge said: ‘We’ve uplifted all pay between 8% and 11.9% this year, last year we also uplifted it and teachers on those scales didn’t get anything in the UK and we uplifted ours on the island.

‘Overall over the last two years, it has been between a 10.3% and 18.7% uplift for everybody.’

Another area the union has wanted to see progress is a multi-year deal between itself and the department. 

Ms Edge said this would stop the need for annual negotiations but that it is ‘impossible under the current climate to do a multi-year deal with the way inflation is’. 

The NASUWT was contacted to comment on the recent strike but didn’t respond at the time the Manx Independent went to press.

NASUWT members walked out on two days last week. They intend to strike on January 11 and 12, and February 15 and 16.