Teachers’ union vote backs strike action

Friday 23rd September 2022 8:54 am
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(IOM Newspapers )

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Most members of the island’s biggest teaching union have voted in support of a strike.

The Department of Education, Sport and Culture is in a long-running dispute over pay with the union.

The department has implemented the 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 (NEU) and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) both accepted the offer in May and the department made arrangements to pay teachers and lecturers, using the improved pay scales, from July 2022.

But members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union in the Isle of Man have now voted overwhelmingly to continue with their campaign of industrial action.

It says that 82% voted in support of strike action with 92% in support of action short of strike action in a reballot.

NASUWT members have been undertaking action short of strike action since late April, withdrawing from a range of activities which do not directly relate to teaching and learning, including attending meetings and providing cover for absent colleagues.

This action was escalated earlier this month with members no longer undertaking break duties or any marking, setting and assessment of cover work arising from any planned or unplanned staff absence.

This led to Ballakermeen and St Ninian’s high schools sending year groups home.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT general secretary, said: ‘NASUWT members have reaffirmed their determination to take action to demand a better deal for all teachers in the Isle of Man.

’The DESC is mistaken if they think teachers are prepared to accept a substantially below-inflation pay offer while they have seen the value of their pay fall by around 30% in real terms since 2010.

’We remain ready to find a resolution to this dispute through a negotiated settlement with the DESC.

’However, unless significant progress is forthcoming from the DESC, there is a real risk of further escalation of industrial action, including strike action.

‘The responsibility for disruption in schools rests with the DESC.

‘It is within their power to deliver the fair pay and working conditions that teachers need and deserve.’

Click here to read yesterday’s story about the dispute.

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