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Teachers To Step Up Industrial Action

Teachers will escalate their industrial action from Monday, as the bitter dispute over pay continues.

Members of the NASUWT union will work to rule, meaning they will only do their core roles and won't attend any meetings or extracurricular activities outside their normal hours.

The ‘action short of strike’ was due to begin this Monday (20 Nov), but was pushed back pending what the union called a 'promised pay offer' from the States Employment Board.

However, the government told Channel 103 that talks about 2023 pay uplifts were closed after union representatives rejected independent arbitration.

Vice Chair of the SEB, Andy Jehan, says he is 'disappointed' to hear about the union’s escalation of industrial action.

"To resolve the 2023 dispute and to ensure the well-being and safeguarding of our children and young people, the SEB offered a one-off payment to teachers in return for an essential service agreement that would provide 20 days’ notice for any future proposed industrial action.

The agreement was proposed to protect and safeguard the most vulnerable children and young people. Disappointingly, the offer was rejected"

The Education Minister, Deputy Inna Gardiner echoes the SEB's disappointment.

"In taking this action, NASUWT are causing harm to parents, children, and teachers.

Throughout this process, I have been keen to see all sides reach a compromise, and retain a productive relationship: this includes offering to meet with NASUWT myself over the last two weeks.

It is frustrating that this decision comes after significant progress on a range of issues that teachers have identified, including changes to terms and conditions, and establishing a multi-year pay deal.

I will be honest with parents and Islanders: while we will work closely with headteachers to mitigate some of the effects of this action, pupils will be affected. Individual schools will contact parents directly with further details."

The NASUWT’s enhanced action from Monday (27  November) is likely to impact most schools. Already some headteachers have written to parents to say they are having to delay opening times because of a lack of staff to open gates at the usual school drop-off times.  

The National Education Union is due to walk out for three days next month, on 12, 13 and 14 December. It's likely many of the island's schools will close for a fourth time this year.

Speaking to us last week, Jersey NASUWT Negotiating Secutary, Marina Mauger said that her union has no plans to join the walkout, but that 'could change'.

Channel 103 has asked the NASUWT for comment.

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