School leaders’ union NAHT, which represents head teachers in every primary school on the Isle of Man, today (Wednesday 21 August) reveals the result of a ballot of its members, asking if they are prepared to take part in industrial action over an ongoing pay dispute.
95 per cent of members indicated that they are prepared to take industrial action short of strike. 85 per cent of members indicated that they are prepared to take strike action. The turn-out was 71.9 per cent.
NAHT will now be working with its members to determine next steps, while also continuing to seek a settlement to the dispute with the employer.
Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary, said: “School leaders on the Isle of Man have been forced to accept ten years of below inflation pay awards, amounting to real-terms pay cuts. Despite the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) last year recommending a pay rise of 3.5% for all teachers and leaders, the employers on the Isle of Man have not awarded school leaders the full amount. Failures to implement fair pay settlements for leaders and their teams have had a huge and negative impact on recruitment and retention. Without a skilled and motivated workforce, none of the government’s aspirations to raise the academic and social standards and outcomes for children and young people will come to fruition. The current pay offer does not cover the expectation placed upon Isle of Man school leaders.”
Max Kelly, of NAHT’s Isle of Man branch, said: “School leaders on the Isle of Man are feeling downtrodden and undervalued. They are dedicated professionals, absolutely committed to providing the best education possible for all children. For too long the government has taken that, and them, for granted. NAHT has been negotiating with employers since the start of the year, but to no avail. We are keen to avoid action, and the door remains open to further talks, but school leaders deserve a fair deal for the vital work they do.”
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