Today (Tuesday 14 January), senior officials from school leaders’ union NAHT arrive on the Isle of Man to attend a meeting where the union’s ongoing dispute with the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) over school leader pay will be discussed.
NAHT president Judy Shaw and general secretary Paul Whiteman are providing local school leaders with the full support of the wider union, which has more than 30,000 members across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Education unions NAHT, ASCL and NASUWT are currently holding a formal industrial action ballot of all their members simultaneously, in an unprecedented show of unity amongst education professionals on the island.
Unions have been in dispute with the DESC since the start of the year over pay. Teachers and school leaders on the Isle of Man have been forced to accept 10 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 island’s government has refused to award the full amount to all staff.
Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary, said: “The whole of NAHT is right behind our colleagues on the Isle of Man. We have seen that failures to implement fair pay settlements for leaders and their teams have had a huge and negative impact on the profession. 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 government has shown a complete lack of respect for hard working and dedicated professionals. In doing so you have to ask the question, do they really care about the future of the island’s children? NAHT members do, which is why we are campaigning for a just settlement to recruit and retain the very best education professionals to the Isle of Man.”
NAHT and DESC had reached an agreement at the end of September, which included a commitment to discuss future pay and conditions and to reschedule External Validations that were due to take place in November 2019. DESC has agreed to reconvene the joint union forum in relation to the Education Bill to enable unions and associations to discuss this further, prior to it being considered by Tynwald. NAHT remains committed to a successful and satisfactory resolution to the dispute.
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