School leaders’ union NAHT, which represents head teachers in every primary school on the Isle of Man, has today confirmed that its members will take action short of a strike beginning Tuesday 3 September, unless the government agrees to enter into meaningful negotiations on pay.
Earlier this month, 95 per cent of NAHT members indicated that they were prepared to take industrial action short of strike. 85 per cent of members indicated that they were prepared to take strike action. The turn-out was 71.9 per cent.
In a letter to the Isle of Man government, Paul Whiteman, NAHT’s general secretary, wrote: “NAHT remains committed to finding a negotiated settlement to the dispute and stands ready to enter into meaningful discussion to avoid the need for action.”
Since the ballot was announced, a senior figure in the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) has suggested that an invitation to attend talks had already been extended. NAHT has been in contact with the Manx Industrial Relations Service and can confirm that the department instead decided to wait for the result of the ballot and has yet to issue an invitation to further talks. At this stage, we would urge the Isle of Man government to clarify their position for the benefit of everyone on the island with an interest in this dispute.
Max Kelly, president of NAHT’s Isle of Man branch, said: “School leaders on the Isle of Man are dedicated professionals, absolutely committed to providing the best education possible for all children. They deserve a fair deal for the vital work they do. We are keen to avoid action, and the door remains open to further talks. We await an offer from the DESC to meet with them.”
A copy of NAHT’s letter to the Isle of Man authorities is available on request.
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