Members of the Jersey branch of school leaders’ union NAHT have voted decisively in favour of strike action in an ongoing dispute with employers over pay.
Public sector workers in Jersey have been subjected to many years of below inflation pay awards. This year’s pay offer, which is part of a two-year deal, is once again below RPI, and therefore amounts to a real-terms pay cut. School leaders do not feel that this offer fairly represents the essential work done in Jersey’s public services, including in its schools.
In a statutory industrial action ballot:
87% voted to take strike action;
100% voted to support action short of a strike;
There was a 75% turnout.
Sam Cooper, NAHT Branch President for Jersey, said: “The result of this ballot clearly shows the strength of feeling and we hope that it will prompt the States of Jersey to consider their priorities and to come back to the table.
“No immediate industrial action is planned, but we have had enough of being taken for granted year after year. Despite our important work and the fact that educational standards are rising in Jersey, school leaders and all public sector workers are not getting a fair deal. The door is still open for the employers here, but we have reached the eleventh hour.”
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, said: “We are right behind our colleagues in Jersey. We have seen that 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 Jersey’s aspirations to raise the academic and social standards and outcomes for the children and young people on the island will come to fruition. The current pay offer does not cover the expectation placed upon Jersey’s school leaders.”
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