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School leaders on the Isle of Man even more determined to take action over ongoing pay dispute

  • NAHT membership on the Isle of Man has grown by 44 per cent in the past 5 months
  • 22 per cent increase in voting turnout for latest industrial action ballot
  • Increase in percentage and number of school leaders willing to take part in strike action


School leaders’ union NAHT has balloted its members on possible industrial action over an ongoing pay dispute with the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC). NAHT represents school leaders in every school on the Isle of Man.


  • 96 per cent indicated that they are prepared to take industrial action short of strike
  • 87 per cent said that they are prepared to take strike action


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.


Rob Kelsall, NAHT National Secretary, said: “School leaders and teachers have spoken. This result should set the alarm bells ringing in the Tynwald and it is now time for the Chief Minister to step-in and resolve this long running dispute. The profession has been forced into a position where taking action is the only option left open to them. Let’s hope that Ministers recognise that we have a moment in time to settle this. Trust and confidence between School Leaders, Teachers and the Department is at an all-time low. Now is the time to fix this.”


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: “This result shows that any claims the Isle of Man government are making about having solved this situation by negotiating with a single union are false. The majority of education professionals on the island have shown that they are determined not to be taken for granted any longer, and the whole of NAHT is right behind them. 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.”


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 last 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.”

Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

Email : press.office@naht.org.uk