1. ITV Report

Jersey teachers vote to strike over pay dispute

Credit: ITV Channel TV

Teachers in Jersey have voted to strike, if necessary, in response to the pay settlement imposed by the government.

More than 97% of National Education Union (NEU) members who voted, chose to take action.

The turnout for the ballot was 59.2%.

A union spokesperson says the result reflects the pressure that teachers are feeling due to the public sector pay dispute.

Along with other public sector workers we are becoming the poor relations of the island’s economy and this is having an effect on both teacher recruitment and retention and on morale of those in post as teachers...

As far as teachers are concerned, young people only have one chance at education and, if Jersey is serious about wanting a world class education system as it claims then it needs to pay those who provide it a proper living wage that at the very least keeps pace with inflation. Unfortunately the two year deal only increases salary scales by less than the inflation rate for this year alone...

We know that, despite various protestations by spokespersons for the States, the money can be found to avoid public sector strikes if the will is there to do so. We will happily return to the negotiating table if the employer also does so with meaningful proposals but preparation for industrial action in co-ordination with other unions representing public sector workers will now begin.

– Andy Woolley, NEU Regional Secretary

It follows strikes by Customs and Immigration officers, teaching assistants and other civil servants this week.

The States of Jersey says "the facts of the situation hasn't changed", their pay deal is final and there is no more money for civil servants.

The NEU says it envisages the strikes to "roll" from school to school but final details are yet to be decided.

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