Guernsey teachers to vote on whether to strike over pay and workload

The NASUWT's General Secretary says it is "entirely the fault of the States" that strike action is even being considered. Credit: PA

Members of a Guernsey teaching union will be asked whether they want to strike over pay and workload.

The NASUWT says comparatively low pay in Guernsey compared to the UK and Jersey is causing problems recruiting and retaining teachers on the island.

The union is planning to open a ballot next week, giving members four months to decide whether to take industrial action.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT's General Secretary, says that striking is "a last resort" but the decision to take this measure is "entirely the fault of the States."

He says: "An award that recognises the historic erosion in pay is required, along with tangible action to tackle ever-increasing workload demands. Without this, Guernsey will only find it ever more difficult to recruit and retain the teachers our children and young people need".

The union says the current pay offer for teachers is a cut in real terms and has fallen behind median earnings and pay given to other States employees.

Deputy Dave Mahoney, the Policy & Resources Committee lead for employer matters says he is really disappointed that the NASUWT is determined to push for strike action:

"There is a set process under Guernsey law for resolving pay disputes which is through the Industrial Disputes Officer and that is where this dispute is currently. I’d really urge them to reconsider and to give that process a chance.

"Employees in all areas of the organisation, and the unions that represent them, have accepted this offer already. Only in the case of nurses and other health workers, and teachers, has it so far been rejected."

He says the offer is a fair one which "recognises that contribution and balances it against the pressure on public finances.”

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