Jersey teachers announce new strike dates after government discussions break down

Teachers protested in Jersey's Royal Square on Wednesday 5 July as part of an ongoing dispute with the government over pay and conditions. Credit: ITV Channel

Jersey teachers will strike for three days in September and October as part of an ongoing dispute with the government over pay and conditions.

Industrial action by teachers in the NASUWT union is planned for Tuesday 12 September, and Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 October.

Head teachers from the school leaders' union, NAHT, will also be joining the strikes held on 12 September.

These strikes were called off after positive talks in July, but NASUWT say the government has since "cynically withdrawn" promises made over backdated pay.

The union's General Secretary, Dr Patrick Roach, said: "Our members have been angered by the actions of the Government and they are resolute in stepping up their industrial action.

"This strike action was completely avoidable had the Government upheld the agreement that was reached with the NASUWT.

"The promises of backdated pay have been cynically withdrawn without explanation."

In July, hundreds of teachers in the NEU union protested in St Helier's Royal Square as part of a day of strikes over pay and conditions.

Jersey's government has previously said that a 7.9% pay rise, already agreed with others across the public sector, is fair whilst also balancing affordability.

In response to the news about the latest strikes the Vice-chair of the states employment board, Andy Jehan, said "we are disappointed to learn of strike days through the press, and not through the accepted channels."

He called the strike action an "unnecessary disruption" to children and parents after the summer holidays.

He added that "We wrote to NASUWT in July saying we are willing to back date the pay award to January 2023, if they and the NEU agreed that this would finalise the pay deal for 2023 and all industrial action would end".

He said that any attempts at mediation or conciliation from them had been "declined" by both unions.

“The solution is very simple, both the NASUWT and National Education Union have to write to us accepting the backpay and the end of the pay dispute in 2023, and we will make this payment at the earliest opportunity."

He said that "a constructive and mature approach" was needed for upcoming pay discussions with the unions for 2024.

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