Jersey teaching union suspends industrial action as 8% pay rise offered to teachers

Teachers have been in a year long dispute with the government over pay and working conditions. Credit: ITV Channel

Jersey teaching unions have been offered a new 2024 pay deal by the States Employment Board, the government body responsible for HR matters.

It's part of a long-running dispute with the island's government over pay and working conditions.

The new deal is for an 8% pay rise from 1 January 2024, and a one-off payment of £1,000 on the same date.

The offer also includes pay rises for 2025 and 2026 in line with inflation.

However, the offer is conditional on members agreeing to an "Essential Services Agreement" whereby 14 days' notice would have to be given before any future strike action.

Additionally, the employment board has insisted that all strikes must be suspended while members are balloted on the new deal.

Jersey's two main teaching unions, NASUWT and NEU, have confirmed they will ballot their members on the fresh proposals, which are contingent on no industrial action taking place.

ITV News understands the NASUWT's work-to-rule industrial action from Tuesday 5 November and NEU's strikes from December 12 - 14 will not go ahead whilst members are consulted on the new offer.

The NASUWT is urging its members to accept this offer as they consider it to be the "best that is likely through negotiations".

However, it added: "This would represent a consolidated real-terms cut of 2.1% over three years", as the RPI figure for January 2024 is 10.1%

The current offer would bring the notice period for strike action in line with the UK.

Deputy Elaine Millar, the new Vice Chair of the States Employment Board says: "A pay offer for 2024, 2025 and 2026 has been made to the NASUWT and the NEU.

"The NASUWT has confirmed that they are prepared to withdraw the action short of strike action to enable the union to consult with members on the latest offer from the employer on a without prejudice basis."

She added the SEB is "waiting for the NEU to confirm to the States Employment Board that they will put the latest offer to their members" - however ITV News understands that surveys have already been sent out to members.

The NASUWT's General Secretary, Dr Patrick Roach, said: "It is regrettable that it took an escalation of action short of strike action to obtain an offer that was worthy of consultation with our members.

"However, the NASUWT’s National Action Committee has agreed to suspend all industrial action whilst we consult with members over the latest offer.

"We will continue to support members to ensure they receive a fair deal on pay and working conditions."

The ballot of NASUWT members will run until Friday 15 December.

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