Isle of Man teachers to be balloted despite pay rise – BBC News

A ballot for strike action over pay and conditions will go ahead as planned, despite the biggest pay rise for 15 years, a teaching union has said.

The education minister has confirmed increases of 5.5% for new starters and 2.75% for all other educators.

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) opened its ballot for members on Tuesday.

It is concerned the rise is being part-funded through “efficiency savings”.

It said an unfunded rise could “compound the problem” of recruitment.

The Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) said the increase would lead to a 3.1% overall increase in the pay budget for teachers on the island.

While 2% was already factored into the DESC’s budget, the additional 1.1% would need to be “found from within existing budgets”, it added.

‘Efficiency savings’

On Tuesday, the UK Education Secretary announced he had accepted all recommendations in the independent School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) report.

Pay for teachers on the island has been linked to those in England since 1992, and the latest rise would be implemented from September.

DESC Minister Alex Allinson said the increases recognised “the outstanding contribution teachers make to our society” and would “help attract the most talented candidates” into the profession.

“This is the biggest pay rise the profession has seen since 2005 – with above-inflation rises to the pay ranges for every single teacher,” he said.

Damien McNulty, a member of the NASUWT’s national executive, said: “While we welcome the commitment to honour the pay rise in line with England, as recommended by the STRB, our expectation is that it would be a fully funded pay award and not found through efficiency savings.

“Working conditions and workload are the biggest reasons for people leaving the profession and efficiency savings would compound that.”

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