Isle of Man teachers vote to strike in pay dispute – BBC News

Teachers on the Isle of Man have voted to go on strike over their pay.

A walk-out was overwhelmingly backed by the NASUWT, NAHT, and ASCL members, respectively enjoying the support of 94%, 87% and 76% of members.

“Action short of a strike”, meanwhile, was backed by 98%, 96% and 100% respectively.

The Department of Education, Sport and Culture said it was “eager to resume talks” with the unions to “achieve a swift resolution” to the pay dispute.

Discussions will now take place over what action will be taken and when it will start, the unions said.

Members of the three unions were balloted simultaneously as part of their long-running dispute.

A walk-out was “unlikely” in the “immediate future” but remained “an option”, the Association of School and College Leaders said.

The National Association of Schoolmasters, Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) said that while industrial action was “to be regretted”, the union had “no option but to take this unprecedented step”.

The education department said it recognised “the commitment and dedication of all teachers” and did “not want anything to jeopardise their important work”.

A fourth union, the National Education Union, reached an agreement with department on Friday, which could see pay for newly qualified teachers rise to £30,000.

The dispute began in 2018 when the School Teachers’ Review Body recommended an across-the-board pay rise of 3.5%, which was instead changed to tiered increases by the UK government.

Pay rises for teachers on the island are linked to those awarded in the UK.

Rob Kelsall, of the National Union of Head Teachers (NAHT), said “trust and confidence” between teachers and the education department was “at an all-time low”, and the result “should set alarm bells ringing” in the island’s parliament.

Sara Ford, from ASCL, called for the government to “do the right thing now and agree a fair deal”.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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