Teachers and heads in Isle of Man reject ‘insulting’ 2% pay offer

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Hull NASUWT members on a TUC march against cuts

TEACHERS on the Isle of Man have voted overwelmingly for strike action in a row over pay, following an insulting 2% pay offer.

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) ballot gained 84% support for a walkout.
General secretary Patrick Roach said the 2% pay offer by the government had ‘ignited deep anger across the teaching profession’.
The government said the pay talks remains ongoing.
About 650 of the teachers were asked whether they supported industrial action after the proposed pay rise was rejected by members in an earlier ballot on the offer itself.
Two-thirds of those eligible responded to the latest ballot, with 94% supporting action short of strike over pay, workloads and working conditions.
‘Kick in the stomach’
The offer by the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC), which would be backdated to cover the 2021-2022 financial year, followed a pay freeze for teachers in England.
While pay increases for teachers on the island are linked to those given in England, the DESC previously agreed to reopen negotiations in any year where the average pay increase agreed was 0.5% below Manx inflation.
Roach said the union’s members are ‘unequivocal and united in their demand for a better deal for teachers’.
He said the ‘substantially below-inflation’ offer had been a ‘kick in the stomach’ to those who had seen the value of their pay fall by almost 30% compared to inflation over the past decade.
‘Today’s vote must be a wake-up call to the government which has failed to deliver the fair pay and working conditions that they deserve.
‘If the Isle of Man government continues to ignore the serious concerns of teachers, NASUWT members are clear that they are prepared to take action to secure a better deal for teachers.’
Some 55% of members of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) who took part voted against accepting the government’s offer of a 2% increase.
NAHT national secretary Rob Kelsall said the offer fell ‘well below’ what had been requested.
The Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) has been approached for a response.
The union has written to the education minister to request negotiations now be reopened.
The latest offer followed a pay freeze for teachers in England in 2021-22 by the UK Secretary of State.
Pay increases for teachers on the island are linked to those given in England.
However, under an agreement reached in 2020, the DESC pledged to re-open negotiations in any year where the average pay increase agreed was 0.5% below Manx inflation.
‘Unprecedented workload’
NAHT is one of four unions which represent teachers on the island.
Richard Tanton of the Association of School and College Leaders said that his union was ‘aware of the latest pay offer’ and was in the process of consulting its members.
The National Education Union has yet to announce its stance on the proposed deal.
The NAHT’s Kelsall said the offer did not ‘address the immediate and unprecedented workload demands that has been placed on teachers as a result of the ongoing global pandemic’.
He said: ‘Members have said in a clear, united voice that they want to see a fair settlement.
‘Education is an investment, not only in our children’s life chances, but in the island’s future.’
The latest offer followed pay freeze for teachers in England in 2021-22 by the UK Secretary of State.
Pay increases for teachers on the island are linked to those given in England.
However, under an agreement reached in 2020, the DESC pledged to re-open negotiations in any year where the average pay increase agreed was 0.5% below Manx inflation.

  • The NASUWT continued to oppose and reject the acceptance of the latest below inflation pay offer from employers at a meeting of the SNCT (Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers) Teachers’ Panel.

Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: ‘The actions of the employer throughout this process have been characterised by dither and delay – it is wholly unacceptable that a pay rise that should have been agreed for 1 April 2021 is not yet in members’ pockets.
‘The 0.22% added to the latest offer has already been outstripped by a 0.7% rise in the CPI inflation rate.
‘Teachers, along with the wider public, are already facing a cost-of-living crisis which is only going to get worse over the coming months. The least they deserve, having worked tirelessly to keep the education system afloat during the pandemic, is a proper pay rise and not a significant real-terms pay cut.’
Mike Corbett, NASUWT National Official Scotland, said: ‘67% of NASUWT members have indicated that they have seriously considered quitting the teaching profession in the last 12 months and, unless teachers get the rewards they deserve, a recruitment and retention crisis beckons.
‘This will have a direct impact on the Scottish government’s aim of recruiting additional teachers which, in turn, may impact on efforts to reduce class teacher contact time: a key Scottish government commitment to try and address spiralling teacher workload.
‘A “perfect storm” approaches and the acceptance of this pay offer and the failure to give teachers a substantial pay rise only threatens to increase the risks to teacher supply in our schools.’

  • Commenting on last week’s publication of the Schools White Paper, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: ‘This is a White Paper which does not reflect on the mistakes of the past, does not address the problems of the Covid-19 present and does not have the answers for the future.

‘Its message is that the education of the future will be a souped-up version of what we have seen over the last decade.
‘Schools and their students need better than that. This is not the vision of education recovery which is needed for England.
‘Schools are being battered here and now by a storm of real problems. Funding levels are inadequate. Child poverty is increasing.
‘Key indicators of attainment, such as the attainment gap, are moving in the wrong direction. Targets for teacher recruitment are not being met while low play and intense pressures of workload are leading teachers to leave in large numbers.
‘Our curriculum and qualifications system is outdated and sells our students short.  The pressure on budgets mean cuts to teaching assistants and welfare posts.
‘The White Paper does not recognise the seriousness and depth of these issues. Even where it points to important problems, such as mental health, support for SEND and behaviour, it does not commit sufficient funding to them.
‘Its main message is “academise, academise, academise” and a reliance on multi-academy trusts which is simply not-evidence led. Last week the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee reported that the existing academy system lacked transparency and accountability and spoke of the “mysterious millions” that disappeared into the coffers of favoured trusts.
‘The White Paper presents this flawed and failing approach as the education of the future. Without convincing evidence for the “value added” by academisation, it sets out a massive, costly and unwelcome programme of structural change.
‘The White Paper does not recognise that the problems our system faces need to be addressed by bold, inclusive and compassionate thinking and by multi-agency working, strong support services, and well-resourced local authorities. The DFE needs to address the serious issues highlighted by the Public Accounts Committee about the academy system.
‘The Department for Education (DfE) has not listened to the emerging consensus that the English system of curriculum and assessment needs fundamental modernisation.
‘The concerns of teachers, researchers and international experts that our system promotes teaching to the test, narrows the curriculum and fails to engage learners have not reached the government.
‘Instead, government aims to keep a failed system in place with the inevitable negative impact on children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. It aims to keep a failed system in place and to require students and teachers to work ever harder to meet its demands.
‘Expecting 90% of 11-year-olds to meet an arbitrary “expected standard” in Maths and English at Key Stage 2 without giving any indication of the support that will be needed to achieve this target will immediately raise the temperature in the educational hothouse that schools have become. It will particularly affect SEND children whose SATs results “bake in” their educational failure.
‘Schools and parents have been waiting several years for government to address the very real crisis in SEND and the scandalous gap between what parents need for their child with SEND and what an underfunded system is able to provide. What is missing in the White Paper is an assurance by education ministers that they have secured a commitment from the Treasury to secure the funding that is key to the future of SEND – funding for support staff, funding for support services and teacher education.
‘During the pandemic, schools demonstrated resourcefulness and initiative in responding to students’ social and educational needs and supported families. The White Paper has not properly listened to or learned from on this experience.  It aims to make whole school system march to the beat of a hugely centralised plan, with DfE dogma trumping professional knowledge and the local context.
‘Many local systems of collaboration that are working well and delivering results are discounted and ignored.
Ofsted inspections: ‘another turn
of the screw’
‘The statement that every school will have an Ofsted inspection by 2025 is not so much a pledge of support as another turn of the screw, which will increase the strain on teachers without addressing the gaps and pressures in the system.
‘It is fantasy thinking to focus on structures and top-down reforms as the route out of a health pandemic. This isn’t the way to support better outcomes for young people, address inequality, close gaps in learning or engage and motivate the teaching profession.’