Monday 02 October 2023
Select a region

"Look at the facts"

Tuesday 25 April 2023

"Look at the facts"

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Both sides of the ongoing dispute between teachers and the States have urged the panel deciding on the staff pay award to look at the facts before they announce their decision later today.

Those facts remain the centre of some contention though - with teaching unions claiming some staff have been left in relative poverty having suffered pay erosion since 2008, while Policy and Resources says there is no more money in the pot to pay teachers any more than what has been offered.

P&R represents the States on all employee relation matters including pay awards.

They offered teachers a three year deal for 2022, 23 and 24 which included a 5% uplift to salaries for last year and £500 which would be consolidated into pay scales and become permanent and pensionable (backdated to 1 January 2022 with the applicable RPIX of 2.3%). For 2023 the deal included an uplift equal to RPIX as at 30 June 2022, which was 7%, for 2023, and an uplift equal to RPIX as at 30 June 2023, minus 1% for 2024. In the event that RPIX falls below 1% this year then teachers would be given a pay award of zero to avoid a pay cut.

That pay offer has been rejected by the unions and after P&R and the unions failed to agree a new deal, the matter was referred to a Tribunal, which was held yesterday.

The unions want 7% for 2022 and 2% above inflation for 2023 and 2024.

teachers pay tribunal

Pictured: The Tribunal yesterday was held at the Peninsula Hotel.

During yesterday's Tribunal, P&R said that all other pay groups - including most recently nurses - have accepted their pay offers, meaning teachers are the only ones still fighting for more money. Deputy David Mahoney said there is no money available to offer them any more and he said the teachers' unions had used incorrect figures in its submission, including grossly underestimating the size of the island's financial deficit.

"As the employer we have the facts," he told the Tribunal Panel yesterday, before urging the panel - chaired by Roy Lewis along with Jamie Roussel and Nicolla Tanguy - to look at those facts, and to disregard claims the unions had made about staff living in relative poverty.

He said the unions' evidence had included "anecdotal statements" and "inaccurate figures" filled with "hyperbole" and "bluster" which he said was "dangerous".

"This submission contains page after page of anecdotal evidence which cannot be proved.

"We urge the panel to disregard the pages of anecdote and to stick to indisputable facts."

skint poor bankrupt empty benefit income support cost of living

Pictured: Pay erosion since 2008 has left lower ranked teachers in relative poverty, according to their union representatives.

Deputy Mahoney said the pay offer open to teachers equates to a 19% pay rise over three years. "The average person on a bus would think a 19% pay rise over three years is good," he said. "The majority of private sector workers are not getting that.

"It is good, considering the squeeze on public finances."

Deputy Mahoney also said that the island's high cost of living, and housing costs in particular, is a matter for the States as a whole, not one to be addressed through increased pay. 

In response, the teachers unions were represented by Collas Crill Partner Michael Adkins. He also urged the Panel to look at the facts.

"Teachers are paid far less today than they were in 2008 in real terms," he said. "We have given examples of the impacts of that."

Advocate Adkins went on to say that the teachers on the lowest pay grades have around £489 a month left after paying rent.

"It is the actual experience of teachers," he said.

Advocate Adkins said industrial action remains a possibility with teachers recently voting in favour of "strike action" or "action short of a strike" in a ballot by the NASUWT.

"The majority of teachers have indicated they are inclined to take industrial action.

"Policy and Resources are responsible for teachers' pay. They are the employer. Despite their attempts to make it a problem for the whole government, it is their problem."

The Tribunal panel said they will publish their decision on Tuesday morning.  

Pictured top: Collas Crill Partner Michael Adkins (inset left) and Deputy David Mahoney (inset right). 


Some teachers claim to be living in poverty

TODAY: Teachers v The States

Teachers and States to go head to head

"Very fair award" remains open to teachers

Teachers want to strike

Teachers could 'work to rule' in pay row

Teachers could strike over pay dispute

Teachers "seriously considered" quitting

Teachers' union: “Failure to commence negotiations in good time is unacceptable"

States want staff vote on pay deal

Line drawn under pay negotiations

Pay rise "not accepted"


Sign up to newsletter



Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

There are no comments for this article.

To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?