Members of a teaching union working in Guernsey and Alderney have voted "overwhelmingly in favour" of industrial action - a move described as "unprecedented" by union leaders themselves.
The NASUWT - The Teachers’ Union - recently balloted members over their pay and workload.
While just over half of union members took part in the ballot - at 57% - the vast majority of those (87%) voted in favour of 'action short of strike action'.
76% of members voted in favour of strike action.
The NASUWT has today said it will now consider the scope of, and a timetable for, industrial action in Guernsey.
Teachers and other staff employed at the Bailiwick's States run schools across Guernsey, Alderney and Herm could be affected.
Pictured: P&R is responsible for States pay awards and Deputy Dave Mahoney is the States member with responsibility for negotiating with teaching unions and other groups.
The ballot over industrial action followed the rejection of a pay offer which had included a 5% raise for 2022 plus £500 across all pay grades, an inflationary increase this year, and inflation minus 1% next year.
The long running dispute between Policy and Resources - the States committee responsible for employment and pay matters of all States workers - and teaching unions reached a dead end in January after an NASUWT spokesperson said "the ball is very much in the States court". No new offer was forthcoming.
Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, today said the rejected pay offer represents a "further real-terms pay cut for teachers in Guernsey".
The union has repeatedly called for improved pay following what it has called "years of pay erosion stretching back to 2008".
The union said teachers’ pay has fallen behind median earnings growth and pay awards given to other States employees and is also increasingly uncompetitive compared with the UK and Jersey. The UK comparison is based on the higher cost of living in the islands.
Pictured: Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said the vote in favour of industrial action is "unprecedented".
“NASUWT members have overwhelmingly voted to take action. This is unprecedented on Guernsey," said Dr Roach.
“The NASUWT has been warning the States for many years that the morale of the teaching profession was collapsing under the weight of ever increasing workloads and diminishing pay, yet these warnings have repeatedly been ignored.
“This situation was completely avoidable, and the fact that members have voted for action is a damning indictment of the States’ policies and practices.
“The States should be in no doubt of the resolve of NASUWT members, and need to lift their collective heads from the sand and sit down with us so that we can collectively look to solve the problems facing the profession in Guernsey.
“If such a commitment is not forthcoming from the States, then we will have no option but to move to industrial action.”
Pictured: The pay offer has been reflected in numerous news articles since teaching unions first rejected it, and said they were "angry" with it.
With 87% of balloted members saying they support 'action short of strike action' compared to 76% voting for strike action, no details have been given about what action could be taken.
The industrial action could involve staff at all States run schools in Guernsey - across the mainstream primary and secondary and SEND sectors, as well as Alderney and Herm's schools.
The Bailiwick's three private colleges would not be involved in any industrial action, as their pay is not determined by the States. However staff may be union members regardless of which sector they work in.
Express has reached out to the Policy & Resources Committee for comment. More to come...
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