Isle of Man teachers confirm strike action over pay and conditions

Pupils in classroom
Image caption,

More than 400 teachers on the island are members of the NASUWT union

Isle of Man teachers will take strike action in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions, a union has confirmed.

It comes as members of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) “overwhelmingly rejected” a revised pay offer.

Six days of strike action in two-day blocks is scheduled to start on 30 November and continue in January and February.

The new deal would have seen most teachers receive an 8% pay rise.

The updated pay offer for the new school year would also have seen the starting salary for newly qualified teachers increase to £36,557, a rise of 11.9%.

A Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) spokesman said the department had not yet been formally notified of the union’s rejection of the latest offer.

‘No choice’

About 400 members of the NASUWT have been engaged in action short of striking since April, which was escalated in September to teachers not covering breaks or absences.

That led to home learning cycles for students at two island secondary schools for a time.

NASUWT general secretary Patrick Roach said responsibility for the escalation and any further disruption “lies entirely” with the department.

Dr Roach said teachers were “unable to make ends meet due to the soaring cost of living” and the revised pay offer represented a “real-terms pay cut”.

Although staging a walk out was the “last thing our members want to do”, they had been “left with no other choice”, he added.

The DESC implemented a pay offer in June that saw island teachers paid 1% more than their counterparts in England.

The new pay arrangements, which were backdated to September 2021, came into effect in July despite the deal being rejected by the NASUWT.

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