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Members of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union have overwhelmingly voted In favour of continuing their campaign of industrial action in furtherance of the Union’s continued dispute with the Department for Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) over pay, pensions, workload and conditions of service.

Regulations around industrial action required the Union to reballot members in order to maintain the current dispute. 94% of NASUWT members in schools voted in favour of action short of strike action and 85% in favour of strike action. 87% of members at University College Isle of Man voted in favour of both action short of strike action and strike action. Turnout was 57% in schools and 50% at the University College.

Members of the NASUWT have been engaged in action short of strike action since 24 February. The action was temporarily suspended while a State of Emergency due to the Coronavirus pandemic was in place and resumed on 29 June.

Action to date has targeted activities which are unnecessarily driving up teachers’ workloads and which are diverting them from focusing on their core role of teaching and managing pupils’ learning. During the action pupils have continued to be taught as normal.

The NASUWT will be meeting with members to discuss the next phase of action, but in the meantime action short of strike action will continue.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“This ballot result underlines the continued anger and frustration from teachers at the ongoing failure of the DESC to address their concerns about their pay, pensions and conditions of service.

“Since 2010, teachers and school leaders have year after year faced the erosion of their pay, amounting to real-terms pay cuts of a third. The recent announcement on the pay award for 2020/21 will do little to address this erosion which is jeopardising the recruitment and retention of teachers.

“It also comes at a time when teachers’ workload is continuing to rise and changes are being proposed to pensions which would substantially worsen the arrangements for teachers.

“Teachers have pulled out all the stops during the Coronavirus pandemic to continue to provide care and support for their pupils, but they deserve to have pay and working conditions which will support the continued provision of a high-quality education service for all children and young people.

“Whilst this latest ballot result confirms members’ support for further industrial action, it is also clear that the DESC has the opportunity to avert further industrial action by committing to address the matters relating to this dispute. Its response will determine whether further action becomes necessary.”

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