Updated: Oct 20
Strike action by members of the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) in Jersey has been suspended after an offer of an extra 2.5% pay in an attempt to resolve a industrial dispute.
The States Employment Board (SEB) was previously sticking to an offer of 7.9%, which had been accepted by other civil servants. The 2.5% would come from the Department for Children, Young People, Education and Skills, described as an Education Reform Allowance, in addition to the backdated 7.9%.
Other school staff are still taking action, with members of the NEU on strike and school employees with the NASUWT working to rule. The NAHT said head teachers would also be offered a further one-off allowance for 2024 if joint work between it and the government to "address changes to school leaders’ roles over the years and the impact of the Education Reform Programme (ERP) has not been completed by October 30, 2024". The offer will also "explore the possibility" of a healthcare plan for school leaders and "commitments to review" other benefits.
An online ballot will be held to decide if the NAHT will accept or reject the offer. Rob Kelsall, NAHT assistant general secretary, said there had been "no tangible improvements" on a deal until now.
He said: “The stark reality is that the pay of school leaders on the island has fallen by more than 11% in real terms since 2012, while at the same time workload has increased, especially on the back of the pandemic."
SEB vice-chairman Constable Andy Jehan said outside of pay negotiations that "the additional work of the education reform programme has been recognised through an additional duties allowance to reflect school leaders' commitment for joint working to progress the terms and conditions review and the education reform agenda". Mr Jehan said it was a "transitional arrangement funded as part of the ERP to continue its development and implementation", and that, once the changes were identified for leaders, then the SEB would then agree to "reflect this in changes to T&Cs as a separate activity".