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WATCH: UUֱ teachers stage protest on second day of strike action

DOZENS of teachers staged a protest in St Helier this morning on the second day of a three-day walkout in a long-running pay dispute. 

NEU members will return to work on Friday following strikes which have forced a number of schools to close. 

In addition to a 7.9% rise which has been applied and backdated to January, teachers have been offered an 8% increase on 1 January 2024, a £1,000 lump sum on the same date and inflation-matched rises for 2025 and 2026. 

The NASUWT has suspended its work-to-rule action while it ballots members on the offer, but the NEU has rejected the deal. 

Today, NEU members gathered in St Helier and made their way to the Royal Square as States Members debated whether to increase investment in Children, Young People, Education & Skills frontline services by £2 million, instead of spending the money on the  Modernisation and Digital department. 

Teachers sat in the public gallery to watch the debate. 

In a full-page advert in Tuesday’s JEP, the government said that it had made an offer that was “fair to teachers and affordable for UUֱ”. 

It added: “This year the States Employment Board (SEB) recommended that a 7.9% pay rise should be given to public servants who provide invaluable services across the Island. 

“The offer, which the government believes was reasonable and fair, was accepted by every other group in the public service, including those in the emergency services who we’ve relied on so heavily in the last year and school support staff such as teaching assistants, lunchtime supervisors and caretakers. 

“Despite this, the teaching unions requested a 15.4% pay rise this year and the NEU have asked for a 17.6% rise in 2024. 

“Everyone would like a significant pay rise, but the government is equally certain that Islanders can see this is simply unrealistic when average earnings increased by 7.7% in the last year. 

“Giving in to the unions’ demands would put public finances into the red and keep them there.” 

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