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'Funds not available to solve teachers' dispute'

Extra funds to improve the pay offer for teachers on Island are not available at this time.

That's according to Manx education officials after talks resumed with teaching unions over an ongoing 18-month dispute over pay and conditions.

Discussions were suspended on March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement following the latest meeting, the Joint Trade Unions (ASCL, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU) said they were 'deeply disappointed' that the government 'stated they had no position on which to negotiate a resolution to the pay dispute.'

The unions also described the current government position on the matter as 'nothing less than shameful'.

In response, Education, Sport & Culture Minister, Dr Alex Allinson MHK, stated that after numerous offers to the unions over the past eight months, the situation had now changed due to the recent health emergency.

Dr Allinson says: "Whereas earlier in the year, it had been hoped that new resources might be available to support a pay offer over and above that agreed and implemented for teachers in England, budgetary constraints caused by the pandemic have meant that no such commitment can be given.

"Therefore, any additional pay over the 2% already provided by Treasury would have to be met by efficiency savings within the Department of Education, Sport and Culture.

"The Isle of Man Government made it clear that it was committed to continue negotiations on pay and conditions but did not want these to result in cuts which would affect the education of young people on the Island."

Both the Joint Trade Unions and DESC have stated they remain committed to ongoing negotiations to find a resolution to the issue in future.

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