The States Employment Board today made a revised pay offer to teachers in government-funded schools, in order to seek a settlement to the 2018-20 pay round and thereby bring an end to the current disputes.
Chief Minister, and chair of the SEB, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “This revised offer provides additional benefits to teachers while maintaining financial responsibility. I hope it will be agreed by the two teaching unions, and that they will recommend it to their members, so we can bring an end to the uncertainty, disruption and inconvenience to all parties and to Islanders.
“The Government has listened to teachers and their representatives, and this offer presents the opportunity to increase their 2020 pay above the RPI plus 1.3% that we originally offered, by sharing the value of any efficiencies that we can identify and agree. Our aim is to generate sustainable efficiencies worth 1.6% of the teacher pay bill, so that half of these efficiencies can be given in an additional consolidated pay increase with effect from 1 January 2020.”
The revised final pay offer in full
The offer comprises the following:
- 2018 – consolidated increase to salaries of 2.0%, with effect from 1 January 2018. A further one-off unconsolidated payment of 1.1% of salaries to be made
- 2019 – consolidated increase to salaries of 2.0% with effect from 1 January 2019. A further one-off unconsolidated payment of 1.0% of salaries to be made
- Please note that these payments have already been implemented
- 2020 – a guaranteed consolidated increase to salaries of the September 2019 Retail Prices (All-Items) Index plus 1.3%. RPI is currently forecast to be 3.1%, meaning that this increase, payable from 1 January 2020, would be 4.4%. However, the actual RPI figure will be used, which may be higher or lower
- 2020 – it is guaranteed that a further consolidated increase will be made to salaries, based on a 50:50 split of the value of benefits from genuine and new efficiencies and savings derived from a joint review of education. It is anticipated that this review will produce efficiencies worth not less than 1.6% of the teaching paybill, enabling teachers’ salaries to be increased by a further 0.8%, if these efficiencies are achieved. However, there is no limit in relation to gains available to teachers through this ‘gain-share’ arrangement. It is intended that pay increases will be effective from 1 January 2020, assuming that efficiencies and savings are achieved from the same date.
A joint working group of senior officials from the unions, CYPES and the employer will also be set up to:
- establish terms of reference agreed by all parties
- carry out a detailed review of those areas of education where savings and efficiencies can be made and which support the improvement of educational standards
- agree a baseline from which the value of savings and efficiencies can be measured openly and transparently and ahead of 1 January 2020
- the group will start its work immediately following agreement to this proposal and will conclude its work by 1 December 2019
It is important to note that while a number of key areas have already been identified for attention under this review, this is not a definitive or final list and the team will be empowered to develop further thinking. It is also important to note that aspects of education expenditure beyond simply terms and conditions of employment will fall within the remit of this review.
Savings and efficiencies are expected to be made in recurring costs, which will enable consolidated increases to be made as set out above. In the event that one-off savings are also identified through this review, then they will also be distributed on the same 50:50 basis and paid as one-off bonus payments at the point that the savings are realised.
As stated, a number of areas have already been identified for attention under the review, with the precise outcome in respect of each being subject to negotiation and agreement between CYPES, the employer and the teaching unions. In terms of governance, changes to educational policy or operational matters are subject to discussion and agreement by the Education Minister. Any agreed changes to terms and conditions of employment are subject to sign-off by the States Employment Board. The overall agreement is subject to sign-off by the teaching unions.
Issues for inclusion in the review already identified comprise:
- the development and promotion of a programme of joint working with all unions representing employees in Education – principally those representing teachers, head and deputy head teachers, but also Civil Service Staff Side representing civil servants directly involved in supporting the education of children and young people. This will be under a unified pay group, enabling strong and effective links to be sustained between all professionals in Education
- this joint working will primarily focus on aspects of educational reform which directly support the improvement of educational outcomes in support of the Government’s Common Strategy Policy, which emphasises the importance of putting children first. This, in turn, will enable the rebuilding of trust with the profession and, through a gain-share arrangement as suggested, enable benefits to be directed on a 50:50 proportion to teachers, to illustrate the value placed on them by CYPES, the employer and the wider Government
- talks will be progressed with NASUWT, NEU and NAHT on the implementation of the Assistant Head Teacher role envisaged in the new leadership pay spine agreed with NAHT. This role will support teaching staff in respect of sound leadership, work organisation, and reduction of activities by teachers, which take effort and time away from teachers’ core priority, which is to teach
- talks will also be progressed to review supplementary allowances, to ensure that they are fit for purpose and properly allocated to reward activities of clear value to educational outcomes. Reforms achieved will be available to fund the gain-share arrangement. Key design criteria will be subject to further discussion with the unions and will focus on principles including consistency, fairness and equity, alongside proper recompense for those experienced to make decisions in their field of expertise, which might otherwise involve external cost that can be avoided
- a role of Higher Level Teaching Assistant will be introduced, providing significant additional support for teachers and continuity of service to pupils, including the avoidance of ad hoc supply or other costs, where feasible
- it is recognised that no school can be better than the quality of its teachers and this emphasises the need to progress training and continuing professional development
- a comprehensive health and wellbeing programme will be developed, focusing on improving the health and wellbeing of everyone working in education
- ways to give key worker status to new teachers coming to Jersey will be explored with the relevant authorities
SEB is seeking a single agreement with the two unions representing teachers, who together comprise a single pay group, recognising the imperative that all teachers should be treated equally.
This offer is made on the basis that the teaching unions will consult with their members ahead of the summer break, will positively promote the offer, and will suspend all industrial action while they consult their members.