06 April 2010
I am disappointed to read the comments made by Jerry Bartlett, Deputy General Secretary of the NASUWT, Jersey's largest teaching union.
Mr Bartlett has clearly misunderstood the Island's position and I would have hoped that someone in his position would have been better informed.
I take particular issue with his assertion that the Union has met with "nothing but negativity and intransigence" from the States Employment Board (SEB). On the contrary, the Board has made every effort to find a constructive way forward in what is a difficult financial climate and with limited available funds. An example of this is our readiness to bring forward (with immediate effect) the annual pay review from 1 June each year to 1 January,
Mr Bartlett calls the Island's laws, draconian and anti-trade union. This is clearly not the case; our laws simply require that, as in the UK, workers exercising their civil rights have to follow agreed procedures.
The SEB is happy to restart discussions at any time but, as we have said before, with the present economic situation, any funding for changes to working conditions has to be made from existing department budgets or offset against the proposed 4% pay increase for 2010 and 2011.
Senator Terry Le Sueur