Jersey teaching unions anger at 'secret deal'

Three unions representing teaching staff have branded an agreement between Jersey's chief minister and the NASUWT, a "secret" deal which could damage future industrial relations.

The deal, said to be about standards, was signed on Friday between the union and senator Ian Gorst.

Three other unions who were expecting to discuss salaries and the curriculum, said they were not included.

Senator Gorst has yet to comment to the BBC

Andy Woolley, regional secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said deals were normally agreed with the director of education and not with someone in senator Gorst's position.

'Open dialogue'

He said he had never heard of a deal with just one union.

Mr Woolley added that unions had been planning to discuss changes to salary structure and the curriculum with the States.

He said he had "no idea" why senator Gorst had agreed the deal and it had put the three other unions' relationship with the states in "jeopardy".

The NUT, Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) have now written to senator Gorst.

"This is not the way to ensure the provision of a top quality education service for the young people of the island," said Mr Woolley.

"We will be seeking talks with States' representatives and the three other unions at an early date to clarify how we proceed in a way which allows us to involve all unions in an appropriate and open dialogue for the benefit of Jersey's education, and its teacher employees without any further secret talks."

The government is yet to release details about the agreement between senator Gorst and the NASUWT, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers.

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