The teachers’ union Gibraltar NASUWT says it is “greatly disappointed” that the Government has neither accepted its pay adjustment claim nor offered a counter-offer over ten months after their proposal was first submitted. The union says it will now ballot members to take “action short of strike action and industrial action” - this includes ‘work to rule’ action but would not involve any disruption to school hours or students.
A statement from the union set out the background to the claim: “A Pay Adjustment Claim was delivered to the Chief Minister on 26th June 2018. Due to a lack of response it was decided in a General Meeting held on 5th February 2019 to ballot the membership for industrial action with the vast majority voting in favour. Consequently Prof. John Cortes wrote to Gibraltar NASUWT President 19th February 2019 with the reply ‘I suggest we agree to meet within three weeks to set the terms of reference and the timescale which should be as soon as possible.’ Two meetings were held on 7th and 15th March. Both Prof. John Cortes and Michael Crome as Industrial Relations Officer were present from the official side. The official minutes of the meeting of the 15th March state: ‘The Chief Minister had committed to meeting Gibraltar NASUWT on 12th April at 14:30, a date by which the counter proposal will have materialised.’ The meeting for the 12th April was postponed to 16th April and no counter proposal was presented during that meeting.
“On 2nd May 2019 a demonstration was held culminating with a letter being hand-delivered to the Chief Minister outside No.6 Convent Place. The letter addressed to Fabian Picardo the Chief Minister clearly stated the deadline of Thursday 9th May 2019 for Government to accept the pay Adjustment Claim in full or offer a credible proposal. Failure to do so would result in the union ‘..initiating the process of collective action.’
“An email with the CM’s response letter was received on Thursday 9th May 2019 at 7.30pm. The letter neither accepts the pay claim in full nor does it offer a counter proposal.
“A notice from the NASUWT General Secretary, to ballot members for Action Short of Strike Action and Industrial Action, was sent to the Chief Minister, the Minister of Education, the Director of Education and the Industrial Relations Officer on Friday 10th May 2019.”
“Gibraltar NASUWT is greatly disappointed to have been misled with the promise of a counter offer to have materialised for the 12th April 2019 and the fact still remains that to date, proper negotiations on the Pay Adjustment Claim have not started after a wait of over 10 months.”