Nursing unions reject Jersey pay offer – and threaten industrial action

Major sticking point is lack of pay parity with allied health professional colleagues

Major sticking point is lack of pay parity with allied health professional colleagues

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Nurses in Jersey are considering industrial action after pay negotiations between unions and the island’s government broke down.

RCN members in Jersey will discuss the prospect of industrial action after 95% of them voted to reject the latest nursing pay offer from the States of Jersey.

The ballot result, released this week, means the RCN, Unite’s Jersey Nursing Association and the Royal College of Midwives have all lodged a formal dispute with the government.

Options for action

As part of the ballot on the pay offer for 2018 and 2019, RCN Jersey members were also asked what form of industrial action, if any, they were willing to take.

They were given three options:

  • Strike action
  • Any action short of a strike
  • Removing themselves from bank staffing

An RCN spokesperson was unable to confirm which option was favoured by nurses but said ‘the majority’ supported some form of industrial action.

A meeting to discuss the issue further will be held on 3 October.

The States of Jersey has claimed the deal offered will mean an average pay increase of 6.6% for nurses over two years.

But unions say the deal fails to offer pay equality with allied health professional colleagues, such as physiotherapists and dieticians.  

A sense of anger

RCN senior regional officer Di Francis said she had ‘never seen such levels of anger’ among nurses over their treatment by the government.

‘The current strategy still fails to offer pay parity – equal pay for work of equal value,’ she said.

‘Nurses and midwives feel demoralised and undervalued – and it has to stop.’

RCN Jersey has around 500 members, and the latest vote on the pay offer attracted a 45% turnout.

The States of Jersey has been contacted for comment.

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