Jersey nurses to consider next steps after rejecting ‘final’ pay offer

RCN says members demand pay parity with allied health professional colleagues

RCN says members demand pay parity with allied health professional colleagues

Nurses on Jersey have rejected the final pay offer from the island’s government.

RCN Jersey members yesterday rejected a proposed 3.1% pay rise for 2018, and 3% rise for 2019, by a majority of 62%.

The college reported a voter turnout of 63% of its membership, which comprises around 500 nurses.

Industrial action

RCN South East regional director Lindsay Meeks said the branch would now discuss possible industrial action with members, which remained a ‘last resort’.

‘Inevitably members will want to know what happens next – the answer is that we will be contacting the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service to mediate a conversation between ourselves and the States of Jersey government,’ she said.

‘We are also meeting with members tomorrow to discuss next steps, including asking them if they wish to make a request to RCN council for industrial action to be pursued.’

Ongoing conflict

The rejection of the so-called ‘final’ deal is the latest in a long-running dispute between nurses and the States of Jersey government.  

Ms Meeks said the most recent pay offer had done nothing to address concerns about a lack of pay parity with other healthcare professionals on the island.

‘For too long nursing pay has lagged behind their allied health professional colleagues, and our members have said enough is enough,’ she added.

‘Nurses aren’t asking for the world, they are asking that their world is made comfortable to live in with a salary that befits the work and responsibility that they have.’

Feeling valued

Jersey Nursing Association (JNA) members also rejected the deal, by a majority of 85%.

JNA chair Alison Pell said: ‘It is time to treat staff in a manner in which they can flourish; feeling valued in the work that they do.’

Members of the Royal College of Midwives’ Jersey branch accepted the deal, however, by a majority of 63%. 

Time to reflect

A spokesperson for the Jersey government’s States Employment Board said it was disappointed with the rejection of the deal by nurses. 

‘We will take time to reflect on the outcome of the ballots, and to understand the implications of one union voting emphatically to accept the offer before we decide on any next steps,’ they said, adding that the board would engage with nursing unions in the coming days.

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