Jersey nurses to withdraw goodwill in pay dispute as mediation talks begin

Jersey nurses are increasingly frustrated by ongoing pay negotiations

Jersey nurses are increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress in ongoing pay dispute

Initial talks between the RCN and Jersey’s mediatory service get underway tomorrow (8 November) in the latest phase of the island’s pay dispute.

Picture: Alamy

The talks come as the college advises its 500 members who work in Jersey to withdraw goodwill, such as working bank shifts and not taking breaks.

RCN members on the island voted in September to reject the government’s pay offer for 2018 and 2019.  

RCN senior regional officer Di Francis will speak to the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service (JACS). She said nurses feel ‘increasingly angry’ at the lack of progress. 

‘They were promised a pay review as part of negotiations six years ago and to still be no further forward at this point is hugely frustrating. 

'The issue isn’t really about money, it’s about feeling valued and wanting to close the pay gap. Talks have stalled time and time again over the last year. Members feel like they are going round in circles and are no further forward.’

In an email sent to RCN members in October, the college asked full-time nurses to decline bank shifts and instead agree to do the work as overtime as part of their substantive role, when possible. 

Time off in lieu

Members are also being asked to record and request time off in lieu for breaks that they work and any early starts or late finishes of 15 minutes or more. Nurses who are not given time off in lieu by the end of each month should submit an overtime claim to ensure they are paid properly for the extra time worked, the email states. 

The college has also asked members to send in copies of claim forms so it can calculate how many extra hours they are working. 

A joint RCN and Jersey Nursing Association poster has also been produced to promote the call to withdraw goodwill.  

In an online update to members, the RCN acknowledges that displaying the poster at work is a 'big ask’ involving ‘some potentially hard conversations’ with managers and advises nurse to explain why the college is asking them to take action or refer people to RCN Direct. 

The RCN, Jersey Nursing Union and Royal College of Midwives have also requested to meet Jersey’s States Employment Board (SEB), which sets public sector pay. 

Formal dispute

RCN Jersey chair Kenny McNeil said: ‘We need to meet SEB to reinforce why our members are so angry with the pay offer.’

In a letter to nurses sent last month, chair of the SEB senator Tracey Vallois points out that the deal would see nurses' pay increase by between £496 and £6,877.

The letter also states Jersey nurses earn thousands more than equivalent NHS nurses in the rest of the UK and receive pension contributions. She adds that there is no money to increase the pay offer further.

The college, Unite’s Jersey Nursing Association and the Royal College of Midwives have all now lodged a formal dispute with the government.

Related material

 RCN updates and downloadable poster 

In other news

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.