Nurses in Jersey offered ‘flat bands’ deal with minimum 2% pay rise

Proposed changes to public sector pay would bring nurses, midwives, civil servants and manual workers under the same policy, and raise the starting salary for staff nurses by more than £6,000

Nurses in Jersey are being asked to consider a major pay overhaul that would see all staff nurses paid the same salary, regardless of experience.

Nurses in Jersey would receive a 1% increase in 2018, rising to 2.5% in 2020, under the deal offered. Picture: iStock

The proposal comes after the States of Jersey government launched a review of public sector pay to bring nurses, midwives, civil servants, manual workers, family support workers and others under the same policy.

Nurses and midwives would be given a 1% consolidated pay rise backdated to January 2017 and an ‘uplift’, backdated to July, in accordance with new flat pay bands. This uplift would be equivalent to at least another 1%, depending on experience.

Under the proposed four-year deal, nurses will also receive a:

  • 1% increase in 2018.
  • 1.5% increase in 2019.
  • 2.5% increase in 2020.

Keeping up with cost of living

The RCN said the cost of living in Jersey rose by 3.1% this year alone. The college wants to gauge members’ views on whether a ‘re-evaluation clause’ would provide enough security to ensure pay does not fall too far behind living costs during the period of the proposed deal.

RCN Jersey branch chair Kenny McNeil said: ‘This is the biggest change in a generation for pay and conditions for nurses and midwives in Jersey, and members need to think carefully about what this means to them.’

The most significant change nurses will notice is to their pay grades, with flat bands being introduced.

Every public sector worker has received an individualised statement of what their pay would be under the proposed deal.

Nurses in Jersey have previously demanded changes to pay because allied healthcare professionals were often paid more than them.

Starting salary increase

The changes would mean:

  • An experienced staff nurse will see their pay increase from £40,968 to £43,340.
  • Newly qualified staff nurses will also receive £43,340.
  • Starting pay will increase by more than £6,000 – up from £37,070.

Unlike the UK mainland, the Channel Islands do not use Agenda for Change. Flat bands, with no upper or lower levels, is something Conservative MP Maria Caulfield has called for in England.

Under the proposals for Jersey, nurses and midwives will continue to work 37.5-hour weeks, while civil servants will work an extra 30 minutes and manual labourers will work two hours less per week.

Questions remain over what will happen to pensions, and public sector trade unions have begun consulting with members on this.

The RCN has taken a neutral stance, with member consultation beginning this week. A formal ballot is expected in January.

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