Pay dispute: nurses on Guernsey demonstrate in bid to win 10% rise

RCN and RCM want members to enjoy pay parity with other public sector workers

RCN and RCM want members to enjoy pay parity with other public sector workers

Nurses make their views clear during their march in Saint Peter Port.

Hundreds of nurses took to the streets of Guernsey's capital in an ongoing row over pay.

The RCN, which represents most nurses who work in the Channel island's state healthcare system, is pushing for a 10% pay rise to bridge the gap between nurses and other civil servants on the island. 

Earlier pay offer rejected by the RCN

College members rejected a 5% pay increase from the States of Guernsey government earlier in the summer.

Staff respresented by the Unite and Prospect unions have already accepted the States' lower offer. Like the RCN, the Royal College of Midwives is holding out for more, following consultation.

The RCN claims up to 500 nurses attended Saturday's march in Saint Peter Port and around 600 nurses in total stand to be directly affected by any pay deal.

Nurses feel ‘angry at being ignored’ by States of Guernsey

RCN south east regional director Lindsay Meeks said: ‘The march was an incredible success and our members should feel rightly proud of what they've achieved.

‘We wanted to demonstrate our members will not take the situation on their pay lying down. They are rightly angry that they are being ignored.’

Ms Meeks added that public support had been ‘overwhelming’.

She said: ‘From signing our petition to honking their horns and marching with us, we know the public value their nurses, we just hope the States will do the same.’

Regular demonstrations in ongoing nurses’ pay dispute

In August, an RCN petition was handed to the States, calling for a 10% pay rise. Regular demonstrations have taken place since.

A newly-qualified nurse on Guernsey currently receives a starting salary of £26,404; the RCN wants this increased to £29,045. This means nurses lag behind counterparts on neighbouring Jersey, where a new nurse starts on £39,175. In England, the entry-level salary is £24,214. 

A spokesperson for the Guernsey States policy and resources committee said it remained 'committed to continuing dialogue in order to find resolution’.

They also said the 5% increase offered to all pay scales and allowances for 2019 was significantly above inflation.

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