Threat of strike action averted as nurses win fight for pay parity

Jersey nurses dug their heels in because they’re paid less than allied health professionals

Jersey nurses dug their heels in because they’re paid less than allied health professionals

Nurses in Jersey have accepted a 10.8% pay deal, bringing to a close months of 'bitter and difficult' negotiations.

Today's announcement ends the threat of industrial action by RCN members, who had been poised to hold the first strike in the college’s 103-year history

Their demand was pay parity – their salaries lag behind those of allied health professionals, such as physiotherapists. 

The deal in detail

The deal struck with the States of Jersey government consists of a:

  • Backdated pay rise of 3% for 2018.
  • Pay rise of 3.1% for this year.
  • Retail price index-linked pay rise for 2020, forecast at 3.4%, with an additional 1.3% pay increase.
  • ‘No-detriment’ clause for the period of the deal, meaning the government will match any better offer made to another group in Jersey’s healthcare system.

Under the new pay structure, a newly qualified staff nurse will earn about £39,175.

Strike threat 'not taken lightly'

Regional director of RCN south east, which covers Jersey, Lindsay Meeks said: ‘We are pleased to be able to draw a line under this negotiation, which has been bitter and difficult at times.’ 

Ms Meeks said members had not taken the threat of strike action lightly.

‘It is a huge disappointment to us it took the historic step of the threat of a strike ballot to shift the thinking of the States as our position never changed: pay our nurses fairly,’ she said.

‘Our members have been fantastic throughout this process. They have been tenacious and dedicated and never wavered from their desire to be treated fairly.’

Of Jersey’s approximately 500 eligible RCN members, 53% participated in the latest ballot, with 75% of these accepting the pay proposal.

A ballot by Jersey’s other nursing union, the Jersey Nursing Association, closes today.

'We're pleased to resolve this unfairness'

A Jersey government spokesperson said: 'The States Employment Board is pleased with the acceptance by RCN members of the improved three-year pay offer.

'We highly value our nurses, so we are very pleased we were able to make an offer to resolve, once and for all, the longstanding issues that have unfairly affected nurses’ pay.'

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