Unions urge Jersey’s nurses to reject pay offer amid industrial action warning
Jersey pay proposal is a ‘slap in the face’ and fails to give nurses pay parity – RCN
Jersey pay proposal is a ‘slap in the face’ and fails to give nurses pay parity, says RCN
Nurses on Jersey should reject a 'deeply disappointing' pay offer and consider industrial action, say unions.
The RCN has called the States of Jersey's latest pay offer ‘a slap in the face’ while Unite’s Jersey Nursing Association (JNA) claimed the proposal could leave nurses worse-off.
Both unions, along with the Royal College of Midwives, are balloting members on the possible deal and say they have tried – without success – to push the States of Jersey to increase its offer.
The States of Jersey, which is the island's government, said its two-year offer would boost pay by an average of 6.6%, with some individuals seeing their pay go up by 18.1%.
A spokesperson said: 'We have also offered higher increases to those who are paid the least, so the pay increases for individuals for 2018 and 2019 range from 1.25% to 18.1%.
'We are awaiting formal responses to our final pay offer for 2018 and 2019. However, we are willing to meet the unions at any time.'
The health unions claim the 6.6% average headline figure is misleading. Unite regional co-ordinating officer Terry Keefe said: ‘The proposals are overly complicated and misleading. Highly skilled nurses could find themselves worse-off.’
In a statement the union added: ‘We are consulting members and will then consider all possible avenues, if management do not enter into meaningful negotiations. The dispute could eventually lead to industrial action being taken.’
‘It is very frustrating to have hit a brick wall with negotiations as we tried hard to re-open them and highlight why the current offer will not only impact on nurses but will potentially impact on patients’
Di Francis, RCN
Unite and the RCN agree the current deal on offer is 'virtually the same' as the workforce modernisation pay offer that included a new pay structure for all public sector workers on Jersey. That deal was rejected by members in February.
'We've hit a brick wall'
RCN senior officer for Jersey Di Francis said: ‘The current offer from the States is deeply disappointing, and it is very frustrating to have hit a brick wall with negotiations as we tried hard to re-open them and highlight why the current offer will not only impact on nurses but will potentially impact on patients.
‘Particularly disappointing is the fact it still does not offer pay parity with allied health practitioners on the island, which was promised over six years ago.
‘There is absolutely no reason why a nurse should not expect to be paid in line with healthcare colleagues of equivalent experience and skill.
‘Members are saying this is a slap in the face – they feel undervalued and underpaid and are shocked and disappointed that the States have not listened to their concerns.’
The RCN ballot opened today and runs until 19 September.
The college recommends members reject the offer and 'get ready for action'.
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