Readers’ panel: Are nurses in Jersey right to hold out for pay parity?
RCN members in Jersey are seeking permission from the college to hold a ballot on industrial action. Nursing Standard readers have their say
RCN members in Jersey are seeking permission from the college to hold a ballot on industrial action. A long-running dispute that includes seeking pay parity with allied health professionals on the island has already seen nurses withdraw goodwill by declining bank shifts and taking their breaks in full. Nursing Standard readers have their say
Grant Byrne is a nursing student in Edinburgh
I stand with our colleagues in Jersey. Why should nurses there be paid any less than their colleagues in allied health professions? Pay should be reflective of the level of skill and responsibility a role demands, so why should they accept a lower wage? One thing that’s clear is that the rest of us could learn a thing or two from the nurses in Jersey. By withdrawing goodwill they are showing their government just how valuable nurses’ work is.
Liz Charalambous is a staff nurse and PhD student in Nottingham
The decision on whether to take industrial action is always difficult because many people rely on essential services. Nurses in Jersey are already effectively working to rule by withdrawing their goodwill, so the fact they are even considering this speaks volumes about the level of discontent in the profession over pay. Nurses are seen by politicians as a soft target, known for putting patients’ needs before our own, but the consequences of consistently undervaluing nurses are too catastrophic to contemplate.
Drew Payne is a community staff nurse in north London
Nursing is in a recruitment crisis, with poor pay and disrespect at the heart of it. We have campaigned, marched and talked about this endlessly, yet the government does not appear to be taking it seriously. What do we have to do to get its attention? The Jersey nurses have a point – industrial action makes governments take notice. But we must find ways to express our discontent that don’t affect patients. If we strike there is no one to cover for us.
Rachel Kent is a mental health nurse in London
Fair pay should not be based on the presence or absence of goodwill. To me, goodwill is staying behind to help a colleague who is feeling overwhelmed, or when there’s an incident. There should not be an expectation that someone regularly does more than they should just because it needs to be done. Staff should be paid for the work they do, or more staff employed to share the burden of work without relying on agency staff.
Readers’ panel members give their views in a personal capacity only