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Frustration as nurses' pay settlement deadline 'been and gone'

Frustration as nurses' pay settlement deadline 'been and gone'

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Frustration as nurses' pay settlement deadline 'been and gone'


Nurses in Guernsey are reaching the end of their tether with pay negotiations, as another deadline to try and resolve the situation has 'been and gone'.

Royal College of Nursing members said they were told their pay claim settlement was due by the end of June this year, but have now said 'this clearly hasn't happened'.

Julie Lewers, RCN Senior Regional Officer, said: “Not only has this deadline been and gone but there is no will from the States to discuss this with us any further. We have made our feelings on the 5% offer crystal clear and yet the matter appears to be closed. It is total deadlock. We must start meaningful negotiations soon, this situation is just causing our members to become more agitated as they see the States dragging their feet.”

In March, Guernsey members of the RCN announced they were 'fed up' with their leadership from the States, and that they were becoming disillusioned with 'false promises'. They demanded the States address three main issues: 

  1. Nursing pay.
  2. Pay, terms and conditions framework.
  3. Patient care.

Following the RCN's outcry about the slow speed of any negotiations, a spokesperson for Policy & Resources - the States' department in charge of its staff's salaries - said it was still continuing to work toward an agreement regarding the pay negotiations.

Lyndon_Trott_Gavin_St_Pier_Policy__Resources_2.jpg

While HSC is technically the States Committee with a mandate for nursing, P&R are the States' employer, and therefore have control over pay packets. Pictured, the three senior figures of Policy & Resources, Deputies Jonathan Le Tocq, Lyndon Trott and Gavin St Pier. 

"The Royal College of Nursing is one of four unions representing members in one specific pay group, known as the ‘Agenda for Change’ group. The Policy & Resources Committee is eager to come to an agreement with all of the unions representing this group, and currently understands that three of the unions are liaising with their members to form a view of the current offer," the spokesperson said.

"This is an important part of the negotiation process as unions need to ensure their members have a say in the outcome. Once that has happened the Policy & Resources Committee looks forward to further progressing the negotiations with all four unions, and it is hoped a resolution can be quickly reached."

As their patience continues to run out, RCN members in the island have started taking to the streets to raise awareness of their situation, in part to gather signatures for a petition.

rcn petition

The petition can be found here. 

So far their online petition stands at 3118 with a further 1900 gathered in person.

Kenny Lloyd, RCN Convenor, says: “The response from the public has been overwhelming. They have been so warm and positive, we absolutely know they are behind us on this. If they can see the value we bring, why can’t those that hold the purse strings?”

Some of the comments from members of the public in the petition say:

  • “Nursing pay in Guernsey does not reflect the responsibility that nurses take and is not comparable with other states employees.”
  • “Equal pay is a right not a gift. Pay nurses fairly and help retain & recruit nurses to deliver care patients need.”
  • “Healthcare workers matter. If you under value your staff you destroy goodwill.”
  • “I'm signing because nurses need a better deal and to be treated fairly. Their contribution to society needs to be adequately recognised.”

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