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Pay rise "not accepted"

Pay rise

Monday 23 March 2020

Pay rise "not accepted"

Monday 23 March 2020

The unions representing staff across the nursing and healthcare sector are not happy with the pay rise that has been "imposed" on them by the States as they start to battle corona virus on the "frontline".

The "fair pay" negotiations between the unions, including the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives and Prospect, and the States, have been going on for more than a year, with strikes planned after previous talks failed to secure an agreement.

That threat of strike action is now on hold, as health care staff said they wanted to reassure the public that no industrial action will be held whilst the Covid-19 outbreak is present.

Since then, the RCN had said its members are in "despair" as talks planned for last week broke down, just at the time when the corona virus appeared to be taking a hold on the island. 

Deputy Jonathon Le Tocq

Pictured: Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq has been the States representative during the long running pay negotiations. 

This morning the States said that a line had been drawn under the pay talks, and that a rise had been awarded. 

A 5% pay increase effective from January 2019, and a further 5% increase with effect from September 2019, has been given to those represented by nursing unions, which includes all staff in the Agenda for Change pay group, and which will see their salaries increase by slightly over 10% with the back pay element to be processed immediately.

Pay awards have also been made for staff at the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre with effect from 1 October 2019 and Teachers and Lecturers with effect from 1 September 2019.

However the RCN, RCM and Prospect have issued a joint statement saying they do not accept the offer and that it proves how little value the island's government places on its health care staff.

"Whilst we recognise the statement made by the States today, we are very clear that this is an imposed pay award not a negotiated or accepted pay award," said the three unions. 

"This statement was a wonderful opportunity to set out how valued the nursing and health care professional workforce is. Instead, there is scant regard for them and no detail as to exactly how the Agenda for Change pay gap will be addressed in coming years."

strike negotiation

Pictured: The pay talks have been going on for more than a year. 

As corona virus continues to take a hold on the Bailiwick, HSC is appealing for retired staff to help out, but the unions say current staff are not feeling valued at the moment as it is. 

"We recognise that COVID-19 has put pressure on public finances like never before, but withholding money from staff groups will not help. The pay gap remains and now staff feel even less valued than ever. 

"Healthcare staff are at the frontline caring for people during the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic. The States will be asking more of these staff than ever before. A mere “we cannot thank you enough” is not going to cut it with members."

The letter has been signed by a number of representatives, including: Lindsay Meeks, Royal College of Nursing; Kenny Lloyd, Royal College Of Nursing; Stephen Langford, Prospect; Ben Middleton, Prospect; Vicky Richard, Royal College of Midwives; Alice Sorby, Royal College Of Midwives.

Collectively they've warned that the imposed pay award does not mean an end to their long running pay dispute. 

"We still have no clear timetable and no commitment to ending this dispute. We remain open and willing to engage in negotiations to reach a fair offer to put to our members.

"The unions are clear; this imposition does not mean an end to our dispute, if anything it furthers our resolve to ensure Agenda for Change staff are paid what they so richly deserve."


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