States-employed Unite the Union members have voted to take strike action next Wednesday, with the exception of key airport and hospital staff.
Union members made the decision at a meeting this morning following a breakdown in their relationship with the States of Guernsey.
“Following a below cost of living pay offer from the States of Guernsey and the unfair dismissal of a Unite Rep that blatantly disregarded all agreed policies and procedures, Unite Reps at a members meeting held this morning at Beau Sejour called for a stoppage of all work for the States of Guernsey next Wednesday 29 May," regional representative Bob Lanning said. "Being mindful of the impact such action could have on the airport and hospital, essential manning to ensure these two locations are not disrupted was agreed.”
Unite has assured us this will not impact on essential services such as the operation of the airport and hospital.
However, Unite members work in many areas across the public sector and we are very aware a work stoppage affecting even non-essential services could still cause some disruption for Islanders.
First I've heard of this which is disappointing and no way to negotiate.— Gavin St Pier (@gavinstpier) 23 May 2019
A spokesman for the States said that whilst they had been assured the industrial action would not impact on those essential services, Unite members "work in many areas across the public sector and we are very aware a work stoppage affecting even non-essential services could still cause some disruption for islanders."
"The States of Guernsey is therefore looking at any and all options to avert this industrial action and resume the negotiations in a structured way. We believe that our staff are still willing to continue with that negotiation. Furthermore, there are legal processes for dispute resolution and we are engaging with those. Those processes mean industrial action of the sort proposed by Unite is entirely unnecessary.
"Despite that, Unite have informed us that they will go ahead with this industrial action regardless. We hope they reconsider. In the case that is not possible, we are also looking at how to minimise any impact of the industrial action.
"Unite members are among several groups of States of Guernsey employees involved in a process of negotiations with the States, led by the Policy & Resources Committee, in its role as employer. The Committee is disappointed Unite have felt it necessary to take such drastic and disruptive action and would urge them to return to constructive negotiations as soon as possible."
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