Unite the union has described a pay offer made to the union’s nursing members working on Jersey as wholly inadequate.
Unite has described the proposals as being overly complicated and that the employer the State of Jersey has deliberately tried to make the offer appear far more attractive than it actually is by using artificially high headline figures.
The offer which will also see some nurses undergo a change in grades will result in a few staff receiving a substantial pay increase; some receiving a small increase, while others will see their pay frozen. The offer is more complicated due to the proposed withdrawal of fringe benefits and payments, which could lead to nurses finding they are worse off.
Unite believes that the proposals are an attempt by management to recycle the discredited ‘Workforce Modernisation’ package which was rejected by 80 per cent of Unite members following a ballot.
Unite has sought an across the board one year pay increase for all nursing staff. Such an increase should consider the cost of living on Jersey and the problems that are experienced in recruiting and retaining nursing staff, which is a result of the high cost of living and residency issues.
Unite regional co-ordinating officer Terry Keefe said, “The proposals are overly complicated and misleading. Highly skilled nurses could find themselves worse off.
“Residents in Jersey need to wake up,” he added. “The current transformation programme being pushed by the new chief officer Charlie Parker and his team of department heads will adversely affect the quality of care and lead to an increase in response times.
“Unite asks Jersey residents to let their elected members know of their concerns. Residents also need to ensure that the state commits to genuine negotiations with unions over the pay offer.
“The management’s current tactic of issuing unilateral pronouncements and regurgitating failed policies is increasing industrial tensions.”
Unite is now undertaking a consultation of its members on the offer and will then consider all possible avenues in order to resolve the dispute, if management do not enter into meaningful negotiations. The dispute could eventually lead to industrial action being taken.