Nursing unions reject final States pay offer

Nursing unions reject final States pay offer Credit: PA images

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RNC) and Jersey Nursing Association (JNA) have voted to reject the "final" offer from the States of Jersey, in a ballot that closed last night.

They were asked to either accept or reject a 3.1% pay rise for 2018 and 3% pay rise for 2019.

85% of JNA members voted to reject the offer along with 62% from the RCN.

The Royal College of Midwives, however, has accepted the offer with 63% accepting and 37% rejecting.

Nursing staff have had enough of being devalued by the employer which this vote clearly demonstrates. Our members deliver high quality life saving care despite serious staffing issues. We are told we are valued, yet promises from previous pay rounds are forgotten and we never benefit from large pay awards. There is a great deal of media interest in the new hospital but with recruitment and retention issues at a high, there will be no staff for this building if the concerns of nursing staff are not addressed. It is time to treat staff in a manner in which they can flourish; feeling valued in the work that they do. To quote the employers own focus on “no health, without mental health”, there needs to be recognition that this includes their staff, who, having been continuously undervalued, have experienced an ongoing detrimental impact on both morale and mental health.

Alison Pell, Jersey Nursing Association

Lindsay Meeks from the Royal College of Nursing says that the next step is to contact the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service to mediate a conversation between the union and the States.

She says the union is also meeting with some of its members tomorrow (Wednesday 9 January) to discuss whether they wish to pursue industrial action, which she says is "an absolute last resort".