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  1. ITV Report

Guernsey nurses threaten industrial action if negotiation deadline is not met

The Royal College of Nursing has set a deadline of Friday for the impasse over pay to be broken. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Nurses in Guernsey could start industrial action if a dispute over pay is not resolved this week.

The Royal College of Nursing say their members will act if the current stalemate over negotiations is not broken by Friday.

Unions are demanding that their wages are brought in-line with other public sector workers. They say say their pay has fallen behind that of other public sector professionals in Guernsey and is significantly lower than those in similar roles in Jersey.

In August, a petition by the Royal College of Nursing was handed in to the States calling for a pay rise of 10% and at the weekend, hundreds of nurses joined a march through the streets of St Peter Port calling for equal pay for equal work.

Juliana Ferreira, who works the Princess Elizabeth Hospital, was among those who demonstrated outside the States Chamber as deputies arrived for the States meeting.

Nurses demonstrated outside the States Chamber as deputies arrived for the States meeting. Credit: ITV Channel TV

We just want everyone to understand how unhappy nurses are. It is not just about the pay.

It's about our patients' safety. Ultimately we don't have enough nurses and with this pay scale we're not going to get any more.

– Juliana Ferreira Senior Nurse, Princess Elizabeth Hospital

Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, from the States' Policy and Resources Committee, criticised the RCN for not balloting its membership on the pay offer.

In a statement from the Policy and Resources Committee, they say they are hoping to meet with unions to try and get to a solution.

The Committee has offered to meet again with representatives of all four unions in a further attempt to progress pay negotiations and is asking for assistance from the Industrial Disputes Officer in bringing conciliation between parties. The Committee hopes this will help to find a way through to an agreement soon. We understand the RCN is considering this proposal and we look forward to hearing from them.

– Guernsey's Policy and Resources Committee.

There are concerns about the possible impact of strikes with Deputy Heidi Soulsby, the President of Guernsey's Health Committee, worried that operations could be cancelled if the pay dispute is not resolved.