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Pay tensions heat up as firefighters unanimously reject pay offer

Pay tensions heat up as firefighters unanimously reject pay offer

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Pay tensions heat up as firefighters unanimously reject pay offer

Tensions between firefighters and the government are continuing to heat up after members of the service unanimously rejected the latest pay deal yesterday.

84% of firefighters took part in the ballot organised by the Fire and Rescue Service Association. If accepted, the deal would have seen their pay unchanged for 2018 and 2019, with a pay increase of RPI (the rate of inflation) plus 1.3% in 2020.

But the Association announced yesterday that 100% of voters had rejected the offer.

They said the "Fast Track Resolution Procedure" will now go ahead with what they described as "binding arbitration" over the imposed two-year award for 2018 and 2019 only.

The offer to firefighters comes amid a long-running battle between their union and the States Employment Board (SEB), which sets workers' pay and terms and conditions, over pensions. They claimed that a recently-introduced scheme would leave them worse off and therefore sought compensation in the Employment Tribunal.

They were successful in this claim, but the SEB attempted to dispute it in the Court of Appeal last month. A decision is expected this week.

The same pay offer was also made to teachers, nurses and midwives, and police officers, and has proven controversial.

While members of the States of Jersey Police Association accepted it, members of the National Education Union (NEU) decisively rejected it and today announced eight days of planned strikes in May.

hospital staff nurses

Pictured: Both nurses unions have now accepted the pay offer.

Members of the Jersey Royal College of Nursing (RCN) voted in favour of the revised pay rise offer, as did the Jersey Nursing Association, with 61% of respondents voting in favour of accepting the deal.

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