Crunch talks between the Government and unions in the coming weeks look set to determine whether a long-running pay dispute involving teachers, nurses and midwives is resolved, or the prospect of industrial action moves closer.
Members of the States Employment Board are to sit down with union representatives after union members rejected the offer of a 7.9% pay rise when they were consulted earlier this year.
Talks involving the two main education unions, the NEU and the NASUWT, are scheduled to take place on 29 March. The two unions had requested a pay claim of 15.4% in late 2022, based on the inflation rate at the time – 10.4% – plus 5% to compensate what unions described as a series of real-terms pay cuts in recent years.
The SEB is set to meet representatives from the Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Midwives and Jersey Nursing Association in early April.
The three unions had proposed a rise of 13.4% in November 2022 – 3% above the rate of inflation at the time.
Depending on the outcome of talks, it is possible that unions will then move to carry out official ballots among members to assess whether they are willing to embark on industrial action in support of their pay claims.
Other pay groups, including civil servants, manual workers, police officers and prison officers, have already voted to accept the Government’s 7.9% pay offer.
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