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Two unions reject States pay offer

Two unions reject States pay offer

Thursday 08 February 2018

Two unions reject States pay offer


Members of the Jersey Nursing Association and Unite the Union have overwhelmingly rejected the Workforce Modernisation pay offer.

States employees were balloted on the 2017-2020 pay deal labelled the ‘Workforce Modernisation Programme’ which seeks to overhaul public sector workers' hours, pay and pensions to make way for a ‘fairer system’ of only 10 pay bands and one set of terms and conditions for all.

The multi-million-pound move claims to provide 96% of the workers affected with a pensionable pay ‘rise’, but union representatives have disputed this from the start as the pay offer isn’t in-line with the rate of inflation – which the States have been lagging behind since 2001.

94% of the Jersey Nursing Association voted “No” to the deal, while 87% of Unite the Union members also rejected the offer.

union reject workforce modernisation offer social media post 08.02.18Pictured: Jersey Nursing Association and Unite the Union ballot results were revealed on social media. 

The result was revealed on social media with a quote saying: “The question we all have to ask ourselves is what are we willing to do if the employer refuses to negotiate, the NO vote is a start which we need to back up with action if necessary.”

Chairman of the Jersey Nursing Association, Terry Hanby, told Express the ballot had “the biggest turnout I’ve ever seen. It shows employees feel they’ve not been listened too. People feel insecure in the workplace; how can they introduce a terms and conditions package that hasn’t addressed unsocial hours and sleep-in’s as there’s been no meaningful discussions.”

He added: “With the uncertainty of Brexit and the economy, how can we sign into something that will tie us down for the next few years.”

WFM workforce modernisation vote yes

Pictured: Jersey Nursing Association say the States management 'Yes' campaign has "backfired."

Mr Hanby also said the States' campaign to persuade workers to accept the pay deal – which Express revealed that it included 200 A3 posters entitled '10 reasons to VOTE YES’, 200 postcards and even desktop screen savers – had an opposite effect.

“It backfired, the management misjudged the mood of the workforce” said Mr Hanby. “It was a desperate attempt to remedy the situation, but what it actually did was irritate employers and even made some vote no.”

Unite the Union Representative, Nick Corbel, said they will be responding to the result with a statement imminently.

Last week Express reported that JCSA Prospect has seen a ‘major increase’ in the amount of States workers signing up the union. They are due to reveal their ballot result, along with the Royal College of Nursing in the next few days. Ambulance staff are being re-balloted due to finding out some more information about their new contracts. 

A States spokesman responded to the ballot vote saying: “As soon as we have met with union representatives and have had a chance to discuss the results with them, we will make a longer, more informed statement. However, in the meantime, we can only reiterate that we have offered everything that it is within our power to offer, sticking to the financial parameters that have been set by States Members. We have to work towards what is affordable and what is sustainable, not just for States workers now but for those who will continue to serve our Island in the future.”

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