Unions frustrated at Jersey’s States Employment Board’s latest ‘woefully inadequate’ pay offer
- Friday 27 September 2019
Unite and Prospect, the unions representing Jersey’s 3,000 civil servants, have said they will not put the States Employment Board’s (SEB) latest woefully inadequate pay offer back to members as it is basically the same as the one rejected twice already.
Both unions have expressed frustration and disappointment at SEB’s intransigence and its failure to improve its pay offers for 2018 and 2019, despite staff striking on three occasions since July 2019 and the unions proposing a number of constructive solutions to the dispute.
In a letter to members, the staff side executive, representing Unite and Prospect, said they had unanimously agreed not to put the offer out to ballot because it will only be ‘rejected’ and ‘serve to lengthen what has already been a prolonged process of negotiation’.
Instructing their members that nothing has changed, both unions have said that the offer does not meet the employer’s statement that it provides ‘equal pay for work of equal value’, as it has not conducted a comparison between civil servants and the pay groups who received the lowest pay awards; teachers and uniformed services.
Unite and Prospect remain open to talks to settle this long running dispute but SEB needs to get serious. Civil servants have twice roundly rejected the board’s pay offers which fall well below what they deserve after nearly a decade of pay restraint.
Brett Sparkes, Unite acting regional officer, said: “Civil servants in Jersey deserve a decent pay rise. The board’s latest pay offer remains woefully inadequate, an extra one off day’s leave changes nothing, which is why we will not be putting this offer back to our members.
“After nearly a decade of frozen pay and below inflation pay increases our members have twice sent a very clear message that SEB’s pay offer is inadequate and falls well short of what they deserve. This should be message enough.
Terry Renouf, chairman JCSA/Prospect, said: “Both Prospect and Unite have worked hard throughout the process to try and reach a negotiated settlement with the SEB and have made numerous proposals which have been rejected by the employer.
“This process has been mostly one sided with very few proposals coming forward from the SEB and their representatives, despite an assurance being given by the chief minister to Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy on a visit to Jersey early this year that both sides will need to change their stance to try and reach agreement.
“Unfortunately the employer has not changed its stance on 2018 and 2019 throughout the process.
“This latest move from the employer does nothing towards settling the ongoing pay dispute and will further undermine staff’s confidence in their employer to treat them fairly.”
The SEB had offered 1 per cent permanent pay rises for 2018 and 2019 and an inflation +1.3 per cent wage increase for 2020. The latest verbal offer made on Wednesday 18 September, is the same, but with the addition of an extra one off day’s leave for 2019 (to be taken in 2020.)
For more information please contact, Brett Sparkes, Unite acting regional officer on 0771 866 6593.
Note to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.