Guernsey on course to be ‘the first-ever RCN picket line’

The ongoing dispute is around healthcare workers getting ‘pay parity’ with their public sector colleagues. 

Clare Bodell
7 November 2019
RCN Voice of Nursing

Nearly all members on Guernsey have shown support for industrial action.

Royal College of Nursing members on Guernsey have voted to kick start a request for a formal Industrial Action ballot.

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Following the ballot last week when members rejected the final pay offer, nearly all members (98%) have shown support for seeking permission for industrial action.

If individual action is rubber-stamped by the college’s ruling council, Guernsey could be the location of the first-ever strike led by the union anywhere in the UK.

The ongoing dispute is around healthcare workers getting ‘pay parity’ with their public sector colleagues.

The news comes only days before the results of a ballot on Industrial Action in Northern Ireland.

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‘Guernsey will play host to the first-ever RCN picket line’.

Lindsay Meeks, Regional Director for the RCN, said; “Sadly it has been inevitable that we would reach this point. Despite our members voting overwhelmingly to reject the pay offer, the States have still refused to meet with us to discuss pay in a meaningful way.

“There has been no attempt at any stage to get around a table and talk. Our grievance around the pay disparity is real, we have evidence to back it up and it and this has been recognised in an as yet unpublished independent report by Kojima. It is so disappointing.

“To be treated with such contempt is a complete slap in the face. Industrial Action is the last thing we want to do, but the States have left us with no choice.

“RCN members have never been on strike anywhere before, but it is looking more and more likely that the States of Guernsey will play host to the first ever RCN picket line.”

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‘Industrial action will not change the process’.

A spokesperson for the Policy & Resources Committee for the States says Industrial action will not change how the process moves forward.

“We feel all options for negotiating an agreement with the members of the Agenda for Change pay group have been exhausted and we have for that reason lodged this as a formal dispute with the Industrial Disputes Officer.

“The IDO has a number of options for bringing the dispute to a resolution including, if the unions are willing to engage, conciliation. This is a tried and tested process for resolving such disputes and we would strongly encourage them to engage, in order to bring the dispute to an end, provide clarity for their members and the community and avoid any need for industrial action.”

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