Nurses take pay campaign to the heart of St Peter Port
A NURSES’ petition has gathered thousands of signatures as islanders wish to see the issue of their pay addressed.
Islanders had the chance to find out more about the plight of Guernsey nurses on Saturday when representatives from the Royal College of Nursing Guernsey branch set up stall in Church Square.
The petition, recently launched by the branch to push for the States to address issues with nursing pay, the terms and conditions framework and patient care, was available to sign.
RCN shop steward Mary Avery was on the stall and said the morning had gone well.
‘It’s been excellent today, so far around 250 people have signed, they’re all saying “you need more pay”.’
She said a lot of people were not aware of the extent of the disparity of pay.
‘We just want pay to be fair and equal,’ she said.
The team had a leaflet which showed examples of the pay disparity.
It said a firefighter trained on-the-job could expect a starting salary of £31,000 a year, a teacher with a three-year degree £30,000 a year but a staff nurse with a three-year degree qualification would be £26,000.
‘What we’re doing is campaigning for equal pay with all professionals. Health & Social Care can’t recruit enough nurses,’ she said.
Nicola Jordan was happy to add her name to the petition.
She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her daughter and works in the nursing industry. Her daughter wants to return to the island to train as a nurse so when she noticed the RCN stall in Town she was interested.
‘I lived in New Zealand before Melbourne and we’ve gone through a similar thing for our nurses,’ she said.
‘My reason for signing is that my sons live in the island.
‘I think if you’ve got your own nurses and you’ve trained them, you should keep them.’
Ms Jordan said she was all for multicultural work places, but Guernsey nurses seem unable to stay on island due to low pay while overseas nurses received a bonus to encourage them to come to the island.
‘I’ve got a daughter in Melbourne who wants to come back and train to be a nurse in Guernsey,’ she said.
RCN Guernsey branch chairman Steve Mundy said as well as signing up in person, islanders can sign the petition online.
‘We are very near 3,000, we reckon we will be there by the end of the day,’ he said on Saturday.
‘It’s about engaging with the public and getting our message across, we’re not going away on this and there’s more information to be planned for the summer.’
He said they would keep pushing for change for as long as would be required.
The RCN stall will be in Church Square again this Saturday and on Sunday will be at the balcony gig at Cobo as well as a number of other venues throughout the year.
. Islanders wishing to view or sign the petition can do so by visiting www.change.org and searching ‘Guernsey nurses need equal pay for work of equal value.’