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Nursing deadlock as P&R waits for unions

News | Published:

PROGRESS on nurses’ pay will be made only once all the unions involved in talks have had a say on the current offer.

The Royal College of Nursing has taken to the streets seeking support for its 10% pay claim by asking islanders to sign a petition. left to right: Steve Munday, Mary Avery, Kim Collison and Hannah Belcher. (Picture by Ben Fiore, 25258234)

Royal College of Nursing members have expressed their frustration as they said a June deadline for a settlement with the States had passed.

But other unions have not yet made their intentions clear, including Prospect, which has just begun balloting its members.

‘Not only has this deadline been and gone but there is no will from the States to discuss this with us any further,’ said Julie Lewers, RCN senior regional officer.

‘We have made our feelings on the 5% offer crystal clear and yet the matter appears to be closed. It is total deadlock.

‘We must start meaningful negotiations soon, this situation is just causing our members to become more agitated as they see the States dragging their feet.’

But Policy & Resources has said that the RCN is one of four unions representing members in one specific pay group, known as the Agenda for Change group.

‘The Policy & Resources Committee is eager to come to an agreement with all of the unions representing this group, and currently understands that three of the unions are liaising with their members to form a view of the current offer,’ said a spokesman.

‘This is an important part of the negotiation process as unions need to ensure their members have a say in the outcome.

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‘Once that has happened the Policy & Resources Committee looks forward to further progressing the negotiations with all four unions, and it is hoped a resolution can be quickly reached.’

Prospect Guernsey negotiations executive Stephen Langford said: ‘The pay offer made to staff on Agenda for Change terms and conditions applies to allied health professionals (e.g. radiographers, biomedical scientists, pharmacists, etc) and some social workers, which we represent.

‘We have just begun balloting on that offer and anticipate letting the States know the result early next month.’

Unite and the Royal College of Midwives are the other two unions involved in the talks.

RCN members, who are seeking a 10% rise, have been on the streets raising awareness of their situation and seeking signatures to a petition. So far, their online petition stands at 3,118 with a further 1,900 gathered in person.

Kenny Lloyd, RCN convenor, said: ‘The response from the public has been overwhelming. They have been so warm and positive. We absolutely know they are behind us on this. If they can see the value we bring, why can’t those who hold the purse strings?’

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann
News editor

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