Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/nclexion/public_html/wp-content/themes/jnews/class/ContentTag.php on line 47
The Royal College of Nursing has today announced strike ballot dates for nurses in Guernsey as part of their ongoing battle for better pay.
The ballot will run from February 10 until February 28 and will be managed externally by the Electoral Reform Service.
“No one wants to take this massive step, but our members have been left with no choice”
Nurses in Guernsey and Alderney who are eligible to vote will be able to have their say via postal ballot during these dates.
They will be voting on whether or not they want to undertake industrial action including strike over lack of pay equality for nurses on the island.
It will be only the second time a strike ballot has been held in the RCN’s 103-year history and comes just months after the first took place in Northern Ireland.
The row in Guernsey’s centres on concerns that nurses’ pay falls behind that of other public sector workers.
Since the start of last year, the States of Guernsey government has made four separate pay offers to unions representing Agenda for Change staff, all of which were rejected.
The island’s independent disputes officer approached the unions on Wednesday to seek resolution via a dispute tribunal.
The RCN said it would work with union partners to contribute to this process but would not postpone the ballot because of it.
The college will reconsider action if the tribunal resolves the deadlock or if the States of Guernsey gave an improved offer.
Patricia Marquis, RCN regional director, said it was “not too late”.
“Our door remains open for discussion,” she added.
“No one wants to take this massive step, but our members have been left with no choice.
“They have been very clear in their instruction to us: they want equal pay for work of equal value.
“They don’t feel valued, they feel demoralised and some are seriously considering whether they even stay nursing on Guernsey now.”
Ms Marquis urged the States of Guernsey to “listen” to members’ concerns.
“We hope that all our members will use this once in a lifetime opportunity to have their say,” she added.
Nursing Times has approached the States of Guernsey for a comment.
Top image credit: RCN
More on Guernsey pay dispute: