Jersey civil servants continue campaign for fair pay

20 Aug 2019

Prospect members in the Association of Jersey Civil Servants are keeping up the pressure to get a better deal on pay.

Prospect and Unite members across the island will be taking industrial action on 23 and 27 August.

Unions have been in dispute with the States of Jersey since the employer imposed the 2018-19 pay offer on civil servants.

The award was the lowest made to any pay group on the island – despite the fact that civil servants are the lowest paid employees.

The unions will be balloting members on a new offer for 2018, 2019 and 2020 – but it is not very different from the one that members rejected in a ballot in June.

The increase to a 37.5 hour working week and additional leave has been removed. But the 2018-19 offer has not been improved.

The unions have set out the positive and negative elements of the offer:

Positive

  • the increase from 1 January 2020 is the RPI figure for the third quarter of 2019, plus 1.3%
  • the award for 2020 will be applied to anyone in pay protection before 1 January 2020 as a result of the Target Operating Model process
  • any member who goes into pay protection after 1 January 2020 will do so at the salary applicable at the time, this will include the 2020 award
  • the employer is offering the potential to increase the consolidated award for 2020, subject to both parties agreeing to work on identifying savings which will be split equally between both sides; there is no upper cap on the amount of potential increase coming out of this process.

Negative

  • no improvement to the imposed pay award for 2018 and 2019 – 1% consolidated for each year plus a non-consolidated amount of 1.1% in 2018 and 1% in 2019 – the lowest settlement to any group of States Employees
  • no award for those who earn more than £100,000 a year; they will be subject to a separate review which is due to conclude on 30 November 2019 and to which unions have been invited to participate
  • no commitment from the employer to enter into timely and meaningful negotiations for future pay discussions in line with an agreement that the employer has previously ignored
  • the timescale is unrealistic because the deadline for these talks to finish is 30 November 2019 and the debate on the Government Plan (which will set the financial structure for the next four years) does not start until the last week of November 2019; discussions before the Government Plan is approved could be undermined by changes to the plan.

Terry Renouf, president of JCSA Prospect, said: “Despite cuts, restructuring and below-inflation pay rises over the past few years, civil service workers have continued to provide a dedicated and professional service that keeps our island going.

“Jersey is an expensive place to live and the cost of living is increasing. It is only fair that civil servants receive a decent pay offer that is comparable to their fellow States of Jersey workers.”