Jersey’s civil servants reject latest pay offer

13 Sep 2019

Prospect’s Jersey Civil Service Association members have voted to reject their employer’s pay offer for 2018, 2019 and 2020.

More than two thirds (67%) voted to reject the offer; 33% voted to accept it.

Prospect will be asking the States Employment Board for a meeting to try and negotiate an agreement which will break the current impasse.

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 the lowest paid employees are civil servants.

Terry Renouf, JCSA Prospect branch president said: “This sends a very clear message that the largest single pay group in the organisation remains unhappy with their treatment by the employer.

“Staff morale is at an all-time low and goodwill is non-existent. Many members are finding themselves working alongside colleagues from other pay groups who have had double the pay awards, despite doing very similar work or in some cases identical work.

“There is no fairness or equity in the manner in which this has been handled so far by the employer.”

Before the ballot, the unions 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
  • any member who goes into pay protection after 1 January 2020 will do so at the salary applicable at the time, including 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.