In addition to the zero pay offer the deal tabled by the SEB reneged on promises to work jointly with the union on spending and reorganisation plans and measures to protect jobs.
Prospect had been fully engaged in a modernisation programme which aimed to introduce efficiencies and improved working practises. But rather than work toward a joint solution the States’ response has been to announce arbitrary cuts and push ahead with a random redundancy programme.
Prospect negotiations officer Bob King said: “We were fully engaged at every level with the modernisation process and had trained representatives to evaluate jobs to ensure best value.
“It was a planned process designed to deliver better value to tax payers but that has been ruined by the States failure to engage in pay negotiations and the imposition of an arbitrary cuts regime without any discussion or thought about the effect on jobs and services.
“This is a problem they caused, which we offered to help them resolve. Their view seems to be they know best but history suggests otherwise. While a living wage is important to our members, they are also outraged by their employer’s determination to cut jobs to fund a hypothetical deficit.”
King said the States action had left many members questioning the point of further work on modernisation.
“The employer needs to start talking to us now about the protection of jobs and services. Our members are not some uninterested party; they are Jersey residents, Jersey employees and Jersey tax payers. They deserve to be treated seriously and with respect.
“Members overwhelming rejected the 0% pay 'offer' with 87% of respondents indicating that they would be willing to take industrial action. It is not an option they wish to take, they simply want their employer to act responsibly before irrevocable damage is done to Jersey's core services.
“The States spending plans have a poor track record. It is time to wake up and acknowledge that more of the same will not help.”