Jersey civil servants forced to start industrial action

Jersey civil servants forced to start industrial action

Civil servants in Jersey have voted to take action because the States Employment Board has not engaged in meaningful negotiations on their 2015 pay award.

  • 23 Sep 2016
  • Pay

Man with calculator

Prospect represents more than 800 employees in Jersey’s civil service and has being discussing its pay claim for 2015 with the States Employment Board since mid-2014.

In an effort to bring the issue to a close, civil servants’ representatives and the employer met at Jersey’s Advisory Conciliation Service on 4 August 2016.

Prospect negotiator Bob King said: ”The union simply wanted to get the employer to agree to independent binding arbitration.

“Unfortunately the States Employment Board refused on the grounds that ‘arbitration is not an exact or predictable science and the outcome could go in favour of either side’”.

Representatives from Jersey’s Civil Service Association were prepared to accept a lower settlement if that was the outcome of the arbitration. But we were confident that our claim for a reasonable settlement was fair.”

Prospect members have given a clear indication that the proposed pay award for 2015-16 is unacceptable. In ballots run in 2016, the vast majority supported some type of industrial action to encourage the employer to engage in real negotiation.

“Prospect, along with Civil Service Unite, were left with no option but to further develop and implement plans for “one day, one week, one month” industrial action.

This will involve civil servants working to contract for specific periods. The aim is to minimise disruption to the public, but get the employer to listen.

The ‘one day’ action was a one-hour meeting at the Royal Square on 20 September.

Bob King, who addressed the meeting, said: “Prospect members, along with many public sector pay groups, have had their pay frozen without negotiation.

“With lower increases than the private sector over the past five years, they are worse off in real terms than they were in 2011.

“The reduction in disposable income means employees have difficulty in meeting day to day commitments and they have less to spend with local businesses. This in turn has a detrimental effect on the economy.”