Anger as States impose pay deal

FURIOUS unions are threatening industrial action after the States’ negotiating body broke off pay talks and imposed a controversial wage settlement on thousands of workers.

Chief Minister Ian Gorst
Chief Minister Ian Gorst

FURIOUS unions are threatening industrial action after the States’ negotiating body broke off pay talks and imposed a controversial wage settlement on thousands of workers.

In a statement yesterday, Chief Minister Ian Gorst said that after nine months of negotiations, all attempts to resolve the pay dispute between the States Employment Board and the unions had been exhausted.

And he said that the board now had no option but to impose its final offer of a 1% one-off payment this year, 1% rise and one-off payment next year, and a 4% rise in 2014 dependent on workers accepting changes to their terms and conditions.

But in a strongly worded joint statement, seven public sector unions said that the forced public sector pay settlement had ‘severe implications for future negotiations’, and warned that they are now seeking legal advice.

Comments for: "Anger as States impose pay deal"

T Michael

At least they are getting something!

Mark G

So all the green eyed monsters think that anyone but themselves should negotiate a pay increase? This is a private vs public worker argument playing into the hands of the states and private busness owners. Keep the servants in their place whilst the people at the top line their pockets. Remember that this pay increased has been force though to ALL its staff, including very senior management & directors.... Now 1% is nothing to a very junior civil servant but 1% to a higher paid servant is enough to fill the tank of their gas guzzlers and buy a iPhone for their 2 year old Henry... If anyone really believes the grass is greener on te dark side by all means apply for one of the MANY jobs advertised each week then you to can start demanding a pay rise and enjoy the perks everyone moans about. Till then worry about your own job and pay. Support you fellow servants.......

wake up

Wake up the people at the top don't have to suffer the pay freezes the normal staff have had and now this low offer. Just look at the states members who have been awarded a pay rise and the head of the civil service who been awarded a massive pay rise.

Union Jack

Those public workers probably get all the perks you can possibly have with their jobs.

I am personally happy to still have my job, but didn't get a pay rise or cost of living for a few years now.

Almost everybody feels the pinch, and they are lots of people worst off than they are.

I am tired to hear about those Unions, cause everybody knows that public workers are not doing to badly, so why pretend that the world is letting them down when most of us are in a worst situation.

Not to mention that it is part of the private sector tax money they are after...

Send them to Greece, see what their unions did over there...

Mario

So become you are in the **** you expect everyone else to be dragged down as well.

Parktown Prawn

errr, Mario?

Where do you think this money will come from to pay the increases they want? Thin air?

egalitarian

I doubt that it would affect Mario, after all you have to be working to be affected.

evelyn

get rid of a few chiefs far to many bosses for few workers

Seriously

Clearly, you have no understanding of economics...I suggest you move to France if you want to live somewhere in a financial mess.

You said " you are in the **** you expect everyone else to be dragged down as well."

We're all in the same economy and in simplistic terms, if there is less money coming in, less money can go out. Simple but the union members don't get it.

I would support any group to remove the unions, short term pain, for long term gain.

Mario

Remove unions and you would be back in Victorian Britain! Is this what you want?

Parktown Prawn

Mario....you mean back in the days when Britain was GREAT???

Yes please.

Union Jack

Mario, I am happy to be in it cause I can read the news, and I understand the situation. But If I was to get out of it I wouldn't push someone else deeper in it !!!

Where do you think your wages are coming from ? The private sector tax money, not from the sky ....

Mario

The department I worked in actually brought a lot of money in to the states coffers. We paid our way and then some. We didn't get any thanks for it though. Usually got a slagging, but there you go.

And yes our union made sure we got the best T&C's and pay possible. This motivated the staff to do better. Coupling this with an incentivised scheme to reward good work it increased productivity no end.

Parktown Prawn

Aha, Mario

Now I know that you work in the public sector it explains exactly why you are the way you are.

I bet it is OUR tax money paying for your index linked pension then is it?

Your department brought a lot of money into the states coffers?

I take it youy are a traffic warden then... ;-)

egalitarian

Sometimes I just love Parktown Prawn.

Mario a traffic warden! Probably spot on. (still laughing)

joker

Mario

You have no case to present; it would be equally valid for Union Jack to reverse that sentiment and put it to you to ask why should you be comfortable whilst Union Jack is in the ****?

noah

Well well something had to give and this is only the beggining .

There maybe trouble ahead

lets face the music and dance

Scrutineer

There needs to be some evidence. We need an independent review of public sector wages taking into account: ease of recruitment into a range of jobs in the public sector versus the private sector, job comparability with a range of private sector jobs (but taking true accountability into account - businesses go bust if manager makes a mess), job security versus the private sector, ease of retaining staff in the public sector, overall sickness and absence comparisons with the provate sector, and pensions comparability. Only when this is done will there be a proper picture of how the public sector compares.

joker

The Comptroller Auditor General did one a couple of years back. It concluded senior staff were underpaid and junior staff overpaid compared to their private sector counterparts.

Scrutineer

Thanks; have you any idea how to find this document, please? I can see a related audit report (March 2011) on the C&AG website but it is (a) about senior staff only and (b) all about procedures and not an analysis of remuneration?

Propaganda

http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyReports/2009/2970-15782-892009.pdf

One example of a job I think is underpaid compared to the private sector

http://www.gov.je/Working/JobCareerAdvice/Pages/JobDetails.aspx?JobID=35630

Doesn't seem a lot for the responsibility that goes with such an important role? Not sure how many staff they have, doubt it's hundreds but must be quite a few.

Other jobs such as cleaners seem well overpaid compared to the private sector.

s

Well done Mr Gorst. I simply cannot believe the states employees and Unions issue with this. Many private sector workers have had no pay rises for the last few years and we expect the same to continue. The fact they are getting increases in this economic climate is wrong, so to reject this offer shows total contempt for their paymasters - us the taxpayer.

And they are lucky to even be able to try to negotiate a pay deal, who in the private sector gets that opportunity. Employer says no pay rise, you take it or leave it and move on. There is no negotiation. And where are these unions in the private sector. They cave in at the first hurdle.

Public sector employees and their Unions are a joke and we should not give in to their threats. Let them strike, lose their pay, hopefully get disciplinary action, we will cope.

t

Ha ha, "and where are these unions in the private sector"

Try Connex's 3.5% pay deal awarded in June this year or how about the circa 3% JEC employees got courtesy of the Propsect Union.

Whilst many private sector employees may not have had rises for a few years many others have. States statistics prove that private sector earnings and finance industry bonuses increased last year faster than the public sector.

But hey, don't let a few facts get in the way of your nonsense!

James Wiley

Neither the bus service or the JEC are private sector, the buses are paid for by the taxpayer and the JEC is a states owned company. They are public sector, just not civil service.

Steve

More than one union at the JEC last time I looked credit to GMB as well.

Real Truthseeker

Come on - we need to save money for Plemont!

Even I would be furious if I were a States worker and saw this and then the wasteful spending on Plemont.

Realist

Time to get real, Real Truthseeker.

The public sector workers are not on minimum hourly pay like a lot of workers in the private sector. They expect to be cushioned from the hardship that the rest of us are suffering, (not those in the finance sector like yourself).

Time to privatetize the work and employ East Europeans who will do the work at half the price and twice as fast.

Parktown Prawn

Good thinking Realist...

....then the workers which have been displaced by your cheaper "East Europeans" can sit around picking up unemployment benefit.

But who will pay for this benefit, considering the "East Europeans" will be doing the work "at half the price"?

You thought that one through....

Realist

Dear PP: I was being sarcastic about RT's effort.

Parktown Prawn

Fair play Realist

Sorry.....I missed that.

Steve

Be great bring them in to live in hovels and we can all live on the dole paid for by who? on minimum wage you pay very Little tax if any.

And a lot of private sector finance workers earn a lot more than minimum wage, not the fault of the Public sector that after years of cooking the golden egg it is now going some wear cheaper.

Union Jack

RT, If I had to choose between saving some national heritage or giving money to already well paid workers so they can keep SKY movie +. I made up my mind.

Tim South

Any wage increase should come out of savings within the public sector, but not one penny from savings in reduction of front line workers or public services like dustbin collection.

Turning off the lights in States offices after work ( not hours later ) include the lights at Elizabeth Castle and other heritage sites during the winter a complete waste of money.

Call in all public sector credit cards and remove expense accounts would help. Then go further and disband the States communications department. If a politician or States department cannot write, speak or communicate in reasonable English, disband or sack them and employ replacements that can.

With Skype and excellent video conferencing, there is hardly a need for States members or Civil Servants to be going on jollies so this should be banned unless a real emergency, the exception being if travelling as a guest and paid for by the host. Of course this information should be segregated and placed in the public domain.

All consultants contacts should be terminated at the end of December 2012 with the exception of front line services such as doctors.

Clearly the advice from the economic panel has not helped Jersey over the last three years, there are enough educated public sector executives to do the same work and they are on the pay roll as is Mr Colin Powell.

Tim.

Katie

I would be interested to know what their rate of pay is in relation to someone working in the private sector. Lets say for example what a kitchen porter working at one of the Hospital gets in relation to that of one working in a Hotel or cafe. The same for lets say a carpenter working at Harbours and Airports compaired to that of one who works for a building firm ! Then i would be able to work out for myself if after this 9months I could begin to understand this 9month sage that little bit more, and work out who is getting the best deal, as all we hear about is percentages and not actual pounds and pence !

Renegade

Well said Katie, I'd be interested to see this as well ; of course not every job will have a direct equivalent in the private sector but if we're talking about employees at the lower end of the pay scale - actually the question you've put is one I did to a Union member who said that no such data is available. Is this really the case?

joker

One was done in 2008 concluding junior roles were well paid but more senior rolse less so, here's an extract:

The survey evidence about remuneration comparisons is consistent with anecdotal

evidence. States’ departments suggest that it is possible to recruit and train professional

staff (i.e. that in early training grades the available remuneration is competitive with the

private sector) but that once they have qualified and have gained experience, employees

are vulnerable to recruitment offers from the private sector (i.e. at higher grades, the

States’ remuneration is not competitive).

full report:

http://www.auditorgeneral-jersey.org/archives/CAG-Reports.htm

Kermit

Nice one Katie!

If you were to include the pension, healthcare, overtime and days off at a generous rate, you would wonder why anybody wouldn't want to work for the Sates.

And on top of that you have the Unions looking after you , even if you never asked them to do anything, they take a minority of moaners and make it sound like the majority. So you can seat at home will they try to justify their existence / wages...

What I don't understand is why they all seems to be reading the paper (in the vans, staff room... )and never manage to take any of it in...

plagne

A problem is that Jersey never took on the unions when we had so much more money.

Look at the bloated deals done for the Police etc London pay and perks plus but where is the demanding dangerous work? I believe we can thank Shenton Sr for that.

Some councils cut back on costs by 20% last year in England . I wish we would apply the sword like that to out States Departments.

S2

Actually, the 'bloated' Police pay came about following an independent Hay evaluation a couple of decades ago. The pay also reflects the standard of costs in the Island. Guernsey chose to adopt UK police pay and now they have to import Devon and Cornwall officers on 5 year contracts

lonedealhunter

It would be interesting to see what the faceless "independent review body" who advocated a 1.8% pay rise (no strings attached!) for states members would suggest as a pay deal wouldn't it?

By the way did the states members get the free lunches they were demanding a few weeks ago?

Bad reporting again

As per usual the jep makes it out that states workers are unhappy they were forced to have a payrise. Of course they are not unhappy getting a rise. What they are unhappy About is having a change in their employment terms and conditions! Which has not been mentioned again. Bad reporting making them out to be ungracious. And then all the usual people on here end up getting the wrong idea and moaning. Bout time the press is looked at for reporting misleading stories!

Read it properly

The 1% parts are not rises just a very small Xmas 'bonus' of a couple of hundred that won't come close to the increase in my food bill. No rise in 4 years. I would think an actual 1% might not have been too greedy

Frank

I'm sure the SOJ civil servants can talk for themselves, but just to put you in the picture.

A highly skilled, top of their profession, multi skilled, SOJ employed tradesman, on the highest grade that they can possibly get to. Is not even earning the Jersey average of £32,800 on their gross, basic, yearly, wage.

Check it out if you dont believe it, because its fact.

Sensible

But also, look at the likes of the library, Liberians (not even the head one) are on c50kpa... There are many more jobs like this; massive earners in tax, treasury and health (non Dr's and Nurses)for little responsibility, just look at the various pay grades for these roles.This is why our civil service is out of control.

Public Sector

The public private sector argument is a weak one. Imposing private sector mechanism on teachers such as performance related pay will never work in a month of sundays. Why? Well as soon as you introduce targets then data becomes the focus and not the public (students). Back to pay; the public sector is not controlled by the forces of supply and demand, therefore we don't make profits and certainly don't enjoy the benefits of the good times like the private sector. What the public sector do expect is pay rise inline with inflation- something that we have not seen for a good few years. However, if we are to go down the private route then what you will see is teachers charging like Consultants, Solicitors, Accountants etc. The private sector can not have their cake and eat it! The public sector cuts have already seen huge cut backs, front line staff not being replaced, bigger class sizes and heavier workloads. Teachers are leaving the profession in their droves, absenteeism is going through the roof - these are the real facts. A good private sector is a product of a good education system for one; a system that pays taxes to avoid 'the tragedy of the commons'.

Parent

Couldn't agree more, a good private sector is a product of a good private education. States education is a good introduction to life on income support. Which route did you send your children?

Leap frog

They should be greatful they have jobs. If they don't like it try cuting cutting it in the private sector without their final salary defined benefit 13.5% pensions!!!!

James Wiley

The time has come to implement the rule of ten in use in many European Countries, where the highest paid worker in an organisation may not be paid more than 10 times that of the lowest paid worker.

Such a rule would bring an end to the ridiculous sums of money paid to senior civil servants who are at least paid 200% of what they should be and yes that includes the Bailiff... more than the Lord Chief Justice and the Speaker of the House of Commons combined? Does anyone think that is sane?

Soul Doctor

Would you have this implemented across the board; public and private sectors?

James Wiley

Yes it applies to both public and private in Germany. The highest hourly rate paid to workers can not be more than 10 times the lowest paid worker.

Civil Servant

But I like the way in your first post you only mention senior civil servants and not senior management in the private sector who are also on ridiculous sums of money.

You only mentioned it when called on it by Soul Doctor.

Me wonders which way you slant James.

James Wiley

Why I am a Libertarian of course.

brian cant

This rule of ten of yours is a myth: name one large organization that follows it. Shouldn't be difficult, I'd expect them to crow about it on their website if it is so good and widely used.

And as for the Bailiff's salary, it may be more than the Lord Chief Justice, but it is less than half of what he would get if he had remained in private practice.

I was a senior civil servant and left for a payrise of around 50% in the private sector for a like for like role. Like for like, as the Comptroller General concluded, at the top people in the public sector get paid less than in the private sector, at the bottom they get more. That might not be "socially just", but it is the truth.

James Wiley

The rule of ten is Law in Germany and Netherlands at least.

James Wiley

I'm glad you left as you have therefore ceased to be a parasite on Jersey society, and have become one of the ever decreasing number of productive members of society.

Occupational Servant

So Herr Gorst is telling us what's best for us again. Well done to that very clever man from the mainland. What a shame he'll still be rearranging the deck chair at Plemont as HMS Jersey goes down. Weak leadership, poor judgement and completely insincere. The party is over, time to leave!

myview

I honestly believe it is about time We,(the people of Jersey,)The Union members' paymasters, stood up to these supercilious organisations who call themselves Unions. Let them do there worst. Lets ride it out. A lot worse things happen in life than the mess we'll face due to the greedy few removing their labour. We'll cope. I, for one, will not be held to ransom by anybody.

In the know

I think a lot of you are missing a pretty big point here... The public sector workers refused the pay deal - NOT because they are greedy and wanted more - but because of the change in conditions that they had to agree to in order to get the pay rise!

The change in conditions acutally amounts to a cut in a lot of peoples benefits and rights, such as fuel allowance if they need to use their car for work, overtime policy, pension, etc.

Therefore all the States are doing is giving with one hand and taking with the other. I'm a private sector worker myself, my husband is a pulic sector worker, so i see both sides to the arguement. But I can say for sure that the public workers are not being greedy, it's just that they can't agree to the changes in terms and conditions, and why should they!?

Kermit

I didn't know about the fuel allowance !!!

I would be very interested to know the content of the etc... cause on my side it is :Monthly wage and end off.

No surprise they call it Private. If all those perks were to be made public, Cyril Le Marquand would need to get some kind of security at the doors!

Mario

Well you know what to do then don't you.

wendy

Perhaps if the english companies that keep coming over paid tax, we may have more money. We also might have more local businesses as they can compete on an even playing field.

Sam

This article references a "strongly worded joint statement".

Anyone know if the statement has been published online? If so, where?

Sam de St Pierre

#14 - Judging by the atrocious spelling and grammar (or, moreso, the lack it) displayed by so many contributors here, maybe many more teachers should have left a lot sooner and been replaced by others who can actually teach.

Gwasbach

I am certain these will just be typographical errors Sam, or modern text speak :-)

Sam de St Pierre

I wish that that were the case. I agree that anyone can mistype but not a day goes by without the comments being peppered with basic errors. When I went to school, admittedly several decade ago, correct grammar and spelling actually mattered. Today, it seems, teachers can be disgruntled but too few have any regard for the English language.

Frank

If, as the Comptroller General concluded, the top people in the public sector get paid less than in the private sector, at the bottom they get more.

Then why is it that a lot more of the bottom people leave, rather than the so called top people?

You have also got to remember that the CG had no intention of leaving, but was sadly pushed

ali

When I worked in Scottish Widows up in Edinburgh (finance industry), I belonged to a union. So I'm surprised that there's no finance union over here, considering that's where most people work

Sanity

Frank - that is because if they had been any good they would now be working in the private sector. And the CG resigned because the accuracy of his report into massive payments to his fellow top civil servants was questioned.

Maybe before top civil servants stopped receiving such massive payments but then that is just another conspiracy theory.

Davey West

If Mr Corbel wants his views to find comfort with the non public sector, then clearly all he has to do is be open and transparent by publishing copies of the work contracts.

There will then be no argument that the foreman manager, lorry driver, kitchen porter, cleaner, department manager etc is earning a wage that is below or the same regarding the private sector that helps fund the private sector pay through their taxes. Not the other way around.

This would settle the argument,and prove the unions point. Over to you Mr Corbel and the unions ? Win the argument and release NO names, just jobs titles, pay scales, conditions including overtime rates, holiday entitlement,allowances,sickness provision and pension arragements etc etc. what are you afraid of ?

Davey.

Civil Servant

As mentioned in other threads Davey I have taken a 50% pay cut from Private to Public sectors.

I moved because I hated the private sector and its selfishness and wanted to do a job I enjoyed. I retrained and moved.

I was shocked at how low the salaries are amongst the "normal" workers in The States, ie not senior management. To be bruatlly honest its' the same in the private sector too, the Chiefs get plenty and the Indians not so much. You won't admit though as you have some kind of axe to grind with the States workers.

I am interested in where you get your private sector figures from and if you can publish them here. Do you work out an average by going to every lorry driving firm etc in Jersey?

Pop a link up to show the figures you have come up with for comparison Davey.

Mario

Good to see some aren't motivated by the love of money.

Parktown Prawn

....no, just the love of index linked pensions eh Mario ;-)

Civil Servant

Still waiting Davey??

You are usually very vocal on here, cat got your tongue?

Figures to back up your claims please, the states wages are on the link below so lets see the comparisons?

Mario, indeed, money doesn't mean that much to me. If you want something bad enough you will go and get it. Mine was hating going to work every morning. So I changed it, just adjusted my lifestyle. I now pay a tiny amount of tax, enjoy simple pleasures and enjoy my job.

Davey West

Can you explain Civil Servant why several departments pay treble time for overtime on your second day off ( unheard of in the private sector ) and then also give a day off in lieu. For proof visit the kitchen at the General Hospital.

Can you explain why the wage bill for Jersey without spending any money on a broom to clean the streets- just the total wage bill - with social security and pension contributions over £326 million a year. Just a tiny island of 45 square miles.

Over 600 public sector managers some excellent some dead wood, some bright but just clipboard box tickers all getting paid over £70k a year.

Very pleased you are happy to take a 50% decrease to join the public sector, at least you do not have to compete in a business environment where you might lose your job for being incompetent, and instead get paid by a system that increases taxes, including user pays without necessarily increasing value or service, how bloody sad.

Davey.

Mario

P.P. the old adage a short term loss becomes a long term gain comes to mind. Sometimes reading the small print pays! Or you can go for the money now and not think ahead, as it appears many do.

Mario

Davey I don't know how you get added value from a nurse for example.

If you have been paying attention over the last 5 years or so you would know 0-10 has been a large contributor to the present black hole. Yet few seem to bring this up for some reason.

I only know of double pay and a day in lieu for a bank holiday worked. What's wrong with that? Do you expect to be paid flat rate for working on Christmas Day for example? If you do you must be daft. Special days deserve extra pay, as do unsocial hours.

public sector pay

Public Sector pay scales can be found on www.gov.je. Search for "pay scales"

archi

Gorst & co on the States Employment Board are very well off.

The States Employment Board reps have many 'perk jobs' on QUANGO's and they can give themselves a rise and no questions asked.

Only last August Gorst and the States Employment Board promoted the Assistant Head of the Civil Service to the Head, with a circa '£25 thousand' pay rise!!! Then in November they have to bring some one from the UK to do the job he was promoted to do.

If anyone thinks Gorst and his band of 'highway men' (S.E.B.), are O.K. then heaven help us.