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Civil-servant strike moves to Liberation Square

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STATES Members have been invited to talk to disgruntled civil servants as they hold a strike tomorrow morning in Liberation Square.

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Two unions representing civil servants – JCSA Prospect and Unite – voted in favour of strike action, which is due to take place for two hours from 9 am tomorrow, following widespread dissatisfaction with below-inflation pay offers for 2018 and 2019.

After initially trying to arrange a gathering in the the Royal Square, JCSA Prospect is now inviting strike participants to Liberation Square during the walkout. The union’s president, Terry Renouf, said that the decision to move the gathering was made in order to not disrupt the opening of a Christmas market.

‘The gathering location is going to change to Liberation Square. The reason for that is after discussions with the Bailiff’s Office it came to light that a Christmas market is due to open at 10 am in the Royal Square,’ said Mr Renouf.

‘We don’t have a dispute with the market traders, so thought it would be unreasonable for us to cause any disruption for them. It was a combined decision between us and the Bailiff’s Office, who we also do not have a dispute with.’

He added: ‘We have contacted all States Members asking them to come to Liberation Square to speak to members and non-members who have decided to support our action.’

Mr Renouf said that the unions were working to ensure vital public services remained open during the strike, but had received no assistance from the States in the matter.

‘We are working hard to make sure that there is not disruption at all to essential services, and that they can operate with skeleton staff, but there has been no contact at all from the employer regarding this. Not a word,’ he said.

‘We have done this all on our own due to our feeling of responsibility to the people of Jersey, who we serve.’

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A States spokeswoman said that the strike would cause a delay for Islanders planning to attend blood tests tomorrow.

She said: ‘The Health Department is asking Islanders who would normally attend for routine blood tests to wait until next week.

‘The phlebotomy service is open on Fridays at the Hospital, between 9.30 am and 12 noon, but, due to the strike, the laboratories where the specimens are processed will be closed on Friday morning, except for emergencies.’

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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