Recently both the Jersey Nursing Association and the Royal College of Nursing voted to reject their pay rises of 3.1 per cent and 3 per cent for 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Nick Corbel, regional representative of Unite the union in Jersey, said that the JNA – a branch of his union – was now planning to ballot members on industrial action up to and including strike action.
‘We are looking at balloting members. The Royal College of Nursing are waiting for confirmation from their head office, I believe, but there are fewer obstacles for us and it something we expect to do very soon,’ he said.
‘If our members support industrial action then we will stand alongside our colleagues who are in dispute throughout the public sector.’
Kenny McNeil, of the RCN, said that the union had not decided to ballot its members on strike action at this time.
Meanwhile, Steve Preddy, the Unite representative for the south-west, has publicly criticised the States for allowing strikes to happen in such a ‘prosperous’ place as Jersey.
‘The States of Jersey has a strategic investment reserve of £771.5 million in its well-padded coffers,’ he said.
‘Additionally, there has been a £23 million underspend in the budget and the government has received £30 million more in income from tax returns than forecast during 2017/18.
‘Despite this abundance of riches, the government has offered pay increases which are less than half the RPI rate of inflation which is currently running at 4.3 per cent on Jersey.’