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Pay dispute: Unions urged to put forward ‘practical suggestions’

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UNIONS representing civil servants are being urged to bring ‘practical suggestions’ to the table in order to resolve their long-running pay dispute with the States Employment Board.

Constable Richard Buchanan

Last week JCSA Prospect, the largest public sector union, announced that it had once again rejected the latest three-year pay offer to civil servants after its members voted two-thirds against accepting the deal in a poll.

The SEB had offered 1% permanent pay rises for 2018 and 2019 and an inflation +1.3% wage increase for 2020.

JCSA Prospect president Terry Renouf said that further meetings with the States Employment Board are now being planned and the union’s members will be asked what they want to do next.

He said: ‘This sends a very clear message that the largest single pay group in the organisation remains unhappy with their treatment by the employer.

‘Staff morale is at an all-time low and goodwill is non-existent. Many members are finding themselves working alongside colleagues from other pay groups who have had double the pay awards, despite doing very similar work or in some cases identical work.

‘Out of all the pay groups we have had the lowest pay offer and we are half the public sector workforce.

‘I have always said that we are a member-led organisation, so once again we will speak to our members and see what action they want to take,’

While the disputes for other employee groups have been resolved, an agreement is yet to be reached with the unions representing civil servants, which are JCSA Prospect and Unite the Union.

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The stand-off has led to civil servants going on strike on three occasions already, most recently on the days before and after the August bank holiday weekend.

Other industrial action has included periods of working to rule, which is when employees do not work over and above their contracted hours.

Constable Richard Buchanan, the vice-chair of the States Employment Board, said that ‘alternatives’ need to be brought forward by the unions to bring the dispute to an end.

‘We are disappointed by the results of the latest ballot of civil service union members on the government’s pay offer,’ he said.

‘We are pleased that the unions state that they wish to reach a settlement through meaningful negotiation, as this has always been the Government’s wish.

‘It is important that we understand what alternatives they have considered to the offer on the table, so we hope that they will bring forward practical suggestions for discussion.’

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
author

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