16 February 2010
The States Employment Board is continuing talks with staff representatives over public sector pay. The latest offer from SEB, which was made to the unions in November 2009, is for a 2% increase in basic pay from 1 January 2010, followed by a further 2% increase in basic pay from 1 January 2011.
This 2 year offer is subject to the trade unions and staff associations agreeing to move the pay year to January - December (from the current June - May) and to them agreeing to cooperate with a review of pay and conditions of service across the public sector.
Senator Terry Le Sueur, who chairs SEB, said “Last year was difficult for many of us, and we regret the need for a public sector pay freeze. But in 2009, a year when private sector jobs were being frozen or even cut, a pay rise for States staff was not viable. It would ultimately be funded by tax payers, some of whose own jobs were at risk."
“A 2 year agreement, from 1 January 2010 will provide a level of certainty for States employees in what is still a very difficult economic environment. We know that the Island will still face significant deficits even after we pull out of the recession. Without the pay freeze the Island would be facing an even larger deficit, and more services would have to be cut to balance the budget."
“The Comprehensive Spending Review, which is due to begin shortly, will identify the scope for efficiency savings and reductions in non essential services across the States. We will be asking all departments to consider their spending priorities and pressures, focussing particular attention initially on those with the highest level of spending.”
“States Members will then be asked to decide whether or not we should continue to provide all the existing services at a time when core services need increasing levels of funding.”
Two mediation meetings have been held with pay groups without agreement. Senator Le Sueur added “We remain open for discussion and I hope we can start to move forward and concentrate on agreeing pay awards for this year and next.”