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Chief Minister's statement on public sector pay

04 December 2012

The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, has made the following statement to the States Assembly:

"As Members will be aware, a final pay offer was made to employee representatives in July. This offer followed many months of negotiations and was made against a backdrop of continuing economic uncertainty:

  • 1% non-consolidated in 2012, paid as a lump sum
  • 1% consolidated plus 1% non-consolidated in 2013
  • a consolidated pay award of 4% of basic pay from 1st January 2014, in return for a modernisation agreement
  • a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies until the end of 2014

States Employment Board

"The States Employment Board believes this is a fair deal for our employees, who enjoy a significant degree of job security and a fair pay and benefits package. The police have accepted the deal and we had hoped that all the unions would ballot their members. In the event, only Prospect did so. The ballot result was marginally against accepting the offer, but a minority of civil servants are members of the Association.

"As I am sure Members will appreciate, the 2012/2013/2014 public sector pay review has been particularly challenging and we have had to adopt a prudent approach against a background of rising unemployment. There are a number of issues we have had to consider:

  • the difficult economic climate has affected employment and living standards across Europe. The UK public sector has seen pay freezes, reductions in numbers employed, and changes to pay and terms and conditions.
  • the wider economic climate has affected Jersey. Rising unemployment - the worst in decades - an increase in redundancies and changes to pay, terms and conditions of service have affected many employees in Jersey’s private sector.
  • forecasts show low economic growth for the foreseeable future, while States departments, like Health and Social Servics, need significant investment to help deliver the services the Island needs.
  • the Medium Term Financial Plan has been approved by the States, it does not provide for an increase in the 2012-14 pay bill over and above the final pay offer. Members did not approve an amendment calling for an additional pay rise for public sector staff

Economic conditions

"The economic conditions facing Jersey mean we cannot offer a higher pay award if we are to meet the priorities agreed by Members - creating jobs, maintaining employment and investing in Health and Social Services. This three-year pay offer is directly linked to the modernisation programme, which will ultimately ensure we provide services in the most efficient, effective and sustainable way, securing long term employability.

"At a meeting of the States Employment Board last week, after full consideration of all the options and following nine months of negotiations, SEB decided that the gap between the final pay offer and claims from pay groups is too great and cannot be bridged or be resolved by mediation.  As a consequence, with the exception of those groups where discussions are continuing, the collective bargaining process has now been exhausted and this leaves the Employer with no practical alternative other than to implement the final pay offer for eligible public sector staff. 

  • the 1% non-consolidated lump sum due in 2012 will be included in December salaries
  • the 1% consolidated pay award for 2013 will be added to salaries from January
  • the 1% non-consolidated lump sum due in 2013 will be included in January salaries, taking into account the 1% consolidated pay award

Nurses and midwives

"SEB has agreed a new offer for nurses, which recognises the work being undertaken on providing equal pay for work of equal value and the need to address recruitment and retention issues. This is the first step in a proposed redesign of nursing pay, which my officers will work on with employee representatives.

With a contribution from the Health and Social Services budget, we have been able to fund an offer for nurses of:

  • 1% non-consolidated paid as a lump sum in 2012
  • 3% consolidated pay award in 2013
  • 4% consolidated pay award in 2014

"We very much value the work of all our hard-working employees. I hope the employees themselves can understand that SEB has prioritised job security and the development of an efficient public sector for the future benefit of Islanders, the States and its employees."

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