Jersey nurses balloted about taking industrial action

Jersey Nursing Association members will be balloted about taking industrial action as part of a pay dispute with the States Employment Board.

The decision was taken by union members on Thursday night.

JNA said they were not planning to strike, but were considering other forms of industrial action.

Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator Terry Le Sueur, who chairs the States Employment Board, said he was disappointed by the union's plans.

Ballot papers are likely to be sent out in the next week or so.

'Sticking plaster'

Jim Ward, a JNA spokesman, said they were considering taking industrial action but not going on strike.

The JNA is Jersey's second largest nurses union with about 500 members.

Mr Ward said many nurses could not afford to live and work in Jersey and returned home after working in the island for a short time.

He said: "We're asking for a reasonable increase to help the recruitment and retention problem.

"But the employer really has just come up with a short-term sticking plaster solution while we're looking for a longer-term solution."

But Mr Le Sueur said: "Senior Human Resources representatives delegated by the States Employment Board met with the three nursing unions earlier this week to discuss a range of proposals... to attract and retain 'hard to recruit' specialist nurses.

"At the end of the meeting, all parties agreed to meet again in two weeks' time to continue our joint discussions.

"We are disappointed that the Jersey Nursing Association does not seem to want to engage in constructive and meaningful talks which could potentially increase States spending on nurses by almost £1million.

"The majority of Jersey's nurses belong to the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwifery and we are still confident of conducting meaningful discussions with these unions in two weeks time.

"We would expect and welcome the Jersey Nursing Association's continued involvement in these talks."

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