Nurses on the island of Guernsey have rejected a three-year pay deal offered by the government and have signalled their appetite for industrial action.
The Royal College of Nursing has seen 65% of its membership on the island respond to a ballot over pay which closed this week.
“The underlying issue on pay has simply been ignored by the States”
According to the college, the “majority” of those who voted said they rejected the most recent pay offer from the States of Guernsey.
In addition, when asked if they would be prepared to undertake industrial action, members “voted to say yes, they would”, the RCN said.
The college is not releasing the exact percentage breakdown for these responses.
As part of a three-year pay deal, nurses on Guernsey were offered an uplift of 5% plus a payment of £500 to be added to all pay scales for 2022.
For 2023, nurses were offered a pay rise equal to the rate of inflation and in 2024, a pay rise 1% below the level of inflation.
Sarah Johnston, RCN operational manager, said: “Getting such a strong turnout on this ballot is an indication as to how strongly members feel about pay.
“The underlying issue on pay has simply been ignored by the States.”
The ballot follows recent disputes on Guernsey centred on concerns that nurses’ pay falls behind that of other public sector workers on the island.
The RCN had been due to take strike action over previous pay proposals from 2019, however, the outbreak of Covid-19 led to negotiations being put on pause and industrial action being cancelled.
In 2021, Agenda for Change staff, including nurses and midwives, were given an unexpected 5% pay increase.
“Yes, members have had recent pay rises but the gap between their pay and that of their civil service peers remains,” added Ms Johnston, who also noted the 2024 below inflation rise was “seen as a slap in the face by many”.
“We really hope that the States do not ignore us again. We want to talk with them, we want to discuss nursing pay in a constructive manner,” she said.
The news comes as the RCN has also announced its new strike ballot dates for nurses in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The ballot, which has been launched following latest pay awards in these countries, were delayed after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The States of Guernsey was approached for comment.