The Royal College of Nursing has insisted that information shared with nurses on Guernsey that led them to reject a three-year pay offer was “accurate and fair”.
The statement has been released in response to allegations made by a Guernsey politician who called into question the integrity of its recent pay ballot and accused the RCN of deliberately misinforming its members.
The accusations were made by deputy Dave Mahoney, from the Policy and Resources Committee for the States of Guernsey, after a majority of RCN members on the island voted to reject a three-year pay deal.
The deal would have given nurses 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.
In addition to rejecting the pay deal, a majority of RCN members who voted said that they would be prepared to undertake industrial action.
The RCN has, however, not released exact figures on how the responses to the ballot broke down.
“We do have some significant concerns about the ballot and the integrity of the result”
Following the results, deputy Mahoney expressed disappointment and said he had “significant concerns” about the ballot and went on to make a number of claims about it.
“We do have some significant concerns about the ballot, how it was carried out and the integrity of the result, and we are in the process of writing to the RCN to ask for clarity on a number of points,” he said.
He added: “The union has made little effort to work collegiately with the employer and, instead, has taken a confrontational approach, has sought to misinform its members and misrepresent the significant increases awarded in recent years.
“We know there are nurses who share our view, as they have contacted us directly to let us know, and we’re grateful to them for that,” he said.
The RCN has responded to the accusations from deputy Mahoney, insisting that it has never misrepresented the pay offers made to nurses on Guernsey and that its balloting process was “robust and fair”.
“The information shared through official RCN channels was accurate and fair”
Regional director of RCN South East Ellen McNicholas said: “The information shared through official RCN channels was accurate and fair, we held numerous information sessions over the ballot period to share information with members.”
She added that the ballot was undertaken by independent provider Civica Election Services to ensure a “robust and fair” process.
Ms McNicholas added: “We don’t recognise some elements of deputy Mahoney’s statement and we are writing to deputy Mahoney to clarify several things.
“We have never denied nor misrepresented the pay awards given in previous years,” stated Ms McNicholas.
She added that she looked forward to arranging a time to meet with Mr Mahoney to discuss the issues further.
More widely, the RCN is currently preparing to ballot its members on strike action in the four devolved nations across the UK over the latest pay awards in those countries.
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