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Policy & Resources responds to RCN plans to ballot on strike action

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Friday 24 January 2020

The Policy & Resources Committee is urging the RCN once again not to pursue strike action, and to engage fully in the dispute resolution process, led by the Industrial Disputes Officer, which is already underway.

Before the Committee engaged this independent process, the unions representing Agenda for Change staff rejected a number of pay awards proposed by the Policy & Resources Committee. The most recent of these would have seen staff receive a 5% increase backdated to January 2019, and a further 5% increase backdated to September 2019, resulting in an increase of 10.24%. This clearly demonstrates the Committee's desire to negotiate in good-faith, and to make a pay award that recognises the hard work and dedication of our health care staff.

It is incredibly frustrating that the RCN has been unwilling to genuinely consider even this most recent offer. The RCN says their 'door remains open for discussion', however their actions do not reflect this. Most disappointingly, the union's approach has meant their members have not been able to realise the significant pay increase the Committee has proposed for them.

As has been stated previously, the RCN's UK-centric process for invoking industrial action does not have any basis and is not relevant in Guernsey law. This dispute has been formally lodged with the Industrial Disputes Officer. If the RCN do not intend to engage with the conciliation process seriously, the IDO has referred the matter to an industrial disputes tribunal for a legally binding resolution. As a result there is no benefit in carrying out industrial action in respect of which neither the union nor its members have any legal protection. It would only serve to cause disruption for patients and colleagues.

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