With no resolution reached between the States Employment Board and the JCSA Prospect and Unite unions over civil servants’ pay awards for 2018 to 2020, employees are still engaging in a ‘work-to-rule’ programme.
Under this type of industrial action, employees do not work over and above their contracted hours on a ‘goodwill basis’ and instead demand overtime pay.
Gary Davies, president of the JCSA Prospect trade union, said that an example where this has had an impact was in the Hospital, which has been placed under extra pressure due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. There have been no confirmed cases in Jersey.
‘In terms of the pay dispute we are still working to rule and it is certainly having an impact,’ he said. ‘Basically work-to-rule means that our staff will not doing anything in terms of goodwill, which is over and above their job, without getting paid for it. An example is the Hospital which has wanted a certain section to be on call to help deal with issues relating to the coronavirus. Our work-to-rule programme has meant that if they want that, then they need to pay someone who is on call to do it. Previously they may have done it out of goodwill but now the employer is having to pay staff for to do it. So, this is an example of the impact it is having.’
Last September JCSA Prospect and Unite the union rejected the latest pay offer for civil servants for 2018 to 2020 following a poll of their members.
The States Employment Board had offered 1% permanent pay rises for 2018 and 2019 and a wage increase of inflation plus 1.3% for this year.
Mr Davies said that the negotiations were no longer going on regarding those years and the unions were now switching their attention towards ensuring better pay deals for future years.
‘Our focus this year will be ensuring there will be sufficient money in 2021 and 2022 to fund a pay rise that reflects increases in the cost of living for civil servants,’ he said.
‘And also to reflect the years where the employer did not give us cost of living pay rises. We want to make sure there is money in the budget for that also.’
Health and Social Services is currently running an advice helpline following the international outbreak of Covid-19, which is available between 8am and 11pm everyday, as well as carrying out tests on individuals who suspect they have been infected with the virus.