Representatives of the JCSA Prospect and Unite unions are urging their members to use their breaks next Tuesday to go to the Royal Square to support striking teachers and a proposition lodged by Deputy Geoff Southern that is due to be debated in the Assembly.
Under the Deputy’s proposals, money would be released from the States’ Consolidated Fund to cover better pay rises for public sector workers.
The unions representing civil servants have rejected the most recent pay offer made to their members, which was for 1% rises in 2018 and 2019, with a rise of 1.3% above the retail price index for 2020.
Nick Corbel, of Unite, said that strike action would be considered depending on the outcome of next week’s vote.
‘In terms of industrial action we are going to decide on the next step once Geoff Southern’s proposition has been debated,’ he said.
‘If it is successful then we would expect the government to adhere to the decision of the States Assembly. If the government refuses to, then we will consider our options in terms of further industrial action.’
He added: ‘We are going to send out a communication to all of our members urging them to go to the Royal Square and show support for the teachers and Deputy Southern’s proposition. We would like people to go into the gallery, so that it is full during the debate. This would be especially during their lunch hours and if they work flexi-time. This is very important.’
Mr Corbel said that he felt a letter sent by the States Employment Board this week, which claimed that they had offered public sector workers a ‘fair and appropriate’ deal, was ‘misleading’.
‘Over the years, civil servants have had a decade or more of real-term pay cuts. And if you look at the table, civil servants are at the bottom in terms of pay awards,’ he said.
‘Some civil servants only work part-time or term-time and some are only paid the same as manual workers. So there is no reason or rationale why they are being discriminated against in this manner and receiving less than other groups.’
JCSA Prospect confirmed that it would be issuing a response to the SEB’s letter today. The Island’s civil servants have already participated in two strikes, which took place in December and January.