Kenny Lloyd, RCN Convenor, said: “We knew there were differences; it wasn’t until we put these down on paper we realised quite how stark they were. To be crystal clear – we are not saying these people are overpaid, far from it – the jobs they do are invaluable, we are saying that in comparison nurses are grossly underpaid.
“In order to be a nurse you have to have a degree. Coupled with the long and sometimes unpredictable shifts, over night travel (for nurses that accompany patients to the mainland) nursing is about as far from a 9-5 as you can imagine. Unlike on the mainland, there are no junior doctors on Guernsey so the nursing responsibility around the clock is immense.
“The examples were taken from the States’ employment website and matched to the nearest equivalent nursing band. We revisited the job comparisons after first doing it in 2011 and it shows that today a traffic warden could earn between £6,708-£7,174 more than a Band 3 support worker working in the adult disability services. A policy and legislation officer, a job that, according to the advert, requires no formal qualifications could earn nearly £18,000 more than a registered nurse. It is these disparities that have made our members so frustrated and why the States needs to urgently address our concerns.”
The RCN’s TU Committee approved the Guernsey Branch application for industrial action on 21 November, and it now passes to RCN Council for consideration on 27 November, in accordance with the code of conduct. This follows almost a year of trying to speak to the States in a productive and open fashion to properly negotiate a pay deal.