Prospect union has called on the States of Jersey to explain how it arrived at the conclusion that public sector earnings had increased by 1.3% in the 12 months to June 2016, as reported by ITV.com and the Jersey Evening Post on 26 August.
Prospect negotiator Bob King said: “The Index of Average Earnings report says the 1.3% increase is based on scheduled pay awards for a small number of pay groups, normal incremental increases and an increase in the amount of overtime worked.
“What is strange is that the report says that earnings were unchanged in the previous 12 months. Were there no incremental increases in the previous 12 months? Is Jersey using a different method of calculating the index and, if so, why?”
A lack of trust and confidence
The 2016 index measures changes in average earnings between June 2015 and June 2016. But while the report acknowledges a lag “in the implementation of pay awards for some public sector pay groups”, King said that many groups have yet to agree pay awards for both 2015 and 2016 with the States Employment Board.
“Talking about an alleged 1.3% increase in public sector earnings when this is not the case for a large number of employees only increases the lack of trust and confidence public sector workers have in the States Employment Board,” said King.
Prospect also questioned the reasons for the increase in overtime worked, which is not explained in the report. King said: “It may be as a result of job cuts and redundancies, but more information would be useful. It is also hard to believe that overtime could account for the 1.3% increase.”
Pay negotiations continue
The union has been in negotiations with the States Employment Board on a 2015 settlement for its members since mid-2014.
“Prospect members, along with many public sector pay groups, have had their pay frozen without negotiation. With lower increases than the private sector has enjoyed over the past five years, it means they are worse off in real terms than in 2011,” King said.
“The reduction in disposable income means they cannot support local businesses as much as they would wish, which in turn has a detrimental effect on the economy.”
Prospect represents more than 800 employees in Jersey’s civil service.
For further information contact:
Bok King – negotiations officer
01932 577059 (w)
07713 511709 (m)