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Saturday, 16 February 2013

Manual Workers it is time to strike

Whilst I am often critical of the unions and their place in the establishment of Jersey it is important to distinguish, the union from the members of the union just as it is important to separate the States of Jersey from the people of Jersey. They are not the same thing.

On Tuesday the manual workers will hold a meeting to decide whether they should strike or not and to those who have asked my opinion, I have a simple answer, YES, start with a one day strike.

Now I do not support a pay rise across the board for the Civil Service as far as I am concerned the Bailiff is already over paid by about 200% but you have to look at what has happened to pay scales at the lower end of the grading system.

Income tax has been increased greatly and stealthily with the introduction of 20 means 20 and the gradual phasing out of allowances, the increase in the threshold has not kept pace with the reality. If the entitlement to income support is £25,500 per year than why is the income tax threshold not set to this level? Inflation is vastly under-reported through use of various means of manipulating the statistics.

One of Deputy Southern's better ideas has previously been to award pay rises to the lower grades (up to 6) but not to the higher grades. It would seem to me far better to treat Grade 7 as a pivot point and whilst every lower grade should enjoy a pay increase, every higher grade should pay for it with a pay reduction.

We know that the lower grades are the first to lose their jobs in staff number reductions, and are then replaced with additional management.

You need to show the States of Jersey that you are serious, they cannot suggest that there is not enough money to give you a pay rise given the ongoing profligate waste and I would rather than money went into the pockets of working Jersey people rather than overseas consultants. There is the money to award you a pay rise, there simply is no desire.

Without an act of defiance, without showing the States that you are serious, you will not be taken any notice of.