Jersey health workers' pay review 'disastrous'

Jersey General Hospital
Image caption The pay rise saw junior staff "leapfrogging" their line managers in pay, the report found

A "disastrous" pay deal made with health staff in Jersey "set colleague against colleague" a report has found.

Workers will be given a pay cut after a review found their salaries had been "inappropriately uplifted".

Unions called the rise, which cost the government £746,000, "unfair".

Constable Richard Buchanan from the government's employment board said staff would not be asked to pay back any extra money before returning to previous pay grades.

The decision was made following an independent investigation of the health department.

It found the "job evaluation process" for the 126 allied health professionals - which included roles such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers - had been "flawed".

'Disastrous for relations'

The inspector said the decision over pay was made to address concerns of staff regarding the impact of a wider public sector pay review in Jersey, called the "workforce modernisation programme", which started in 2014.

He added the evaluation seemed to have been done "with the best intentions".

More news from across the Channel Islands.

However, he found "no evidence" the review had been considered alongside the pay deals involving other health workers, such as nurses and midwives.

"This has been disastrous for industrial relations and staff engagement," he concluded.

He said it had made workers "suspicious of 'secret deals being done at the eleventh hour'".

Image copyright States of Jersey
Image caption Constable Richard Buchanan said Jersey's government wants to tackle pay issues "properly"

Constable Buchanan, Deputy Chair of the States Employment Board, said: "We regret the upset that this correction will inevitably cause to those who are directly affected, but we have to put his right."

He said staff would not be asked to pay back the extra money they had been receiving since November 2017.

"We don't want them to be penalised unfairly for a situation that is not their fault," he said.

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