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HCSA plays lead role in Jersey doctors' 11.9% pay deal

Jersey hospital doctors led by HCSA have reached a landmark pay deal with the Island’s Health and Social Services Department and States Employment Board worth up to 11.9 per cent over three years linked to the ambitious £460 million reconfiguration of clinical services.

HCSA’s professional negotiators played the lead role alongside Jersey doctors in sealing a deal which would see Consultant pay increase by 3 per cent in 2017-18, 3.5 per cent in 2018-19, and 5 per cent in 2019-20. This represents a cumulative increase of 11.94 per cent.

Specialty Doctors and Associate Specialists pay over the same period would rise by 2 per cent in 2017-18, 3 per cent in 2018-19, and 4 per cent in 2019-20 – a cumulative 9.26 per cent uplift.

The three-year pay deal will now be presented to the Medical Staff Committee and Specialty Doctors and Associate Specialist groups for ratification.

The pay deal continues to reverse the long-term erosion of the real value of hospital doctors’ pay relative to other Jersey public sector groups. It takes into account the relative cumulative wage erosion between Consultants and Specialty/Associate Specialist doctors since 2005, and the impact of a 2011 agreement providing an upwards adjustment to the real value of pay and earnings for the latter group.

The agreement is also intimately tied to the role of senior medics in ensuring the success of Jersey’s innovative health service renewal plans. These are being shaped with the direct involvement of senior hospital doctors, who are playing a central role in the intensive process of designing improved clinical services and the new £400m flagship Jersey Hospital.

Hospital doctors’ representative Dr Andrew Woodward, co-chairman of the staff side of the medical staff joint negotiating body, welcomed the deal as a “creditable settlement” which at a time of tight financial constraints recognised the quality and commitment of hospital doctors working in Jersey.

Fellow co-chairman Dr David Lawrenson explained: “Due to its location, it is essential that Jersey continues to attract the most skilled and versatile hospital doctors able to maintain the level of care Islanders deserve.”

The States of Jersey Health and Social Services Department and the States Employments Board said following the deal that it was “appropriate that investment in healthcare in Jersey with capital facilities is matched by investment in the staff that will be delivering that health care."

The latest agreement follows a two-year 4 per cent pay deal from 2015 which was the first settlement to break with the tradition of mirroring the UK pay award. Pay freezes in 2011 and 2012, followed by a 1 per cent cap, had severely eroded the value of doctors’ wages on the Island because of its higher inflation rate.

A separate 2011 agreement covering Specialty and Associate Specialists in Jersey led to a new contract that boosted earnings for these grades, helping to arrest a real-terms decline in pay.