Manx Care has confirmed that it made a new offer to nurses before learning the outcome of the ballot from their last offer.

It was announced this week that Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members, along with other nursing unions, had been presented with a new pay offer, which is a £1,500 consolidated offer with effect from April 1, 2022, in addition to the 6% increase already implemented.

The previous offer RCN members had been surveyed on in October has been withdrawn as the employer required the whole of staff to agree the offer for the award to be applied. As agreement could not be reached, the result of the previous survey is therefore void.

However a statement from Manx Care has said the revised off was 'agreed in advance of the outcome of the RCN ballot and Manx Care is awaiting a response from the joint staff side unions'.

The full statement reads: 'In relation to the pay offer 2022/23, Manx Care can confirm that the offer of an 8.75% across the board increase has been withdrawn following discussions with all MPTC/NJC unions, and the organisation has offered the following: a consolidated increase of £1,500 to each pay point, with effect from 01 April 2022, in addition to the 6% increase already implemented.

'Both the offer of 8.75% across the board, and the offer of £1,500 to each pay point were enabled by Treasury approving additional funding.

'The revision to the offer followed discussions with staff side representatives, regarding how the pay award could be implemented to best effect within the available financial envelope.

'This revised offer was agreed in advance of the outcome of the RCN ballot and Manx Care is awaiting a response from the joint staff side unions.' 

RCN is now surveying its members once again over the latest offer, with the consultative survey being open from midday on Monday, November 13 to midday on Monday, November 27.

Nurses were due to take two back-to-back days of strike action in October, but the action was paused while members had their say over a new formal offer.

This would have seen a total offer of 12.75% over two years.

The island's largest nursing union has protested on a number of occasions this year as part of a long-running dispute over fair pay and safer staffing levels, including two days of strike action, a campaign bus tour and a march outside the Tynwald buildings.

However, the RCN was invited to talks alongside other unions where a further offer was discussed and a formal letter in writing confirming this offer arrived with the RCN last week.

RCN exclusively told Isle of Man Today that the provisional dates for strike action if the original offer was declined would take place on Thursday, and Friday, November 16 and 17.

However with the unexpected new offer arriving from Manx Care, these have been postponed.

The original offer in October, which RCN gathered the results and were expected to announce this week, was a pay increase by 8.75% - 2.75% more than the original offer of 6% tabled by Manx Care for the 2022/2023 financial year.

A 4% pay increase put forward by the healthcare provider covering the 2021/2022 financial year remains unchanged.

A representative for RCN had admitted the vote could go ‘either way’ with the original offer.

Estephanie Dunn, regional director for the RCN in the North West, commented on the latest offer.

She said: ‘We are pleased to have been invited back to the negotiating table again after further talks with our staff side colleagues.

‘There is no doubt that our strike action prompted Manx Care to open up talks but other unions joining our fight has also piled on the pressure.

‘We stand stronger together.

'However, it will be down to our members to decide if the latest offer is proof enough to believe that the Manx government are investing in not only the current nursing workforce, but the sustainable future of nursing and safe patient care on the Isle of Man.’

The union has repeatedly insisted that if this latest offer is declined by its members it will be returning to the picket line to strike for a better deal.

While RCN members fill in their ballot forms again, results are likely to be released next month.

Strike action outside Noble’s Hospital by members of the Royal College of Nursing in September