NUJ members working for the RCN vote for action after being offered worse pay deal than colleagues

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Journalists working for the Nursing Standard have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action after bosses offered them a worse pay deal than other staff.

The weekly magazine for nurses is one of eleven titles published by the RCN Publishing Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the RCN. Under an agreement with management, publishing staff shared the same grades, pay and conditions as other RCN workers.

But in the latest round of pay talks, while RCN staff were offered a 1.5% rise, publishing staff were originally offered no rise at all; this was then raised to 0.75%

Despite the NUJ agreeing to concessions which would bring this year’s pay bill exactly in line with what management have proposed and having offered to negotiate the dispute via Acas, the arbitration service, the management has refused to compromise.

The result of the ballot of NUJ members was 95.7% voting for strike action and 97.9% for action short of a strike. Members of the GMB union are also balloting for action.  The chapel is now considering its next steps, and will make a decision once their GMB colleagues have finished voting.

NUJ national organiser Fiona Swarbrick said: “The management has reneged on its agreement to treat staff at RCN and RCN Publishing on the same terms. This is not acceptable.  The union has been prepared to be constructive and has made concessions. The management’s failure to come to an agreement has led to the staff taking a stand and voting for action. The union is, however, still open to discussions with the management to reach a deal.

”The chapel made it clear from the outset that this is about a fair pay rise, not about how much that pay rise is. Had both RCN and RCN Publishing staff been offered 0%, whilst disappointing, the chapel would have at least felt that they were being treated even-handedly.”

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “This vote shows how strongly the chapel feels let down by the management. It is time for the RCN to see sense and treat its journalists fairly.”


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