Nursing titles staff vote for action over pay
Staff at RCN Publishing – publisher of the Nursing Standard -- have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action over pay.
The journalists who work on the weekly magazine for nurses plus the eight monthly and two quarterly nursing publications have, under their agreement with management, shared the same pay and conditions and grades as staff at the Royal College of Nursing. The RCN Publishing Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Royal College of Nursing.
Staff at the RCN have been offered a pay rise of 1.5 per cent. The RCN Publishing staff were originally offered no pay rise; this was then raised to 0.75 per cent. 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 per cent voting for strike action and 97.9 per cent vote 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.
Fiona Swarbrick, NUJ national organiser, 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."
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, 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."