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Nursing titles staff vote for action on pay

29 August 2012

RCN Publishing staff, who produce 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, share 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.

RCN workers have been offered a pay rise of 1.5 per cent. However, the RCN Publishing staff were originally offered no pay rise. They were then awarded a 0.75 per cent increase.

Despite the NUJ agreeing to concessions that would bring this year's pay bill exactly in line with what management has proposed and having offered to negotiate the dispute using conciliation service, Acas, the management has refused to compromise.

The ballot of NUJ members was 95.7 per cent in favour of 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 will make a decision when its 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 per cent, while disappointing, the chapel would have at least felt its members 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."

Tags: RCN Publishing, magazines, nursing standard, pay, ballot