Noon walk-out by Chartered Institute of Environmental Health workers over pay
Members of the CIEH protest about their derisory pay offer - © NUJ
NUJ president Andy Smith joins the CIEH picket line - © NUJ
Fair Pay for All - © NUJ
24 March 2014
NUJ members at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) walked out at noon on Tuesday 25 March after rejecting a 1 per cent pay increase from management.
The chapel initially put in a claim of 2.5 per cent and have consistently indicated their willingness to negotiate. It suggested a number of possible compromises and wanted to look at ways in which lower-paid staff could receive a better pay rise to acknowledge the disproportionate effect of the rising cost of living on that group.
Attempts have been made over several weeks, including the involvement of the arbitration service ACAS, to resolve the dispute. Pay at the institute has fallen by 15 per cent in real terms since 2009.
The CIEH is a professional body representing environmental health practitioners and the NUJ Chapel at CIEH are responsible for publishing news, analysis and educational materials for CIEH members. As such, the staff provide an essential revenue stream and benefits for the organisation.
Fiona Swarbrick, NUJ national organiser, said:
"The strength of feeling among staff at the institute could not be made clearer. There was solid support from NUJ members for this one-hour stoppage. An open letter circulating among the 120 members of staff, including those who are not NUJ members, has already received support from a third.
"By failing to negotiate and by failing to make any compromise, the management has destroyed morale at the institute. An offer of 1 per cent is not enough. The institute can afford a proper pay rise. It recently sold its building for a large sum, but has chosen not to reinvest it in the staff who are struggling to make ends meet on their wages.
"This dispute is not difficult to solve, but management must have something new to say when we meet again."
Tom Wall, CIEH NUJ Father of the Chapel, said:
"The NUJ made its point today. We have support among the rest of the staff. Management must listen us."
The chapel is now on Twitter using @nujcieh and #ciehstrike. Feel free to tweet far and wide.
Please send your messages of support to email@example.com
Messages of support
We are happy to stand in support and solidarity with you as you campaign for a very reasonable pay increase after many difficult years. I send greetings of support from both the Scottish Executive Council of the NUJ and, personally, as a PR member within the union, I know all too well the pressures and diminishing budgets – as well as pay freezes and restraints. As Bill Gates put it, if he was down to his last dollar, he would spend it on PR. The work you do is invaluable for CIEH members and must be protected – but we don’t work for free. Stand up for quality PR and communications and stand up for a moral and equitable pay deal! Yours in solidarity, James Doherty, chair, NUJ Scotland
Good luck with your industrial action today over pay. It's always a tough decision to take action, but sometimes there really is no alternative. Good luck and we are all with you. In solidarity. Carol Rawlings, Deputy Mother of Chapel UNISON NUJ branch.
We just wanted to send a message of solidarity to the strikers at the CIEH from the NUJ Chapel at Incomes Data Services. Like you, we are a small Chapel in a big company, and your story of falling real wages and lack of investment in staff is unfortunately also very familiar to us. We're glad to hear you're so determined to fight it! Please let us know if there's anything we can do to support you! All the best, Laura & Jon, M&FOC, IDS
Best wishes for a successful outcome to your action today and a significant improvement to the miserly 1 per cent. John Barsby, NUJ Treasurer.