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Stressed Out 24 September 2008

Posted by steve1917 in Health & Safety, NUJ.
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The NUJ has launched a major campaign to combat stress in response to biting cuts across the media industry.

As media organisations continue to cut back on investment in journalism, the union has been receiving increasing reports from members that pressures have become so great they represent a risk to journalists’ health and safety.

The campaign will push employers to begin taking their responsibility for workers’ health and safety seriously.

Find out more about the Stressed Out campaign

NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear said: “It’s time for media companies to recognise that it’s unacceptable for them to preside over regimes which are literally making people sick. Employers must take responsibility for protecting the mental and physical wellbeing of their staff. All journalists understand how to work under pressure – it’s part of the job. But working under pressure is different from working under the constant stress that is now all too familiar to our members.”

The union’s Stressed Out campaign will build on work already undertaken across a number of employers in Scotland.

Speaking about work-to-rule action taken by union members at the Daily Record & Sunday Mail, NUJ Scottish Organiser Paul Holleran pointed to longer term objectives of the campaign: “Ideally we will change the workplace culture, with breaks being the norm and people not acting up without being paid the rate for the job.

“Management have to realise members of the NUJ are no longer prepared to jeopardise their health while helping implement further job cuts and damaging their products in the long run. It is a health and safety issue and we will take it the whole way to change this culture.”

The campaign will include a number of strands to help members deal with stress at work. An online forum on Thursday (25/09) will enable people to post questions about workplace bullying, with answers to be given by the union’s Legal Officer, Roy Mincoff, and Equality Officer, Lena Calvert.

The union is also set to survey members against specialist stress indicators developed by the UK Health and Safety Executive. The survey will enable the union to assess stress levels in individual employers against officially recognised criteria.

23 September 2008

Challenging bullies and achieving dignity at work 23 September 2008

Posted by steve1917 in NUJ.
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Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect at work, but too often this is not the case. One-in-four adults has been bullied within the last five years. Bullying is the leading cause of stress-related illness and is the most frequent complaint made by employees.

These words appear at the very beginning of a new booklet produced by the NUJ on the serious problem of bullying at work. Speaking on the day that the TUC revealed figures that confirm that one-in-seven employees have been bullied in their current job, Lena Calvert NUJ equalities officer said: “Our members know all too well that bullying is rife in our industry and have witnessed at first hand the terrible stress caused to those being bullied and their colleagues.

“The media sector has a reputation for being a tough industry, with people working to tight deadlines and under pressure. But that’s no excuse for conduct that can damage people’s psychological and physical wellbeing. Managers who permit bullying to take place are showing a dereliction of their duty of care to their employees.

“Media companies must act to ensure that they create a workplace culture in which bullying isn’t tolerated.” (Quoted on the NUJ website)

The NUJ booklet ‘Stop Bullying’ gives the facts about bullying in the workplace and provides practical help about what to do about it. The book also outlines the legal position and the protection it offers. However, key to all this is the role of the union in standing up for members rights. The booklet can be ordered free to NUJ members by emailing lenac@nuj.org.uk and copies will also be available at branch meetings. It can also be read online by going to the NUJ national website.

Next Branch Meetings 22 September 2008

Posted by steve1917 in General.
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Early warning everybody!

The next two branch meetings of the London Central NUJ branch will be on



Remember our branch meets on the second Tuesday of each month unless otherwise stated. All meetings take place at the NUJ HQ in Gray’s Inn road, London – starting at 7.00pm

More details nearer the time

Hands off Latin America! 16 September 2008

Posted by steve1917 in events.
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Wednesday 17th September 2008

  • 4-6pm: Picket the US embassy, Grosvenor Square, W1
  • 7pm: Rally at the National Union of Journalists, 308 Gray’s Inn Rd, WC1, with speakers including Maria Beatriz Souviron (Bolivian ambassador), John McDonnell MP, Jeremy Dear (NUJ general secretary), Felix Plasencia (Venezuelan deputy ambassador) and Alan Woods (author, Reformism or Revolution)

Exactly 35 years after the CIA brought down Salvador Allende’s progressive government in Chile, violence by right-wing mobs has killed at least 30 supporters of Bolivian President Evo Morales, while journalists in Venezuela have uncovered a deadly plot to topple Hugo Chávez.

The US ambassadors in both countries have been expelled and Russian bombers are performing joint exercises with Venezuela as a response to the US deploying its Fourth Fleet for the first time in 60 years.
Now is a dangerous time for Latin America. US President George W Bush has made it his top priority to overthrow the new left-wing governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and others before he leaves office at the end of the year.

Join us on Wednesday outside the US embassy in London to say: Hands off Latin America! No more coups! Then come to the rally at NUJ headquarters and hear from ambassadors, MPs and union leaders about what we can do to help keep the warmongers at bay and expose their lies.

Called by the Bolivia Solidarity Campaign and Hands Off Venezuela. Supported by the Movement of Ecuadorians in the UK, Colombia Solidarity Campaign and Global Women’s Strike.


Express Newspapers 15 September 2008

Posted by steve1917 in disputes, NUJ.
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Branch members at last week’s meeting were shocked to hear the latest developments at Express Newspapers – the statement below has now been posted on the NUJ national website:

Journalists at Express Newspapers have warned that proposed redundancies at the Daily and Sunday Express threaten the very future of the papers.

An NUJ chapel resolution passed on Wednesday (10/09) said:

“This chapel views with anger the proposed redundancies which will herald the immediate demise of the Daily Express and Sunday Express as national newspapers. The chapel reiterates its longstanding and absolute opposition to compulsory redundancies and five-night working weeks and asks its officials to return as soon as possible with full details of the proposals.”

The company has proposed cutting up to 69 editorial jobs, including more than 30 sub-editors.

NUJ National Newspapers Organiser Barry Fitzpatrick said: “We have serious concerns about these cuts – about what they mean for people under threat of losing their jobs, but also that they will impose lower editorial standards and damage quality on these historic titles.

“We are due to meet management next week, when we will again press for information about how management intends for these proposed changes to work – information that they haven’t been able to supply to date.”

11 September 2008