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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

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