EMAP Healthcare action

3 November 2003

Dispute settled

At a well-attended union meeting today (Monday 3 November), Emap journalists in London voted unanimously to call off the seven consecutive days of strikes and day-long mandatory meetings they had planned to begin today.

This morning management re-opened negotiations and offered a concrete timetable of intense joint work with the union to produce a system of pay scales by the end of February. The negotiations were conducted in a positive and constructive atmosphere.

The union has accepted a pay offer of 3% backdated to April, with 3.5% for those on the minimum wage (£21,000). Management promised not to dock pay for the half-day action that the union took in October.

The root cause of the dispute was Emap's refusal to negotiate meaningfully with the union - this attitude had knock-on effects throughout the company. We hope that the re-opening of negotiations marks the beginning of a new period of positive relations between the company and the union, which will benefit both.

NUJ members regret that we had to threaten strike action, but at today's meeting we felt vindicated. We have now agreed to negotiate in good faith with the company, with the understanding that we will not hesitate to ballot for more industrial action should talks break down.

Once again we would like to thank all the NUJ chapels, branches and individuals who sent us messages of support and donations to our hardship fund.

We would especially like to thank all the freelances who offered to support us in this dispute.

27 October 2003

Journalists at EMAP in North London have voted to escalate their industrial action - and slightly change the original dates.

This means Emap Healthcare/Public Sector Management will now strike on Tuesday Nov 4 and Friday Nov 7, and will hold day-long mandatory meetings on Nov 3, 5, 6, 10 and 11.

The reasons for the change as that management put pressure on individuals to get a full-volume magazine out in a week shortened by industrial action. Initially journalists voted to all go to the offices of the magazine in question at 6pm every evening and leave in unison, so relieving pressure on individuals to stay late.

But this would have fallen foul of the anti-union laws - it would count as strike action, and so require that the union give Emap 7 days notice.

So instead, journalists vote unanimously to postpone one of their one-day strikes for one week, and timetable another 3 days of day-long mandatory meetings.

Messages of support can be sent to emapunions@hotmail.com.

16 October 2003

During a half-day mandatory meeting yesterday (Wednesday October 15), we voted with just one abstention and none against to take four consecutive days of industrial action in pursuit of our pay claim. We have been in dispute with EMAP since April.

The action is due to start on October 30 and will last until November 4.

This action has been chosen to bringing maximum pressure to bear on the company in terms of production schedules on major titles, while giving the union maximum flexibility.

This action threatens EMAP with no news pages on its two most profitable business-to-business titles. We are very angry at our treatment by EMAP and determined that we will win a better pay deal and respect for our union. We hope successful action will be another step towards winning union rights for all journalists, including freelances.

The titles involved are Nursing Times, Health Service Journal, Therapy Weekly, Local Government Chronicle, Journal of Wound Care and Professional Nurse.

Please get in touch if you would like to talk in more detail.

Yours in solidarity,
David Crouch
FoC, NUJ EMAP Healthcare/Public Sector Management
Tel 07 801 789 297

14 October 2003

Dear Freelance colleague,

EMAP Healthcare/PSM is holding a half-day mandatory meeting tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday 15) in pursuit of its pay claim. The meeting is effectively a strike, because it is a withdrawal of labour.

  • The meeting starts at 2pm in the café area, GLH
  • Please attend with your jacket, coat and bags, ready to leave the building
  • Management has requested that we hold the meeting off the premises. The meeting will decide when and where to continue.

Last year's one day strike at Healthcare/PSM received magnificent support from freelances.

I understand that this is very short notice; staffers will fully appreciate if your situation makes it impossible for you to support the action directly.

If you can and want to attend the meeting, however, and it would cause you financial hardship, the NUJ will make a payment to you, as we did last year.

Any messages of support you can send us will also be a great boost!

Your pay is not negotiated by the union at EMAP, but we have always campaigned for this to be changed, and we believe that pressure on different fronts is likely to make EMAP more amenable to your case for better freelance rates.

30 September 2003

The issue, the vote...

On a 100% turnout, EMAP Healthcare/Public Sector Management in Camden, North London, has voted for strike action by a 60% majority. The dispute is over pay - we have rejected management's 3% offer because we haven't had an above-inflation rise for many years, while profits are through the roof.

Last year the chapel held a successful one-day strike over pay. Since then management has effectively refused to negotiate with the union and has been extremely hostile and bullying towards us. It seems its tactic has been to grind the union into submission, calculating that the recognition agreement is up for renewal in 18 months.

So management will be absolutely stunned by this vote.

Our members feel really vindicated. There is already talk of a three-day strike to fully take out an issue of a major publication, such as Nursing Times.

In last year's strike the support and solidarity of NUJ colleagues around the country was vital to our success. Please rush messages of support to emapunions@hotmail.com, and please invite us to speak at meetings.

We will vote on what action to take on Thursday.

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