Strikes off as Emap chiefs reopen talks

11th hour: strike action called off at NT and LGC

NUJ members at Emap Healthcare and Public Service Management called off their plans for industrial action at the 11th hour after the company agreed to reopen negotiations.

At an NUJ meeting on Monday, journalists voted unanimously to call off the seven days of consecutive strikes and day-long mandatory meetings which were due to begin this week. The action was intended to hit the press days of two of Emap’s biggest B2B titles, Nursing Times and Health Service Journal. Industrial action was also planned at Therapy Week and the Local Government Chronicle.

However, Emap unexpectedly reopened negotiations and has offered a concrete timetable, working with the union to produce a system of pay scales by the end of February. Four rounds of negotiations have been scheduled, beginning this week.

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

An NUJ spokesman said: “We haven’t had such a positive set of talks for 15 months. Our impression was that the company was making a serious effort to re-establish relations with the NUJ. The root cause of the industrial action was what we interpreted as a refusal to negotiate, now we are back negotiating and we believe the union has come out of this a lot stronger. We are delighted to be back in positive negotiations and have every reason to anticipate they will be successfully concluded.”

Emap Healthcare managing director Nick Morgan said: “We are pleased that we have reached an agreement over the pay claim and that there has been no disruption to the business. We look forward to a more positive relationship with the union, moving forward.”

By Ruth Addicott

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