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Union launches campaign to combat stress

Stress in the modern-day media workplace is coming under the microscope in a new campaign.

The National Union of Journalists wants to tackle the problem head on in its ‘Stressed Out’ campaign aimed at highlighting stress and pushing employers to take it seriously.

The union says that, in the face of industry-wide cutbacks, it has been receiving increasing reports from members citing stress as a major health and safety issue.

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 Stressed Out campaign aims to build on work already undertaken across Scotland.

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran said: “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 NUJ website now has a stress test, resources about bullying, more information about the work in Scotland and a guide for NUJ reps.

  • An online forum is taking place today between noon and 2pm and 6pm and 8pm at as part its ‘Stop Bullying’ campaign. Journalists have the chance to question the union’s legal officer Roy Mincoff and equality officer Lena Calvert. All participants’ anonymity will be maintained.
  • Comments

    Martin Brandon (25/09/2008 12:53:09)
    When i joined the exeter express and echo my stipulated eight-hour shifts rapidly turned out to be 10-hour shifts. A couple of months later the deputy editor then managed to keep a straight face as he told us all about new European directives on working hours. Nothing changed.
    Management knows that with youngsters still willing to ‘get into journalism’ for nothing, they can make existing staff work long hours for peanuts. After 20-odd years, I got out of a tired ‘celebrity’ and increasingly dross-led trade.