Wednesday, May 25, 2016

COHSE Fleet Street Nurses Chapel

COHSE Fleet Street Nurses Chapel in action 1970 

COHSE Fleet street nurses branch Irene Aitken (Left)
 Aileen Flood COHSE Fleet Street nurses branch

                        Norah Fitzgerald nursing sister at News of the World Newspaper

The famous COHSE Fleet Street Nurses branch was established in 1967. Most newspapers in Fleet Street had their own medical departments. the Daily Mirror's for example was at Holborn circus employing eleven industrial nurses all registered nurses and all COHSE members.

In common with their colleagues in carious printing unions they belonging to a "Chapel", This is the traditional name given by print unions to the unit within a given company which deals with on the spot trade union matters affecting members.

The COHSE Fleet street Nurses had their own Chapel, and this, like other Chapel's in the organisation was affiliated to the Federated House Chapel. The FHC protected the interests of all trade unions within the company which ever craft, trade or occupation they were employed in.

Irene Aitken was union officer for the nurses 
"We are 100 per cent COHSE Chapel, a strong chapel. we negotiate directly with the management on matters affecting our members. we can call on the Federated House Chapel for support if necessary. We are increasing our strength as nurses in COHSE by forming a Fleet street branch of COHSE"

The COHSE Fleet street nurses branch covered members at the Daily Mirror, News of the World and a number of other newspapers in Fleet street.

Industrial nursing was still a relatively new area of the nursing profession

Mrs Aitken said
"It will be the policy of our branch to bring home to the printing employers the necessity of recognising that ours is a profession (Industrial nursing), and that we are engaged in a vital occupation within the industry. This should be recognised by salaries and conditions which raise us to the status we deserve"

The Daily Mirror Medical Chapel successes and experience was the basis for the new COHSE Fleet Street nurses branch.