Nearly 70 join Indy redundancy queue

As many as 70 staff at The Independent titles have expressed an interest in a voluntary redundancy scheme, leaving managers with the task of deciding who is allowed to leave and who is not.

As Press Gazette went to press, the paper’s executives were to speak at a meeting of the paper’s NUJ chapel, which also represents The Independent on Sunday, on Wednesday evening.

Parent company Independent News and Media announced in January that it was to axe 20 editorial jobs and offer six months’ pay plus a month’s payment for every year of work, regardless of length of service.

Independent editor Simon Kelner called the deal “the most generous seen in Fleet Street for years”.

According to one well-placed source at The Independent, the number of journalists to leave could rise as high as 30.

The two papers combined currently have around 300 journalists – a lower figure than the other quality newspaper groups.

Independent News and Media has written to all staff that have applied for the scheme. They will find out next week if their application has been successful.

A source at The Independent, who asked not be named, said: “The redundancy deal is a very good one and for a lot of people it’s very tempting.

“The fact that everything here is done on a very tight budget means a lot of people are going to want to leave.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people who didn’t get the deal left anyway.

They have probably spent the money in their heads already.”

The Independent NUJ chapel rejected a 2.4 per cent pay increase, but settled for a 3.5 per cent deal in February.

Independent management were not available for comment.

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