Newsquest Glasgow restructure finishes after 40 leave

Eleven journalists who applied for voluntary redundancy at the Herald and Times group in Glasgow have been told they must stay – some with inferior positions, according to the NUJ.

In December, the Newsquest-owned group announced most of its 250-strong editorial would have to apply for 40 fewer jobs in a merged newsroom.

Since then, 51 applied for voluntary redundancy – with the National Union of Journalists telling Press Gazette staff were “queuing to get out”.

But only 40 have been accepted – 24 at The Herald, six at The Sunday Herald, five at the Evening Times, and five in digital – leaving 11 staying when they wanted to leave.

NUJ Scotland national organiser Paul Holleran told Press Gazette: “In one way, it’s good, as we have avoided compulsory redundancies.

“But the doors were open for volunteers, and some people just wanted out. They were queuing to get out.”

Holleran claimed some journalists had been offered inferior posts, including one middle-bench sub-editor who has been moved down-table.

This week, Newsquest Glasgow editor-in-chief Donald Martin told staff the job losses had stopped, and thanked staff for their patience.

“We are delighted to announce we have now finalised our group editorial restructuring plan, and all outstanding contracts and job offers will be issued by early next week,” he wrote in a memo.

“The main reason for the delay was management’s desire to avoid any compulsory redundancies in multimedia, production or content and I am delighted to confirm we have achieved that primary objective.”

In January, according to ABC, The Herald’s circulation was 60,976, down 9.7 per cent year on year, while the Sunday Herald fell 12.25 per cent to 45,405.

The Evening Times, audited every six months, saw its circulation fall 8.1 per cent to 68,422 in the second half of 2008.

Elsewhere at the group, Press Gazette understands that two fathers of the chapel who were suing for victimisation have accepted an increased redundancy package and left.

Gordon Thompson, the Evening Times father of chapel, is thought to still be in dispute with the group over alleged disability discrimination.

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