NUJ avoids compulsory redundancies with 6 volunteers

Compulsory redundancies will be avoided at the National Union of Journalists following news that six members of staff had volunteered for redundancy.

The prospect of compulsory redundancies at the union emerged in May when it was revealed the union was gripped by a severe financial crisis and could become insolvent by October.

In a bid to cuts costs, as part of the union’s recovery plan it aimed to make a number of redundancies from its 47-strong staff, with the aim to slash costs by £400,000.

The threat of possible compulsory redundancies was criticised by a number of NUJ branches.

The union has now announced that six members of staff have opted for voluntary redundancy including assistant organisers Don Mackglew and Lawrence Shaw.

The other departing members of staff are Jo Frost, George McClure, June Coughlan and Eve DaCosta.

According to The Journalist, the official magazine of the union, general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said ‘further savings would be made in the coming year because a dozen staff had offered to work reduced hours to mitigate the danger of redundancies”.

The new budget is based on NUJ income in the next financial year of £4.9m from union subscriptions and other sources, and spending of £4.7m. This involves setting aside £250,000 a year to build up future union funds.

In a document sent to National Executive Council members in May, Stanistreet said the union had been hit by a ‘perfect storm” of falling income and rising costs.

With monthly deficits averaging more than £20,000, the overall deficit at the end of February was £267,000, meaning that unless immediate action was taken “this money will run out in October and the union would be insolvent”.

The union also wants to increase union subscriptions by between 15p and 26p a week, and reduce the frequency of annual delegate meetings to every two years.

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