NUJ to meet ITN about Five losses

The NUJ and ITN are gearing up for confrontation next week as the possibility of the compulsory redundancies of up to 18 Five News journalists loomed large this week.

Journalists will meet with the news broadcaster on Monday afternoon to discuss their prospects with the company, after it lost out to Sky News on a new contract to supply Five News from next year.

So far, only 16 of the 34 journalists who applied were offered jobs on the new bulletin by editor-elect Mark Calvert and Five’s senior programme controller Chris Shaw last month.

NUJ broadcast organiser Paul McLaughlin told Press Gazette that ITN had brought about this situation for journalists “by agreeing an illegal arrangement with Five and Sky”.

The NUJ had insisted previously when it “reluctantly accepted” the transfer terms laid out by Five and ITN, that it would reserve the right to challenge them under transfer of undertakings (protection of employment) legislation, if the affected journalists were out of a job by the end of the year.

“We’re asking ITN to make good the situation because they are a large company and have other avenues they can explore in terms of redeployment,” McLaughlin said.

“We’ve told ITN that any suggestion of compulsory redundancy is totally unacceptable to our members.”

An ITN spokeswoman countered that “it would, of course, be disappointing if there are any compulsory redundancies” and added: “We have found positions for several Five News staff elsewhere in ITN and we remain committed to finding as many posts as we can for others.”

By Wale Azeez

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