Office sale on hold as NUJ feels pinch

It’s not just newspapers that are suffering in the recession. The National Union of Journalists has announced it needs to raise income or cut costs to avoid a £500,000 deficit by 2012.

A report to the union’s National Executive Council said union membership is falling due to industry job losses.

It said if income fell by just two per cent a year up to 2012, the union would need £500,000 of extra income or cost-cutting to balance its books.

A ‘draft action plan’covering union buildings, subscriptions, membership, and all areas of expenditure, is subject of joint consultations with three staff unions.

A plan to charge an administration fee in some legal cases is also being investigated.

Meanwhile, proposals to sell its Headland House headquarters in central London, and share an office with the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union, has been put on hold due to the property slump.

The NEC report states: ‘With the state of the property market having put an end to plans to sell Headland House and share a new building, it is expected the union will reorganise staff and now rent out one floor at its London HQ to bring in around £45,000 per annum.”

General secretary Jeremy Dear said: ‘We cannot afford to allow our spending to rise and our income to fall.

“We must act to address a situation which can very quickly spiral out of control and force us in to making drastic cuts to staff and services or using up all our assets.

“We want to avoid that scenario and need to make strategic and tough decisions over the next few months that ensure the union concentrates its resources on building membership, growing income and controlling expenditure.”

Founded in 1907, the NUJ is among the biggest unions in the world, with 38,000 members.

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