Why BAJ is the union for MGN

I wish Robin Gibson, NUJ FoC in MGN’s sports division, would stop
telling lies about the BAJ. He keeps saying in Press Gazette that the
BAJ has no members in the sports division when I have told him
otherwise.

He also alleges, again, that the NUJ negotiated the terms of the seven-day publishing agreement with management.

This is completely untrue. BAJ, as the recognised union, negotiated the agreement.

Bizarrely,
Robin claims credit for undermining BAJ’s negotiations under the 2005
house claim. BAJ was on the verge of achieving a slight improvement in
the terms hammered out at ACAS when Robin told management that his
members were happy to accept what was on the table.

Management immediately closed down negotiations. Well done, Robin.

Robin
claims that the relationship between the company and BAJ is a cosy one.
The evidence proves otherwise. BAJ has done well by sports division
journalists since recognition in 2003.

Nearly everyone has had
substantial increases, 25 journalists have received additional rises
ranging from £500 to £6,000, many have a nine-day fortnight now and
some enjoy an extra week’s holiday.

Robin is being disingenuous
saying that he works for the Trinity Mirror sports division, when he
works for MGN’s sports division which covers the Racing Post and
associated titles.

He is trying to conceal the fact that as BAJ
already represents the 500 journalists on MGN’s three national titles,
it makes sense for BAJ to represent as well the 140 journalists in
MGN’s sports division.

The terms and conditions of most sports
division journalists should be a lot better. The company can well
afford it out of bumper profits. I urge more colleagues to join BAJ to
help us achieve fairer shares for all.

Steve Turner general secretary, BAJ

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