Friday, 4 May 2012

NUJ welcomes Sly Bailey quitting Trinity Mirror

NUJ leader Michelle Stanistreet: "Staff demoralised by endless cuts'

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet has welcomed the news that Trinity Mirror chief executive Sly Bailey is to quit the company.

The union has complained that over the past decade Trinity Mirror has cut journalists' jobs, slashed costs and closed papers while Bailey has picked up a bumper pay packet and benefits.

Stanistreet said: “Sly Bailey has presided over ten years of cuts and decline. She has cut the number of employees by almost a half and slashed budgets in some of the most important newspaper titles in the regions and the Mirror national titles to the bone. While Ms Bailey received well over £12m in pay, bonuses and other benefits since her arrival, her staff have been demoralised by endless rounds of job cuts and newspaper closures. Those who remain have found it increasingly difficult to provide quality news to the communities they serve.”
“A recent survey of our reps at Trinity Mirror revealed that staff shortages have meant that court cases and council meetings are not being covered and local papers are unable to fulfil their vital role as a public watchdog, holding local politicians and businesses to account.

“We said in March that Sly Bailey’s continued stewardship was untenable. Her departure will be welcomed by the great majority of her staff who have seen her being rewarded for failure, while they have suffered pay freezes and increased workloads."

She added: "There is a desperate need for a fresh start with imaginative corporate leadership committed to working in partnership with the workforce to build a growing business. The NUJ hopes the group's incoming board will reject the cuts-dominated agenda that has been the characteristic of the Bailey years and show faith in quality journalism.”

Chris Morley, NUJ Northern England organiser, also gave Bailey a less than fond farewell. "In ten long years, Sly Bailey has brought little but demoralisation and misery to Trinity Mirror employees. She has remained impervious to the huge damage done by the ransacking of newsrooms around the group but at the same time maintained the fiction that quality journalism was not a casualty of her lust for cost cuts."

Barry Fitzpatrick, NUJ deputy general secretary, added: “I hope that during her long goodbye, she will reflect on the damage she has done to Trinity Mirror. She should forgo any sort of bonus this year. She should be called to account by shareholders at next week’s AGM and not receive any payment for what is her resignation.”

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