Monday 26 October 2009

Johnston journalists' action vote over workload

Weekly paper journalists in Nottinghamshire have passed a motion of no confidence in their management - claiming job cuts are putting intolerable demands on remaining editorial staff - and agreed to ballot for industrial action over workloads.
Members of the NUJ chapel at the Johnston Press owned Worksop Guardian are concerned that the non-replacement of staff, responsibility for another title, and a reorganisation have contributed to unreasonable demands and stress in their office.
According to the NUJ, over the past 18 months the Worksop office has lost a sports editor, a news editor, two full-time reporters and a part-time reporter and those journalists left behind have been expected to work on an extra title - the Gainsborough Standard - and to add video, audio and website reporting to their regular duties.
Lawrence Shaw, NUJ assistant organiser, said: “The chapel have repeatedly written to their local management about the situation and to ask for information - but received no satisfactory response.
“Other nearby Johnston Press centres have recently advertised for extra reporting cover and there are numerous vacancies advertised by the company. Yet the Worksop chapel are continually told that there is a recruitment freeze and there are no resources available to replace staff.
“The journalists in Worksop have been completely disregarded in consultation over plans for a centralised subbing unit, and there has been no consideration of the knock-on effects this has had on staff morale, workloads or health.”

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