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NUJ Active 1 November 2019


Ballot papers for the editor of the union's magazine The Journalist were sent to NUJ members on Wednesday 16 October. Make your vote count. The deadline for receipt of completed ballot papers is noon on Wednesday 6 November. If you have not received your ballot paper by now, then you need to email:

Now the general election has been announced for Thursday 12 December, don't forget to check you are registered to vote. Everyone in the UK must confirm annually that their personal information held on the electoral register is correct in order to be entitled to vote. To register to vote or check your details visit the website.

Union news

BBC presenter and NUJ member Samira Ahmed has been at an employment tribunal in London all week, her case is the first of its kind and follows on from the publication of the BBC's high-earners list. The equal pay claim submitted to the employment tribunal relies upon comparing Samira’s role as the presenter for Newswatch with Jeremy Vine’s role as presenter for the programme Points of View. Both programmes provide an opportunity for viewers to air their opinions about the BBC. Samira's complaint was first raised with the BBC in October 2017 and it has been going on for more than two years. Samira was paid £440 per episode for presenting Newswatch in 2012 and Jeremy Vine was paid £3,000 an episode for presenting Points of View. The BBC have argued throughout that the programmes are different in terms of the scope and demands placed on the presenters. The NUJ has robustly challenged these assertions and has argued that any perceived differences in the programmes or jobs do not justify the substantial differences in pay rates. Samira's tribunal is expected to end next week and is being widely reported by the media. Her case has much broader implications for the fight for equality in the media. Show your solidarity and send a message of support to Samira via twitter @SamiraAhmedUK and copy in @NUJofficial

Last week in parliament Conservative MP David Davis urged the government to review police handling of journalists’ data as NUJ members Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey in Northern Ireland fight to have their seized material deleted from police databases. You can read about the parliamentary debate on the Press Gazette website.

This week the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has announced it is partnering with battleface - a provider of specialist insurance benefits and services for travellers visiting or working internationally - to offer an all-inclusive travel insurance to journalists. This new insurance scheme will offer IFJ members protection while travelling and will include coverage in the world’s most challenging places. If you have an IFJ press card you can get a discount. Find out more information via the IFJ website.


The NUJ's Bristol branch has organised a screening of No Stone Unturned at the Watershed on Monday 18 November starting at 18.30 and £5 for NUJ members. The film will be followed by a Q&A with NUJ members Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey. For more information visit the Watershed website

Northumbria University in Newcastle is hosting a lecture on the reasons why responsible businesses should work with trade unions. The lecture starts at 17.00 on Tuesday 5 November and the guest speaker is Kevin Rowan, the head of organisation, services and skills at the TUC and director of Unionlearn. For more information and to reserve your place visit the university website.   

VCLondon are having their second monthly gathering at the NUJ's Headland House in London on Tuesday 19 November. They are hosting an evening of networking and short films, followed by conversations with their creators. The Video Consortium is a global creative community of emerging nonfiction filmmakers and video journalists, with chapters in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, Paris, Milan...and now, London. More details about the event are available on the eventbrite website

The festival of Italian literature in London takes place on 2/3 November and is offering a 25 per cent discount to all NUJ members. The discount code for the event is FILL2019NUJ. For more information, visit the event website.

Fair pay petition

The disability pay gap day takes place on Monday 4 November. It is a new annual campaigning day which marks the day when disabled workers stop being paid. The TUC will be launching a report on the day which has found the current pay gap is 15.5 per cent, disabled workers work for 57 days a year without pay and disabled workers are paid, on average, £1.63 less an hour then their non-disabled peers and this equates to £3,003 less annually. The TUC has launched a new petition calling on the government to introduce disability mandatory pay gap reporting. You can sign the petition online and share on social media using the megaphone website.


The NUJ is sponsoring the Wales media awards and they are now open for entries until midnight on Friday 15 November. The free-to-enter awards celebrate and promote great journalism in Wales - work produced in Wales, for an audience in Wales, by journalists, photographers and camera operators. Eligible work is anything published or broadcast between 1 October 2018 and 30 September 2019. Eligible work for the student journalist of the year category is work produced by a journalism student when in full-time education and appearing between 1 March 2018 and 31 August 2019 in print, magazine, online or broadcast. For more information visit the awards website.   


Do you feel that a lack of self-confidence holds you back and you don’t get the assignments and work that you should be getting? Do you find some conversations with colleagues or clients – especially about pay – tricky? This workshop will help you to feel more positive and confident at work. Tutor Caroline Holmes, head of the NUJ’s reps’ training programme, will take you through the skills required to negotiate the assignments and pay you are worth. This session will also cover strategies to deal with sexism at work. The course is open to all, takes place on Monday 11 November from 12:00 – 15:30 and costs £5.98 for NUJ members. Book your place on the eventbrite website

Do you want to be an NUJ rep? The union offers free trade union training for members who want to play a more active role in both the workplace and the union. The next stage one course for new reps takes place on 25/26 November in London. This is the first stage of a three-part training programme. After completing all parts, new reps will be equipped to help deal with members’ day-to-day issues. The course covers 1) the main roles, responsibilities and skills linked to being an NUJ branch or chapel representative, 2) exploring the law and understanding how a rep can apply good practice when asserting their rights, 3) understanding the structure of the NUJ and the union’s links to local, national and global trade union organisations, 4) information and advice on how to use agreements, procedures and policies 5) developing a strategy when dealing with members' problems and priorities. To book your place on the course, visit the NUJ website.

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