Union-wide finance conference

Register for the member-only conference, and contribute to discussions on building a fair subscriptions structure that maintains a quality service.

The union-wide finance conference is open to all members, but the NEC hopes that every branch and chapel will send at least one delegate.

At the union’s Delegate Meeting in April 2023 the difficult decision to increase subs in order to maintain services to members in a period of high inflation was agreed.

For years inevitable subs increases have raised important debate about our subs structure and membership types. The April 2023 DM was no exception, and it was agreed as part of the subs debate to hold a special conference later in the year to discuss these issues.

Since then, large scale redundancies in newspapers and the struggle to make a living as a freelance have made recruitment difficult and membership has fallen. This is a problem for a union that depends almost entirely on membership contributions for its income and membership density for its collective strength. The NEC sees the conference as the ideal opportunity for members to discuss subscription rates and structures alongside recruitment, and consider without pressure making decisions  on such issues as:

  • Ending legacy subscription grades;
  • Changing grade bandings regularly to match inflation;
  • Gathering data on members’ salaries to inform grade changes;
  • Considering if higher paid members should pay more through additional higher grades;
  • A general concern that subs will get too high;
  • Enforcing the 1 per cent rule;
  • Concerns about subs hardship for the lower paid;
  • Concerns about recruiting those just breaking into journalism;
  • Reform of the 50 per cent membership earnings barrier;
  • Balancing different membership classes with fee rates;
  • The need to recruit more members in an era of diverse offices with small eligible staffs or those working from home.

You can read the conference briefing paper and the executive summary. You must log in to access both documents. Login to MyNUJ.

The conference is planned for Saturday 23 March at 2pm and will take place online. All members are invited to join the webinar, but the NEC hopes that every branch and chapel will send a delegate to put forward their views. The webinar will be chaired by the president and will hear from speakers outlining the problems and giving analyses of the issues. The conference will then break into three or four groups to discuss subscription models and recruitment with each group  being asked to consider specific issues before rejoining the full conference. The conference is planned to last a maximum of three hours.

Palantypists, captions and a transcript will be available on the day. Please confirm your accessibility requirements when you book your place. This is a member-only conference and you will need to register an NUJ account if you do not already have one. 

After the conference a full report will be produced and circulated. The NEC hopes that branches and chapels will consider it and draw up their own motions for submission to Delegate Meeting 2025.

Once the preliminary DM agenda is published, branches will be able to amend the motions or consider whether to support or oppose. The NEC will also submit its own views. Finally, the full debate will be held at DM 2025 in Blackpool in April 2025.

A joining link for the conference will be sent via email to all registered attendees before 23rd March. 

Programme of action

Saturday 23 March, 2pm-5pm: Webinar on the way forward.

November 25: Deadline for motions to DM preliminary.

February 22, 2025: Deadline for motion amendments to DM.

April 25-26, 2025: Delegate meeting.