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Ballot called over staffing at Worksop Johnston Press title

26 October 2009

Journalists working for a weekly newspaper in Nottinghamshire have passed a motion of no confidence in their bosses. Members of the Worksop Guardian NUJ chapel also agreed to ballot for industrial action over workloads.

The chapel members at the Johnston Press owned title are concerned that non-replacement of staff, responsibility for another title and a reorganisation have contributed to unreasonable demands and stress in their office. Management has been informed today of the decision to ballot for industrial action.

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.

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."

Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said:

"The situation in Worksop is clearly intolerable and is characteristic of the entire local newspaper industry.
"I applaud the decision of the Worksop chapel to stand up for journalists and journalism and pledge the full support of the union to their dispute."

Tags: , newspapers, johnston press, worksop guardian, ballot, nottinghamshire, cuts, editor, gainsborough standard, stress, workload, recruitment