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Donegal triumph for chapel power

NUJ chapel at the Donegal Democrat with Nicola Coleman, NUJ Irish organiser

NUJ chapel at the Donegal Democrat with Nicola Coleman, NUJ Irish organiser  -  © Private

6 September 2012

Donegal journalists are celebrating success in saving jobs at the Johnston Press-owned Donegal Democrat series after management tried to make a photographer redundant.

The NUJ chapel at the Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press had already agreed to three voluntary redundancies after negotiation with the union. But the company then sought to make one of the paper's three photographers redundant.

The chapel declared that this was a step too far and members were prepared to resist a compulsory redundancy.

After a fortnight of talks between the company and the chapel to prevent the job losses, the three photographers have now agreed a job sharing deal – working 28.5 hours a week each rather than 37.5 hours. They also won a reparation package of €12,000 to compensate for the reduced hours. All three photographers will remain on staff.

Tom Comack, father of the Democrat chapel, said:

"We're pleased that we saved a position. Obviously, our colleagues are taking a reduction in pay, but it is still a positive outcome."

Nicola Coleman, NUJ Irish organiser, said she was delighted with the support the chapel showed for their colleagues.

"It's much easier to negotiate with a company when you have a well-organised chapel that is willing to defend its colleagues' terms and conditions.
"It's great to have a chapel willing to show solidarity. The chapel's members are an example to colleagues across the Johnston Press group, and to the wider union."

Tags: regional newspapers, johnston press, newspapers, donegal