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Jeremy Dear to stand down as general secretary

4 February 2011

Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary (GS), has announced he will not stand for re-election following a decade at the head of the union. The NUJ will elect a new GS later this year. 

Jeremy Dear was the union's youngest ever GS when he was elected in 2001 at the age of 34. He was re-elected in 2006. Prior to becoming GS, he served the union as national organiser for newspapers and as president.

Jeremy Dear first rose to prominence after leading one of the union's first – and longest – disputes against de-recognition of the NUJ, at the Essex Chronicle. The strike lasted for 11 months.

As a full time official, Jeremy Dear was responsible for the union's recognition campaigns – winning back union rights in national and local newspapers, magazines and book publishers.

Frances O'Grady, TUC Deputy General Secretary, said the campaign had "made the NUJ a force to be reckoned with once more." He also managed NUJ Training in its early years.

Jeremy Dear became the first NUJ leader to be elected to the TUC General Council in 2002 as part of a new wave of left wing leaders who took office in a number of unions. His election as NUJ GS saw the union adopt a more militant, active stance as members sought to tackle low pay, job cuts and win back collective bargaining rights.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ deputy general secretary, said:

"Jeremy's passion and dedication to the union he loves, his unrivalled commitment to trade unionism and his sheer energy have made him a general secretary the NUJ can be truly proud of.
"Jeremy is leaving the union in fighting shape ready and able to carry forward his work and legacy as the voice for journalists and journalism throughout the UK and Ireland. As his deputy over the last three years, and as an activist before that, I've been privileged to work with an outstanding general secretary who will be much missed."

Pete Murray, NUJ President, said:

"Jeremy Dear has been a uniquely inspiring general secretary of the union, constantly, energetically and faithfully representing journalists at work across the UK and Ireland. The whole union owes him enormous thanks for a decade of commitment and success.
"Jeremy has never lost the zeal and passion which drives the best campaigners for justice and people's rights. It has been an unforgettable privilege for me to have stood with him on picket lines and in numerous NUJ campaigns as President. Although he will be hugely missed, Jeremy's great legacy is that he leaves office with the union in fighting good health. We wish him the best for the future."

Jeremy Dear said:

"It was the proudest moment of my life being elected general secretary and I have been honoured to have had the opportunity to serve our union at every level over many years.
"Throughout all my years as a lay activist or a full time official, I have never failed to be inspired by the spirit of the NUJ members and their continued commitment to fight for social and economic justice. My deep thanks go to all those – staff, reps and members – who do so much to make the NUJ the fantastic union it is and whose friendship and solidarity I have been fortunate to share over the years".

Tags: , jeremy dear, general secretary, election