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More jobs to go in the north west as Reach pursues its digital strategy

2 July 2018

The NUJ is fighting compulsory redundancies following a merger of journalist roles at the Manchester Evening News (MEN) and Huddersfield Daily Examiner, as part of Reach's "Live model" strategy of separating its print and digital operations.

The Huddersfield newsroom faces cuts of seven posts and at the MEN nine roles are at risk, including three photographers and two reporters. Other positions at risk include print managers and a community content curator. The management said that new post will be created, including in video and football writers, at the MEN which will result in a "marginal increase"; however the chapel said this includes currently vacant posts.

Chris Morley, NUJ northern and midlands senior organiser, said:

“Once again our members are in the line of fire with the continued roll out of Reach’s plan to separate digital and print operations. The effect is particularly serious at Huddersfield given the existing team is so small after years of the company continually whittling away at newsroom staffing levels.
“What seems strange is that the company expects Huddersfield to be covered with a 20 per cent reduction in reporting capacity and to also to cover Leeds in the Live experiment there. I am concerned at the strains this will undoubtedly put on remaining staff and the union is clear that if anyone is to go it must be through voluntary means. We will be engaging robustly with management over this.”

The MEN NUJ chapel said staff were steadfastly opposed to the possibility of compulsory redundancies:

"Our priority is to protect those who are directly affected by these proposals and to ensure members remaining are not negatively affected by the process of separating print and digital operations.”

The voluntary redundancy period will end on 9 July.

Almost 100 jobs have already been put at risk in Reach’s regional newsrooms since February, as the company (fromerly Trinity Mirror) rolled out the Live newsroom model which began in Birmingham last year.

Tags: , local news matters, local newspapers, manchester evening news, huddersfield examiner, cuts, redundancies, reach, trinity mirror, digital