NUJ warns lack of fair process & inadequate timescale on Telegraph job cuts
22 October 2014
The Telegraph Media Group is reported to be planning to cut 55 more jobs after Jason Seiken, editor-in-chief, wrote to all staff. Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said in response:
"The 'normal' Telegraph process to which Mr Seiken refers does not normally involve anything which amounts to meaningful consultation with staff. It is ridiculous to say that any kind of fair assessment of skills can be carried out in a week – not least because the company is as an absolute minimum legally obliged to consult for 30 days.
"It is clear from this the company simply wants to pick and choose who stays and who goes. This should be a time of great uncertainty for Mr Seiken as the company has not provided any proper rationale or strategy for how quality will be safeguarded in light of these proposed cuts.
"It is also unclear what has happened to additional new digital jobs supposedly created over the summer. NUJ members will be meeting urgently this week in light of this announcement and other digital changes being pushed through by the company."
Jason Seiken sent the following letter to staff about the digital restructure:
"I am writing to update you on changes we are making as part of the ongoing editorial transformation.
"As I outlined in a letter to staff earlier this month, we must continue to meet the demands of resourcing our digital-first newsroom whilst also responding to the ongoing challenges within our industry.
"As a result, there will inevitably be an impact on staff numbers in several editorial areas.
"As we reduce the overall number of editorial positions we will start the normal information and consultation process. Those who are likely to be most affected will receive further correspondence in the next few days. This will outline the next steps.
"I realise this is a time of great uncertainty for you all. I do not want that to continue for any longer than is necessary, but I want the process we follow to be fair and allow time for sufficient consultation. I hope we can complete this initial assessment in just over a week.
"We continue to work as hard as we can to develop new revenue streams as we move TMG editorial to a digital-dominant operation.
"Even at the end of this process, we will have more editorial resource than many of our competitors and we will carry on creating and filling digital posts.
"I am extremely grateful to all colleagues for your understanding as we continue to work towards the transformation that is so essential to our future."
The letter was published by Roy Greenslade in The Guardian on Tuesday 21 October 2014.