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NUJ wins recognition on Newsquest's Stourbridge titles

13 February 2017

Newsquest has agreed to recognise the National Union of Journalists on a range of its titles based in Stourbridge in the West Midlands.

The agreement takes in the following titles and associated websites: Stourbridge News, Halesowen News, Dudley News, Kidderminster Shuttle, Bromsgrove Advertiser, Redditch & Alcester Advertiser and Droitwich Spa Advertiser.

The NUJ was granted voluntary recognition by the company after the arbitration service ACAS confirmed that a substantial majority on the newspapers were NUJ members. The chapel said it now looked forward to working with the management on agreeing a new house agreement, setting out working conditions.

Gurdip Thandi, Newsquest Stourbridge NUJ FoC said:

"I am absolutely delighted that our chapel has been able to achieve official recognition.  It is a timely morale boost for members who face significant challenges such as the threat of more cutbacks, the growing demands on fewer staff and a pay freeze.
"The recognition came about as a result of members staying strong and working together as any strong chapel should –  just as we did to save the job of a reporter during a round of redundancies last October. Members now have  the extra reassurance of being represented by the union during negotiations and when dealing with problems.
"We are grateful the company has worked with us and now look forward to agreeing a fair house agreement as soon as possible."

Chris Morley, Northern & Midlands organiser, said:

“These are important and respected titles for the communities they cover and our members are proud of the work they do. They are professionals and rightly believe journalists should have a voice in their pay and conditions.
"The NUJ chapel at Stourbridge has a record of standing up for its members and I’m glad that we can work with the company in a structured and proper way to deal with the issues that matter to members in an atmosphere of respect.
"I welcome the company’s acknowledgment of the chapel’s significant membership and agreement to recognise the union without the need for a ballot. I look forward to working with local management to develop a robust house agreement and positive spirit of engagement for the future.”