The NUJ helps members when they face problems at work
15 February 2019
As part of Heart Unions week, an NUJ member explains how the union can help when facing an awful situation at work:
Suddenly being confronted by an email inviting you to a disciplinary meeting on a spurious charge is something no editorial worker wants to happen.
I've experienced the same feeling of dread three times as digital strategies change and job roles no longer fit the latest SEO requirements - with dismissal increasingly the go-to and surprisingly easy option for a growing number of employers looking to save cash or settle scores.
Even fighting a blatant case of unfair dismissal is not as simple as you'd imagine, as I found out the first time it happened to me. With a month's salary withheld and instant dismissal without reason, I was left nowhere to go.
Crippling legal fees and no experience in employment law presented me with just one option - to give in and lose the money.
Joining the NUJ changed all this for me.
The NUJ has now helped me twice push back against employers who thought they wrote the law book - without having to risk thousands of pounds on advice from private law firms. In fact - winning me five-figure compensation packages.
Joining a union is one of the smartest moves any employee can take in the rapidly changing digital world and ever-more competitive print markets. It's affordable and the best 'insurance' policy you'll ever possess.
I would cut back on many outgoings, but for me, the NUJ card in my pocket is one of my most valuable and smartest investments.
Ensuring the NUJ can remain a strong and relevant voice for journalists and journalism means continuing to grow our membership and boost our collective strength.
In the workplace, with more NUJ members and strength in unity, we can fight off job cuts and negotiate for better pay, terms and conditions.
The more freelances who join up, the better opportunity there is to fight for freelance rights, against copyright grabs, bad contracts and for better fees.
Sometimes recruiting people is easy. There are times when it is simply a matter of turning to the person sitting next to you in the office and asking them if they want to join – for many, the only reason they have not yet joined a union is because they’ve never been asked! Pose that question and be part of a nation-wide push to get more engaged in the NUJ.
Remind colleagues that the NUJ is the UK and Ireland’s voice for journalists and journalism – recruiting in all parts of the media, for all workers creating content.
As part of Heart Unions week - you can help the NUJ to strengthen and grow.
Ask someone to join the NUJ today.