DM2014: Recovery plan is working
12 April 2014
The NUJ’s Recovery Plan is working, with the union able to announce that at the end of the plan's first year there was a surplus of £218,000, union treasurer John Barsby told DM.
“At our last DM in Newcastle, we took decisions in order to do our utmost to ensure the NUJ remains an independent trade union for journalists. There is no magic wand and we are in no way out of the woods, yet it gives me great pleasure to be able to say that the commitment we made to rebuilding our reserves – crucial if we are to survive and thrive – is making good. In the first financial year under the Recovery Plan we ended with a surplus of 218,000 and I can report that so far in the first few months of our present financial year, we have achieved a further surplus of £100,000.”
The recovery has been brought about by renting out office space at Headland House, the NUJ’s London office, voluntary redundancies, which mean that 45 per cent of income is now spent on staff, a move to a defined contribution pension scheme and a renegotiated deficit repayment plan on the pension deficit.
But there is also bad news, he said. Cuts in the industry, the squeeze on freelance commissions and the increase in casualisation have affected members’ incomes and has meant many have left the industry. This has meant that the subs increase agreed in Newcastle has been barely sufficient to keep pace with the loss of members.
"There are positive rays of hope, however, on the membership front. There are signs that employers are recruiting again and numbers of individuals classing themselves as journalists has increased. About 85 per cent of new NUJ members are joining on full rates. This bucks the previous trend of losing full-rated members and having them replaced by those on lower rates.
“Figures and balance sheets are really important, but they’re also only a means to an end – and the end is defending and protecting our members and their terms and conditions. The NUJ’s survival is about all of those 30,000 members who know they can turn to us when they need their union’s help.”