Union restructure – first draft released
30 June 2008
Plans to restructure the NUJ for the 21st century could include changes to the sectors, a first report has proposed.
Structuring the Future: Building our democratic strength (members only) has been produced by the union's Development Committee in response to motions passed at the centenary annual delegate meeting in Birmingham in April 2007.
Suggestions from many of the NUJ's many councils and committees, branches and chapels as well as individual members were included in this first report.
The report says:
"Increasing casualisation of the media industry, continuing job losses in national and regional newspapers as well as broadcasting mean fewer journalists are likely to be working in central workplaces.
"The branch and chapel structure must reflect this change if the growing number of those working independently or in isolation are to be represented and advised appropriately."
Adam Christie, the NUJ Development Committee member who is leading a small working party compiling the information, said:
"We had some very radical, but positive, suggestions about how the union could further evolve to meet the very different and challenging conditions of the 21st century.
"Now, we're asking for those councils, committees, branches, chapels and individual members to look at all the suggestions that we received so we can start drafting motions for ADM 2009.
"We deliberately did not attribute any of the suggestions so that no one would feel embarrassed about putting forward ideas which might appear radical or controversial. We're going to stay with this approach.
The closing date is Friday 5 September. After that, the comments will be reviewed and further drafts will be written. These, in turn, will again go out for consultation over the winter.
Adam Christie added:
"Development Committee members are keen that as many people as possible think about these changes, so those on the working party are available to go to branch and chapel meetings to discuss the ideas with individual union members.
"Nothing has yet been decided and everything is up for grabs. We hope that in responding – either by e-mail, by post or each section of the online version – members will simply say what they are for and against, and why. All the suggestions in this first report have come from members.
"If anyone has further ideas, then we welcome these too, but we hope that suggestions that have already been made aren't repeated.
"When these are collated, each will be costed or assessed for practicalities, just as all ADM motions are done and made available later in the year."