DM 2021: Organisation

  • 22 May 2021

Name change. Reps' summit. Report to branches and chapels.

A motion to change the union’s name to NUJ was defeated, with delegates voting instead for research into a name change or branding to better reflect the diversity of media roles members and report back to DM 2022.

Simon Childs, London New Media and Broadcasting, branch had argued that the way  the  industry has evolved meant  many people such as those working  in social media, film producers and graphic designers were integral to the journalistic process but would not necessarily see themselves as journalists; a name change would improve barriers to people joining the union.

Anita Halpin, PR and Communications branch, said after 114 years the union had a strong brand and trusted reputation. She proposed the amendment to research the matter. Catherine Brereton, of the NEC, said she worked in book publishing and saw the need to increased recruitment in the sector, but better targeting and stronger communications were the answer and not a name change.

Conference supported a motion calling on the Newspapers and Agencies Industrial Council to organise another of the successful reps’ summits in spring 2021, to bring together those working in newspapers, agencies and regional publishers to review the state of the industry,  encourage the exchange of best practice  and boost the confidence of reps.

A motion from Leeds and Yorkshire  branch was passed which required the NEC to carry out a review and report on how chapels, branches and councils operated under Covid-19 restrictions, noting some of the positive - and negative - lessons.  Proposing the motion, Richard Edwards said good work had been done during the pandemic, with the union raising its profile. New faces and new blood arrived by the Zoom meetings and  branches had made extra efforts to communicate with members during the crisis.

A motion to merge the union’s four equality councils was not carried. Natasha Hirst, NEC,  argued that it would have sent out the wrong message to people who are some of the most marginalised in the workplace. She pointed to the excellent work all four councils carried out, the training they put on, and how union was represented at the TUC’s equality conferences, with the union punching well above its weight on equality issues. 

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