NUJ members working for Johnston Press across Scotland have voted to accept a negotiated deal on the issue of staffing levels and workloads, ending the threat of industrial action.
Journalists had voted overwhelmingly for action after the company had failed to move to address outstanding grievances about heavy workloads.However following intense, high level talks Paul Holleran the Scottish organiser presented a new working arrangement to a mass meeting last Friday.
This includes a change to the way vacancies are filled and an extension of freelance budgets to allow more cover for sickness and holidays. Agreement was also reached which will see the appointment of two Modern Apprentices in Digital Journalism for every single vacancy that arrives, except in the case of some senior posts, which will be filled “like for like”.
Improved training will be provided where neccessary and a review of how the sports department is structured has started, along with changes to prioritise local news provision ahead of generic features.
Members welcomed the deal, congratulating the negotiators and agreed to keep the lines of communication open to ensure a smooth operation as the changes kick in.
The meeting was the last to be chaired by liong standing FoC Scott McAngus who is standing down after leading the group chapel for over five years. The union wishes Scott well for the future and Paul Holleran said: “Scott has been a driving force, working closely with us in turning this chapel into a solid single unit across the company in Scotland and this latest settlement reflects his impact on how we represent our under presure members.”