Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lows and highs - from ACAS to Parliament

I spent 11 and a half hours at ACAS yesterday - I'd love to say I'd spent 11 and a half hours negotiating at ACAS yesterday - but that would be a lie.

We were there over the dispute with The Guardian management in relation to major changes they are proposing to working practices in the light of the move to 24/7 multimedia working.

They are the most tortuous negotiations I have ever been involved with - and given we haven't even got close to resolving some of the fundamental issues it looks like i can look forward to more such days to come.

Prior to that I'd had a breakfast meeting with the Trustees of the NUJ's Staff Pension Scheme to discuss the changes we are proposing in light of the scheme's funding shortfall. There's some tough times ahead - but we're working through it and will be launching a scheme member consultation on November 7 after presenting plans to the three staff unions.

But there is some better news too (phew!). Following last week's meeting of the NUJ's Parliamentary Group we tabled questions about the future of ITV - and the chair of the group Austin Mitchell was able to intervene during DCMS questions yesterday securing support for our campaign to save ITV local news. This really shows the value of our Parliamentary Group.

In between all these I've had a number of internal staffing meetings, went to see the venue for Monday's Stand Up for Journalism event in London and even managed to get through some of my post.

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