Thursday, January 03, 2008

The New Year hangover..

After a restful Christmas and a rollicking new year it's back to business.

Yesterday was spent nursing the metaphorical new year break hangover and catching up on all the emails, writing letters and sitting with a calculator trying to find alternative funding arrangements for the union's pension fund. Still!

I also put together a branch circular to support the forthcoming Hope Not Hate events to mark the 30th anniversary of the Rock Against Racism carnival at Victoria Park which did so much to build trade union support and involvement in the struggle against racism and fascism in the 1970s.
The NUJ is one of a number of unions backing a major event to mark the anniversary and build an educational anti-racism legacy project.

Today was the union's Policy Committee, which had on its agenda issues relating to our work with the Federation of Entertainment Unions, the TUC, with our Parliamentary Group, with the European Federation of Journalists and the IFJ. We confirmed that Alan Johnston would be one of the guest speakers at the union's annual conference in early April alongside Naim Toubassi the head of the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate who did so much to keep Alan's plight in the news and high up the political agenda. It should make for a remarkable session at the conference.

Yesterday, with the close of the unions' strike ballot due next week, we wrote to the BBC urging last-ditch talks to try to avoid a damaging dispute. There were informal contacts today to try to find common ground for further negotiations. Here's hoping.

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