Friday, March 14, 2008

Thanks comrade

I announced today the retirement of our Deputy General Secretary John Fray who will leave at the end of May. John has served the NUJ for many years and will be a hard act to follow. In reporting to the union's Finance Committee which met today I said that Thousands of members John has helped over the years owed him a debt of gratitude and that he deserved the thanks of union members across all sectors. Other tributes were paid to John's work as both Deputy General Secretary and before that our broadcasting organiser.

John's retirement was just one item on a busy and crucial agenda. We reported the new legal agreement the union has signed with
Thompsons and new legal surgeries, updated committee members on progress towards achieving savings targets, reported on discussions with the Journalist Editorial Advisory Board over future plans for The Journalist and was pleased to be able to report that the three unions representing NUJ staff were all recommending in a consultative ballot of staff acceptance of the new pension proposals after 4 months of negotiations.

It also followed 4 hours of negotiations yesterday afternoon that reached a deal just in time for me to shoot off to address Croydon Trades Union Council.

I also over the past two days have had meeting with the chair of our Disabled Members Council, Stephen Brookes and John Barsby, chair of the Finance Committee and handled a grievance hearing.

It was great to hear that NUJ President Michelle Stanistreet
had been elected to the TUC Women's Committee.

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