Friday, July 11, 2008

Money - the root of all evil?

Money's certainly been the root of a lot of this week's issues. It started on Monday trying to get the funds in some old bank accounts of now-defunct NUJ branches transferred to central funds. I know we need laws against criminals laundering cash and laws to stop people stealing your dough but it is virtually impossible for the NUJ to get hold of it's own money. There's 4 of these accounts we've identified holding around £50,000 - and the banks are profiting from it. We've got to go back next week - again. This one could run and run.

On Tuesday I had meetings with some senior media managers - and what a depressing picture of the next 12 months they paint. Then I went with reps from the BBC World Service to the House of Commons to see our Parliamentary Group and plan the next stage of the campaign to protect the editorial integrity and jobs at the World Service. We also talked about the Lords report on Ownership of News and a number of other issues. Tuesday evening was the TUC Summer Reception - packed full of cabinet ministers and wannabee leaders (of all parties!). Took the chance to introduce Juan Carlos Ortada, a Colombian journalist in the UK for a few days to a number of trade unionists and politicians.

Wednesday it was back to the money theme - and pay talks with our staff unions. This year is particularly difficult budget-wise. Next up a meeting with DGS-elect Michelle Stanistreet to decide who does what, how we do it and more importantly when she can start. I'm really looking forward to working with her. Over lunchtime I met with a member from the BBC World Service who has a particularly difficult legal case - and we went through the options before I headed off to meet with Bectu General Secretary Gerry Morrissey and legal advisers to discuss the potential pitfalls in our building share project.

Wednesday evening I went to the National Theatre to see the Revenger's Tragedy - it macabre, loud but brilliant too.

Spent Thursday morning at home catching up on letters before a lunchtime telephone conference with our reps across Trinity Mirror to discuss the jobs situation in the wake of the share crash and the current economic situation. Mileage rates, pay and job security as well as cross-title working were all covered.

Quick dash to the Home Office for a meeting with Vernon Coaker about neo-nazi website Redwatch's targeting of journalists and trade unionists. There are more than 100 NUJ members featured on the site - a number of whom have had their homes or cars attacked by right wing thugs. Unfortunately Vernon Coaker was called away (to discuss knife crime with the Home Secretary) and so we met with others working on the issue.

Off to the South London Press for the next stage in the negotiations on a new pay grade review. Some progress made.

This morning it's back to money issues. It's the budget meeting. I'm off to count the pennies. My mum always told me if you look after the pennies the pounds will take care of themselves. I hope she was telling me the truth!

1 comment:

Rob Ray said...

Redwatch's webmasters may have trouble updating it soon...