The decision, which judging from discussions on the EPUK and NUJPhoto email lists has strong grassroots backing from photographer members, cannot now be voted on until next year’s ADM.
However, an earlier motion brought by General Secretary Jeremy Dear proposing an internal staff review and which was passed by ADM, could well bring about the same end result.
The conference heard Nottingham photographer and Photographers Sub-Committee vice-chair Pete Jenkins argue that the creation of a Photographers Organiser would better address the issues faced by photographers from within the union.
Disgruntled photographers at the vote Photograph: John Harris/reportdigital.co.uk
While the motion was opposed by a speaker representing the NUJ’s National Executive Committee, delegates spoken to by EPUK believed that the vote would be carried.
But before a vote could be taken on the Photographers’ Organiser motion, delegate Thom Dibdin from Edinburgh Freelance Branch proposed that the motion be remitted. The decision means that a vote on the motion itself could not be taken.
The concept of a full time union official with a specific remit to look after photographers’ issues has been gathering support over recent years, but the 2005 Annual Delegates Meeting saw a similar vote defeated.
At the moment, issues involving photographers are handled by any one of five full time organisers, depending upon industry sector, whether the member is freelance or staff, or by geographical region.
The majority of issues affecting photographers are currently handled by Freelance Organiser John Toner, reflecting the employment status of the majority of the Union’s photographer members.
The NUJ has around 2,500 photographer members, and the current figure is increasing by around 8%, making it the only sectors of the union where membership is rising.
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