This Emergency Committee of the National Executive Council, meeting under rule 8g, rejects unanimously the motion passed at the Irish Executive Council on 27 July 2007 in its entirety.
The Emergency Committee affirms that there is no impediment, either under rule or policy, to the signing of the Drogheda Independent house agreement by chapel officers and the appropriate officials of the NUJ.
The Emergency Committee pays tribute to the work of the chapel and the negotiating team in securing a broad-based agreement with
- A strong equality content
- Full recognition of the NUJ and union organisation within the company
- Requirement on non-members to join the NUJ before contract of employment is issued
- Protection of pension benefits
- Enhanced maternity leave
- Strong flexible working policy
- New rota including 35 hour week
- Enhanced rates of pay of up to 6000 euros per annum.
The Committee expresses its full confidence in the leadership of the chapel which conducted lengthy negotiations in an open and consultative manner.
The Committee notes that chapel has put negotiated change at the heart of the bargaining agenda. This Committee equally notes the company’s commitment to agree terms of reference on the signing of the house agreement that will take due cognisance of NUJ policy in respect of technological change.
Recognising that the agreement has implications for reporters and photographers, the Committee warmly welcomes the stated commitment of the company to maintain professional photographers to perform core photographic coverage. The Committee welcomes the commitment to establish a joint working party to monitor the implementation of the clauses relating to photographic technology. In drafting the terms of reference, the chapel and the negotiators should give due regard to
- Maintaining the primacy of newsgathering as the core function of reporters
- The development of an agreed training programme which takes account of experience, skills and aptitudes of individual reporters
- Strict adherence to health and safety standards and the application of best practice
- The effect on current photographic arrangements within the three titles
Given that the NUJ annual conference earlier this year elected a convergence commission, dealing with integration and convergence of media, this Committee agrees to refer to the commission the further development of an effective strategy encompassing all technological changes.
As part of this ongoing work, the Committee recommends that the General Secretary commission a survey of current practices across the industry. This Committee believes that such work will further improve our ability to put the protection of photographers at the heart of our bargaining strategy. Indeed, quality journalism and photography are a vital part of the union-wide Stand Up for Journalism events planned for November 5 later this year.
Finally, this Committee condemns the abusive attacks and smears on the union and its officials in relation to this issue. The Committee places on record its complete confidence in all officials involved in negotiating the Drogheda Independent agreement.
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