Thursday, 13 October 2011

Statement for National Union of Journalists, national executive election, London seats

I am running. There are four seats available. The election is by the single transferable vote. If you are an NUJ member living in London please give me your first preference and ask friends to do the same. Ballot papers were posted today. Candidates are asked to supply a statement of up to 400 words and a list of union offices held.

NUJ members – staff and freelance - across London must stick together.

Not just to defend jobs and journalism – but to seek to improve pay and working conditions.

While paid NUJ officials are over-run fighting job cuts and representing members the rest of us must take responsibility for the union’s outreach work.

Across the capital city there are magazines, broadcasting companies, new media operations, PR consultancies, papers, publishing houses, and news agencies where the union has few members and isn’t recognised.

As NUJ northern organiser in the early 2000s I was the official responsible for dozens of successful union recognition campaigns which – backed by members willing to take industrial action - helped win improved conditions for NUJ members.

If elected I would use that experience to co-ordinate a campaign by activists across London to increase the union’s membership and influence by winning new deals and trying to extend the agreements we have to cover freelances and students on work experience.

It takes patient work, talking to and reassuring isolated and potential members. But these campaigns can be successful.

Spreading NUJ recognition and having strong workplace chapels is the best way to stand up for journalistic ethics and equality.

I would also work to unite NUJ members across the industrial sectors which the union still uses but which the employers have left behind with the convergence of almost all outlets into multi-media, multi-skilled operations.

While recognising the changed landscape I would support campaigns to save the jobs of properly trained professional photographers, designers, sub-editors and others who are vulnerable to the illusion that digital media and equipment make everyone a journalist.

I am a 49-year-old father-of-one. I live in Peckham. I’m a freelance currently doing communications for the Public and Commercial Services Union. I’m a supporter of the NUJ Left – a loose alliance of socialists in the union.

I’m on Facebook and Twitter and you can text or ring me on 07764 614203.

Union offices held:


I am an elected trustee of the NUJ Extra charity and a member of the Press and PR branch recruitment committee.


NUJ northern organiser from 2001-2006 – responsible for membership recruitment, negotiations, representation, campaigning, trade union training, managing the Manchester office and other activities in England, from Coventry northwards, and in north Wales.

I have held various offices in workplace chapels at the Bury Times, BRMB radio in Birmingham, Stourbridge News, Bromsgrove and Redditch Advertisers, Birmingham Daily News group, BBC Hereford and Worcester, and BBC Coventry and Warwickshire.

I have held various offices in the following branches: Bolton, Birmingham and Coventry, Manchester, and Press and PR in London.

I have been an elected member of the national executive council – representing a now defunct seat called ‘Provincial newspapers in the midlands of England and Wales’.

I have been an elected member of the national executive emergency committee, freelance industrial council, provincial newspapers industrial council, public relations and information industrial council, and Journalist editorial board.

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