Dundee NUJ Branch Meeting 10th November 2016 at City Chambers

1. Attending: 15 members
2. Special guests – The branch was addressed by NUJ president Tim Dawson and by John Matthews, member of the NEC and SEC.

Dawson spoke about the history of the NUJ, its role in fighting the Investigatory Powers Bill at Westminster, and the future of the union – with a need to recruit; to find new ways to revitalise branches; and to do more to support freelancers. Matthews reported on his role representing Scottish members on the NEC, where Scotland now has two guaranteed NEC seats, and made a commitment to attend as many Dundee meetings as members wanted him to.

The branch thanked both Dawson and Matthews for attending. Branch secretary Jim Symon appealed to existing members and newcomers present to get more involved with the local branch.

3. Report on DC Thomson – a report back from DC Thomson was given, noting the new paywall on The Courier's website, as well as issues surrounding the planned move to the
Meadowside building in April. Members have raised concerns about cost and safety with parking in Bell St or the Wellgate Centre. Concerns have also been raised about access to the pool cars, which will be parked in Bell St. Car park fees will cost DC staff around £720-800 per year.
It was also noted the declining circulation of The Courier and the Evening Telegraph and concerns about the management of the newspapers.

4. Training events – Branch resolved to ask for more NUJ training workshops to be held in Dundee.

5. Exchange visits – JS reported on efforts to organise an exchange visit with members in Dublin.
Branch accepted proposal that five to six Dundee members would go to Dublin for four days/three nights in February-March 2017, with Dublin members then coming to Dundee later in the year.

6. NUJ Extra Appeal – JS appealed to members to contribute to NUJ Extra and to attend the fundraiser in Glasgow on Friday 11 November.

7. Finance – CB reported that branch statements for the previous four quarters had been submitted to the NUJ headquarters and that the current branch bank account balance stood at £325.93.

8. Christmas night out – Branch agreed to set a date of Thursday 15 December for the branch's hristmas night out, with a total budget of £125.00. It would be open to members and union friends, with members asked to RSVP by 10 December for catering.

9. AOCB – Jimmy Black urged that gender balance be taken into account at future meetings because of the all-male attendance. A potential visit to Dundee by the NUJ's general secretary Michelle Stanistreet in 2017 was discussed. It was agreed that Michelle Stanistreet could write directly to women members of the branch ahead of such a visit in order to encourage them to attend.

The NUJ has teamed up with 38 Degrees to campaign against restricting the Freedom of Information Act.

Dear member,
We have set up an online tool that makes it quick and easy for you to express your support for the right to know. The Commission on Freedom of Information has been tasked to review the existing FOI law and it is running a public consultation until Friday 20 November. The NUJ fears the Commission will want to restrict FOI and that's why we're asking you to take action. Responding to the consultation should take about 5 to 10 minutes, you don't have to answer all the questions and your response will be sent to the Commission. You can also send this message to colleagues and friends who might want to get involved.
Support freedom of information and take part in the consultation today https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/surveys/216

Advance Notice:

Dundee Peoples' Assembly AGM
Wednesday 28th October 6.00pm
Unite premises 110 Blackness Road

Branch Meeting 1st October 2015

Dundee NUJ Branch Meeting 1 October 2015 at the Mercantile, Dundee 19:15

10 members attended.

  • Chair's Welcome: Chair was pleased to see a good turnout. Emphasised the Branch was a good place for open discussion and advice.
  • Treasurer's Report: As at 30 June 2015, there is a balance of £449.00 in our account. We are now accepting the Branch contributions from head office.
  • Secretary's Report: The Secretary is active in various NUJ Industrial Councils and Committees as well as the Pensioners' Forum. The Mercantile was thanked for providing coffee, tea and accommodation. The current website was discussed.
  • DCT Report: NUJ recruiting material was discussed and members encouraged to use it as well as other means to recruit. There have been various management changes at DC Thomson. Staff are no longer given regular updates of circulation figures but readership figures are discussed instead. Members discussed the competition between the Courier and the Evening Telegraph and the business model being adopted by DC Thomson. Recent developments at the Scotsman and the Glasgow Herald are also of concern. All were encouraged to get press cards and informed of the new emergency contacts card which the Secretary will provide at the next meeting. Members are needed to stand for various Industrial Councils. Nomination papers will be available at the next meeting for both Scottish and National Industrial Councils. Members are encouraged to apply.
  • Some discussion arose around the Branch Website. It is lacking in recent news. Dave Rennie is to investigate and report back and may build a test version of a new site. The website is to be the subject of a further report and further discussion.
  • The next meeting will be on 12 November 2015 at 18:45 for 19:15 in the Mercantile.

The meeting closed at 20:30

Branch Meeting 18th June 2010

Members expressed their shock and dismay at the news of 350 print jobs at D C Thomson Ltd.  The campaign strategy against cutbacks to protect jobs, terms and conditions was discussed and branch representatives are in the process of implementing the next stage of the campaign.  Watch this space for future developments.

Dundee Trades Council

Dundee Trades Union Council is saddened by the announcement by DC Thomson Ltd of the anticipated loss of 350 jobs and the closure of its Guthrie Street facility. The company and the city of Dundee have been inextricably linked for well over a century. They have a reputation, unlike many companies, for investing in the latest technologies, plant and machinery so the announcement is particularly disappointing.
It is no secret in Dundee that the management style within the company has become more aggressive recently and there is a feeling that this latest move may well be more about profit maximisation, rather than any financial weakness in the Dundee operation. Management at D C Thomson is also seeking to impose an increase in the working week for many journalists with no pay rise, and a possible reduction in pay for some 22 per cent of staff the company consider is earning too much

We hope it is ironic, rather than cynical, that just three months ago, DC Thomson's 'Courier' newspaper announced that it had enlisted the First Minister to support its 'Lets Get Dundee Working' campaign.  

We have already been contacted by the National Union of Journalists, who represent a number of the workers involved, and have offered them our support and assistance, an offer we extend to other unions with members affected. As ever, our main concern is the potential loss of employment both for those directly under threat, but also for future generations of Dundonians.
Dundee TUC

Mike Arnott
07951 443 656

Latest Update 10th June 2010

Journalists should be in no doubt about the need for the union following the latest shock events at D C Thomson.
NUJ Scottish Organiser Paul Holleran said ‘’We are deeply concerned at the scale of the cuts.  This is a drastic situation.  It is essential that journalists should unite and join the union and fight these cutbacks.
Anyone with any immediate concerns should feel free to contact NUJ officials at any time.
Next meeting – Thursday 17
th June at 6pm at the Braes, 14-18 Perth Road, Dundee, DD1 4LN.  All members and prospective members welcome.

Branch meeting 8th June 2010

Members of NUJ discussed the latest strategy in their campaign against drastic changes in employment terms and conditions at D C Thomson.
Membership among editorial staff is increasing rapidly and an action committee is being formed to step up the campaign with a series of initiatives to highlight awareness of the reality of the company’s plans for journalists, both now and in the future, and to promote public awareness generally.
Specific information will be sent out be email shortly, so do sign up for our closed user emailing system, providing a private email address. 
Sign up for more information – all details will be kept strictly confidential.

Branch meeting 27th May 2010

Over 30 more people turned up for our second local meeting, held at St Ninians Church.
One again Scottish organiser Paul Holleran and assistant organiser Fiona Davidson were on hand to answer the many questions being raised, prompted by the current raft of changes sweeping through D.C. Thomson. Legal approaches to these changes were discussed in some detail.
Yet again, as at last weeks meeting, a number of completed membership forms were returned as people joined the local branch.
Specific information will be sent out by email shortly, so do sign up for our closed user emailing system here:
Sign up for more information

Branch meeting 20th May 2010

Over 60 journalists turned up at a meeting of the Dundee branch of the National Union of Journalists last night (Thursday).  It was the first meeting of the Dundee branch in over a year.
Proposed pay cuts and an increase in the working week by Dundee-based newspaper and magazine publishers D C Thomson & Co Ltd figured high on the agenda and another meeting is being arranged for next week.
Management at D C Thomson is seeking to impose an increase in the working week for many journalists with no pay rise, and a possible reduction in pay for some 22 per cent of staff the company consider is earning too much.
NUJ Scottish Organiser Paul Holleran said ‘The outstanding turnout at last night’s meeting demonstrates the mood of the journalists and their views of the company’s proposals.  The NUJ is organising a series of follow-up meetings with the journalists who work at all the titles published by D C Thomson over the next few weeks to assist and support them in every way we possibly can.’
Also at last night’s meeting, Life Memberships awards were presented to former BBC Scotland reporter Alan Grant and former Perthshire Advertiser journalist Les Stewart.  Both paid tribute to the help and support the union had offered them during their long and distinguished journalistic careers.