The motions outlined here are draft versions to be discussed at future meetings.
- Membership and recruitment
In recent months, reports have set the number of media workers – journalists and PR sector – at nearly 180,000.
These reports emanate from Statista (a source of “headline” stats – but broadly accurate). They are (checking with the ONS stats currently) broadly supported by official stats.
The figure for people defining as journalists is around 108,000 (a very large leap since the 73,000 of 2016):
And the figure for the PR sector is around 71,000 (a figure that has more than doubled since the 33,600 of 2010): https://www.statista.com/statistics/319801/number-of-public-relations-professionals-in-the-uk/
The total is some 180,000 people we could recruit. Currently we have 2x,000 members of whom 2y,000 are paying full dues. (FILL IN FROM FINANCE COMMMITTEE’S LATEST FIGURES)
Every 10,000 of those potential members, even paying the lowest membership rate of £204 per year, would yield £2,040,000 per year. Worth fighting for, surely.
The problem, however, is that while this pool of people is at an unprecedently high level, we know very little about them, who they are, which sector they work in, what they earn, their economic and social background, and so forth.
Some years before these figures were released, and on a hunch, we talked to the LRD about how we could find out how large our potential recruitment pool really was, and as much as possible about those people.
At that time, 2018-19, the basic scoping exercise would cost at least £27,000 – a scale which is too large for branches alone and clearly needs a central, budgeted effort by the union.
LMB therefore calls for the appropriate research money to be allocated to this urgent effort: it is hard to imagine that such an effort would not at least pay for itself.
- Equalities – abortion rights
This DM notes:
- The current threats to global abortion rights, led by the recent actions of the US Supreme Court which have overturned the constitutional right to an abortion across the US;
- That in the UK people can still be prosecuted for trying to procure an abortion (for example, for ordering abortion pills online, as recent press coverage has shown);
- This is despite the fact that 85% of the general public in the UK support access to abortion in cases of unwanted pregnancy, and even though the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives have called for abortion to be decriminalised, and for our laws to catch up with modern medicine.
- That women in northern Ireland still cannot access abortion; more than two years after this was won in the Republic.
This DM believes:
- That access to safe, free, legal and local abortion is a human right, as is the choice of whether to continue with a pregnancy;
- That nobody should face imprisonment for exercising or helping others exercise this right, and that abortion should be decriminalised in the UK and beyond;
- That abortion laws and rights should reflect the pro-choice beliefs of the general public.
This DM therefore resolves to call on the NEC:
- To stand in solidarity with all those who are facing escalating attacks on abortion rights, in the UK, US and worldwide;
- To send solidarity to sibling unions and activist groups mobilising in defence of choice;
- To support national and local solidarity motions in support of global abortion rights;
- To affiliate with the Abortion Rights campaign and encourage our members to join as individual members
- Press diversity
This Delegate Meeting notes:
- The increase in industrial action taken by significant sections of the working class for higher wages and better conditions following the onset of the cost of living crisis.
- Misinformation regarding the action published by much of the press and media particularly as regards the existing pay of striking workers and their current conditions of work.
This DM believes:
- That such misinformation could be avoided if there was greater diversity within the national and local press and media.
- Strong unions are important toward creating a fair, balanced and independent media, and in putting a check on the excesses of some media owners and their editors.
- This DM instructs the NEC to work with organisations such as the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (North) and Better Media in order to oppose further concentration of the media, support press diversification and encourage the establishment of media titles that fully back workers’ fights for better pay and conditions.
- Motion Government proposed anti-union legislation
This DM gives our full support to workers, including journalists, being forced to take strike action against their employers. The cost of living crisis, fire and rehire tactics, and other attacks by employers in pursuit of maintaining profits at our expense all mean workers are uniting to fight back. Many of these disputes are seeing workers win significant gains.
We oppose the Tory government’s threats to introduce further anti-union legislation to the raft of undemocratic restrictions already in existence. This is potentially a serious attack on the remaining democratic rights of trade unionists and an attempt to stop unions from taking industrial action to win their demands.
DM instruct the NUJ NEC to work with other unions and the TUC to prepare for the maximum co-ordinated industrial action, up to and including a 24-hour general strike, if the Truss Tory Government moves to implement new anti-union laws and restrictions
- Housing crisis motion
This DM believes that it is a disgrace for the government to be considering rent rises of around 5% for social rents and that both shared owner rents and service charges have any cap, at all. For shared owners, this means a possible rent rise between 15% and 20%.
Such increased pressures on household incomes would be unaffordable for those in social and shared ownership housing, many of whom are low-paid workers, particularly against the backdrop of the highest inflationary levels in 40 years. Many NUJ members, in particular younger journalists, will be badly adversely affected by the housing crisis, as was indicated by the research conducted by the union in recent years.
A social rent freeze would ease the burden on such tenants and residents and save the taxpayer money. Around 30% of tenants receive the Housing Benefit (amounting to c£7.5 billion in 2020/21). Yet the housing association sector has a collective surplus of around £4.4 billion. A further rise in social rents would therefore transfer more money from the taxpayer to these very rich landlords.
This DM supports the Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC) and their partners in lobbying to make sure that social rents, shared owner rents, and service charges are frozen rather than raised on 1st April 2023.
We note that their fundraising target is around £10,000 to help cover the costs of campaign materials, printing, banners, leaflets, flags, and online advertising.
We also note that SHAC is working closely with Defend Council Housing, the New Economics Foundation, the Radical Housing Network, and Homes for All, as well as other specialist housing campaigns towards their goal.
This DM, therefore, resolves to:
- Donate the amount of £X towards the campaign.
- Circulate information about the campaign to all members.
6 Subscriptions motion
This DM notes:
That the amended motion 76 that was carried at DM 2018 noted “that under the current [subscriptions] structure there is a very low maximum subscription rate for higher paid workers and a relatively high minimum subscription rate for those earning up to £29,000 (€32,800) pa”.
This is still the case, despite the motions passed looking to address this. It is still also the case that other unions who serve their members just as well have far lower subscription rates.
That the motion instructed the NEC to change the subscriptions structure in order to not discriminate against lower paid members, and “to change the existing subscription thresholds in order to create a more progressive subscriptions structure”.
This DM believes:
The low pay prevalent within journalism, especially for those entering the industry, and for some in less well-paid sectors, such as Magazines, Books and online Journalism, means subscription costs are a barrier to membership.
This DM instructs the NEC to amend the rules in order to:
Create a more progressive subscriptions structure by introducing a single structure for all members based on earnings.
|Earnings in £ (or Euro equivalent) per annum.
|Rate £s (Euro equivalent) pcm
|up to £16,000
|£16,001 to £24,000
|£24,001 to £29,000
|£29,001 to £36,000
|£36,001 to £45,000
|£45,001 to £60,000
|£60,001 and above
The 1% rule to be kept and all sector grades removed.