Tuesday, December 20

1,000 hits on the blog

Well, we have passed our first significant milestone - 1,000 hits on the blog!
So, who is looking at what we publish?
Just over sixty percent of hits come form the UK (625) with a further 20% (192) from the USA. Germany, (58) Russia, (47) and Singapore, (25) are the other notable countries where we appear to have a following.
The most significant referring URL is our national NUJ website followed by Google. We also have two sites in Romania sending traffic our way  - interesting, and unfathomable, unless anyone accessing the blog from Romania would like to tell us why!
While most of the traffic is from computers we are seeing a few hits now from IPhones, IPads and Android phones. A higher proportion of hits are coming from Apple products and systems, maybe not unexpected considering the sector our membership operates within.
Lastly, this December is already our best month for hits - let's hope we can continue this upward trend into 2012.

NUJ democracy: election news

The membership of the NUJ is its lifeblood.

The NUJ is a democratic and campaigning union and strives to represent all sectors of the industry.

We want to encourage members to actively take part in the union and make sure the union reflects the strength and diversity of our membership.

One of the ways that members can get active in the NUJ is to volunteer to stand for election.

There is a variety of NUJ Councils and seats/posts on these Councils (which reflect the industrial sectors, nations and regions of the union) and all the Councils form the basis of the democratic decision-making structures of the NUJ.

There is a range of vacancies. Nomination forms have been sent to your local branch, so if you want to find out more information or volunteer please contact your branch secretary.

Your local branch has to nominate you and the nomination needs to reach Headland House by Friday 27 January 2012.

If you are not sure who your local branch contact is, then please email: campaigns@nuj.org.uk


Friday, December 9

Crisis in Midlands Journalism: the Fight Back has Started

The fight back against the savage cuts to journalism in the Midlands was launched at a packed meeting in Birmingham. The "Crisis in Midlands Journalism" event was prompted by the recent announcement to shed 50 jobs at Trinity Mirror and the major cuts planned at the BBC's Midlands operations.

Michelle Stanistreet warned the meeting of the damage that repeated cuts had on journalists' ability to hold those in power to account. "The sad reality is that communities deserve better than this and the resulting democratic deficit is something that should frighten and anger all of us,"

Thursday, December 8

Public service media needed to strengthen pluralism

Two major threats to media freedom exist across Europe today. One is the attempt by state authorities to dominate the media market. The other is the trend towards commercialisation and monopoly. Both these tendencies undermine freedom of expression - and are good reasons for strengthening public service media.

Media pluralism is necessary for the development of informed societies where different voices can be heard. However, in several European countries there is little genuine media freedom and therefore limited space for pluralism. Independent television and radio channels are denied licences, and critical newspapers are prevented from buying newsprint or distributing their papers.
Thomas Hammarberg, European Commissioner for Human Rights
Posted 06/12/11 / Read more here . . . .

Wednesday, December 7

Swedish Journalists Deny Supporting Ethiopia Rebels
Two Swedish journalists, Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson, have told an Ethiopian court they were upholding the highest traditions of their profession when they were arrested in the company of rebels in the restive Ogaden region.
Voice of America, 06/12/11

EDM 2517: Human Rights Abuses In Ogaden
That this House expresses its deep concern at the continuing human rights abuses perpetrated against the people of Ogaden by Ethiopian government forces and militias previously evidenced by Human Rights Watch; and urges the UK Government to work with the African Union and United Nations to enable the access of independent human rights observers and journalists to Ogaden to press for the release of the Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson and to seek a negotiated settlement of the conflict between the Ethiopian regime and the Ogaden National Liberation Front.

Primary sponsor: John McDonnell, date tabled: 06/12/2011

Friday, December 2

BBC (Proposed Cuts) - Parliamentary Debate 01/12/11

Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby) (Lab): I beg to move,

That this House calls upon the BBC to reconsider the scale and timing of its proposed cuts so as better to safeguard BBC local radio, regional television news and programmes, the morale and enthusiasm of its staff, and the quality of BBC programmes generally, all of which have made the BBC the most respected public service broadcaster in the world.

Full debate can be read here
House of Commons / 1 Dec 2011 : Column 1101

Wednesday, November 23

Fight for our BBC

NUJ/BECTU Joint lobby of Parliament Tuesday 6th December
Preparations are underway for a joint union lobby of Parliament on Tuesday 6 December. A day of events in Committee Room 14 will bring union members together (2:oo - 3:oo pm) ahead of a lobby of MPs (3:00 - 5:00 pm) and will conclude with a public meeting with keynote speakers from 6:30pm. More details to follow.

Take part in the BBC public consultation and tell your colleagues, family and friends to do the same. The consultation closes on 21st December. The more people we can get to tell the BBC not to implement the cuts, the better chance we have to save BBC jobs and public service broadcasting at the BBC.

BBC Trust Online Consultation - BBC Local Radio & BBC Asian Network

BBC Local Radio: Service Review Consultation
BBC Local Radio should deliver up-to-the minute, accurate, impartial and independent news, analysis and insight. It should provide fast and comprehensive coverage of local, UK and international events as they unfold and specialist analysis to put the news in context.

The Trust has issued a service licence for BBC Local Radio which sets out what each station is expected to achieve. We want to find out how well you think that BBC Local Radio is meeting these expectations?

There are eight questions, please answer as many or as few as your wish.

Give Us Your Views - Online consultation

BBC Asian Network: Service Review Consultation
The BBC Asian Network's remit is to provide speech and music output appealing to British Asians, with a strong focus on news and current affairs. It should be primarily in English, but some programming should be provided in a range of South Asian languages.

The Trust has issued a service licence for the Asian Network which sets out what the station is expected to achieve. We want to find out how well you think that the station is meeting these expectations?

There are 6 questions, please answer as many or as few as your wish.
Give Us Your Views - Online consultation

Monday, November 21

Trinity Mirror savage midlands local papers

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary (pictured above) said: “Trinity Mirror has again taken the sledgehammer approach to local news provision. It is wrong for the company to continue to make profits and pay shareholders whilst the public and journalists face dire newspaper closures and job cuts. The decision to axe titles leaves the local community with only one remaining rival paper. The company have trampled on quality journalism, media plurality and the citizens right to know.”
Chris Morley, Northern & Midlands Organiser delivered the wreath which included the message "Chase Post, Sutton News & Stafford Post R.I.P under Trinity Mirror".  Members of the NUJ branch carried posters saying "Chase a buyer Trinity Mirror", "No! to Closure","Save Our Papers" and "Post Haste to Sale".
TheNUJ had called on Trinity Mirror to seek a buyer for the papers.

Chris Morley said: "Although we have laid this wreath, the NUJ does not believe these papers have to die. Trinity Mirror claims to have searched for a buyer, but has not been open about its efforts. It has an obligation by law to try to eliminate or reduce the number of redundancies the closure of these titles will bring about and one obvious way of doing that would be to actively seek a buyer.
“If it is serious about finding a new owner, Trinity Mirror should consider giving away the titles to any credible local investors with a clear interest in keeping them as the valuable community asset that they are. The group reaped the profits from these papers over the past ten years and should now be responsible to the community who provided those profits.
“The closure of these titles was announced in the same week that the new Localism Act was passed. As a union, we will be looking hard to see if this new Act’s provision for forcing companies to allow time for community groups to organise a bid to take over threatened local "assets of community value", could be adopted to save threatened local papers.”

Funeral Demo 18th Nov 2011 attended by Members (Tom Reed, Tony Collins and Martin Warrillow) who were made redundant by Trinity Mirror with Northern Organizer Chris Morley and Chris Youett held at the offices of the Chase Post marking its closure the dedication on the Birmingham & Coventry wreath reads: Chase Post, Sutton News and Stafford Post RIP under Trinity Mirror

Sunday, November 20

November branch meeting details

The next branch meeting will be held on Tuesday 22nd November 2011

Meet 6:00 pm for 6:30 start

Old Windmill pub
Spon Street

Light refreshments will be served

1) Introduction by chair/those attending
2) Minutes of March meeting
3) Secretary/Treasurers reports
4) Branch reports
5) Up date on BBC dispute
6) Branch public meeting on cuts @ BBC/December in B'ham 08/12/11
6) Any other business

Friday, November 18

“Crisis in Midlands Journalism”

Public Meeting - “Crisis in Midlands Journalism”6.30-9.30pm Thursday, December 8
Committee Rooms, Birmingham Council House, Victoria Square

Speaker: NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet (pictured, above)
The Murdochs have dragged journalism’s reputation into the gutter nationally, but in the Midlands other dangerous attacks on the profession are taking place.

Trinity Mirror has put a dagger through the heart of its Midlands operations with news of scores of job cuts at its titles, including making all of its photographers in the region redundant and axing the 140-year-old Sutton Coldfield News.

National Union of Journalists members at the BBC’s Mailbox centre and Radio Coventry and Warwickshire are braced for around 100 editorial job cuts, as part of 2,000 demanded nationally because of the politically-driven short-changing of the Licence Fee settlement.

When these are combined with savage restructurings that have already taken place at ITV Central News, all the commercial radio stations and other local newspapers, we have a perfect storm not only for journalism, but democratic scrutiny in our communities.

Birmingham & Coventry NUJ Branch has called this debate to highlight the urgent peril to the West Midlands. Join us on the night to show your support for quality journalism.

Thursday, November 17

Protest over BBC Birmingham factual programming Bristol move
More than 100 people have protested in Birmingham over plans to move BBC national factual programme-making from the city to Bristol. The Chamberlain Square event was held over plans which the BBC has said would affect more than 100 Birmingham posts. One protest organiser, Oliver Clark, said they wanted "to take the story" into the centre as it was important for the area that "the BBC stays here". (More)

Public Meeting - "Crisis in Midlands Journalism"
6.30-9.30pm Thursday, December 8
Committee Rooms, Birmingham Council House, Victoria Square
Speaker NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet

Don't close popular Midlands papers - Sell them
The National Union of Journalists is calling on publishing giant Trinity Mirror to put three popular Midlands papers up for sale instead of closing them.

NUJ negotiator Lawrence Shaw said: "The only beneficiary of these closures is the Northcliffe group, the papers' rival in this area. It makes no sense to journalists to shut down popular papers that are full of adverts. That is why we believe the Trinity Mirror management must have an ulterior motive for the closures, which it is not revealing. We will be asking for answers and the chance for these paper to continue to serve their local communities."

Tuesday, November 15

A Bleak Festive Season ahead for West Midlands Journalists

Yesterday Trinity Mirror announced 66 job losses and the immediate closure of three local papers, The Chase Post, The Stafford Post and the Sutton News, with more redundancies at the Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post, Coventry Telegraph, Coventry Times and Hinckley Times.

Coventry Telegraph will be left with only one photographer, four at present, one general news and one sports posts will also go.

Hinkley Times, will have no photographer or full time reporters at all, copy will come from freelancer's.

A reliable source say that Trinity Mirror intend to further cut costs and posts by inviting the public to contribute stories to online editions, with a target of 40% of content in the next two years

Trinity Mirror also announced it would be changing work practices with the introduction of a Regional production hub and features unit. Which can only be interpreted as journalists working on several newsprint editions rather than one. When the hub is set up, staff will have to move to the hub or lose their jobs. There will be no more specialist reporters.

All in all, with these cuts and cuts in regional BBC staff, it is a pretty bleak picture for NUJ members in the region.

Above cuts will be discussed at the NUJ Branch Meeting on Tuesday 22nd November, Old Windmill pub, Spon Street, Coventry, CVl 3BA, start time 18:30 hrs.


Chris Morley NUJ Northern & Midlands Organiser, asked to comment on the proposed cuts said:

"The Birmingham Trinity Mirror chapel will be holding a meeting midday today, to discuss its reaction to yesterdays news - the timing of which I believe is deeply cynical.

"Trinity Mirror normally picks a Friday afternoon to make these announcements - the end of the working week so there would be little disruption even if people do get uppity. And of course the trade press is likely to miss it and even if they do pick up the story before they go, few journalists will ever give it their full attention when they are thinking of the weekend.

"This time of course it was a Monday afternoon when two major news stories in industry were well known in advance - the start of the Leveson enquiry and the Society of Editors' annual meeting. In other words, a good day for Trinity Mirror to bury their bad news.

"I think this sets the tone for what is an incredibly intellectually poverty-stricken scheme to make its Midlands operations pay its levy to the £25 million cuts demanded by Sly Bailey in July.

"The company has said this is to give the titles a "sustainable future". Of course we all remember them saying this in 2009, and 2008 before that, to justify the loss of more than 100 Trinity Mirror journalist jobs from the Midlands. But few people are going to swallow this line when grand old titles such as the Sutton Coldfield News are sacrificed.

"We must see the wider picture of the attack on journalism in the West Midlands and the need for the NUJ to link the job losses already carried out in the last three years, and those new cuts now planned to take place in just 30 days, to those that have already happened at Central News, the Wolverhampton Express & Star and all the commercial radio stations. We now especially have to ally the journalists at Trinity Mirror Midlands with their colleagues at the BBC where the other major axe is to fall on around 100 editorial posts in the region. This is not just about jobs (although that is uppermost in our focus) but also the sort of democratic community we want to live in.

The NUJ will support and fight for its members through this horrendous time but we have to be prepared to stand up now to show this nihilism is not the answer to current problems - and certainly is not the future for our profession.

We can make a start in convincing the public at the Birmingham & Coventry Branch open meeting 'Crisis in Midlands Journalism' from 6.30pm on Thursday, December 8 at Birmingham Council House. Let's make this a centrepiece for our resistance.

Chris Morley
Northern & Midlands Organiser
Birmingham & Coventry branch member

Friday, November 4

Opposing Cuts @ the BBC, persuade your MP to sign EDM 2373

Early day motion 2373: BBC West Midlands
That this House is concerned at the BBC's plans to transfer much of its work away from Birmingham; believes that this will have a damaging effect on the life and economy of the West Midlands; notes the impact of the loss of over 150 skilled positions, mainly in production, post-production and other skilled work, affecting the entire Midlands digital media industry and the area's freelancers;

further notes that the BBC's current plans will mean there will be virtually no network television made in the West Midlands and productions such as Countryfile, Coast, Hairy Bikers and Points of View will no longer be produced in Birmingham;

further believes that this damage will become irreversible as the region will no longer be able to attract the media companies and skilled workers that form the basis of this viable economy; further believesthat investment in media production across the region's universities and colleges will prove to be redundant;

and calls on the BBC to reconsider its proposals and maintain television and radio production in Birmingham.


Richard Burden, Labour Party Birmingham Northfield
Roger Godsiff, Labour Party Birmingham Hall Green
Khalid Mahmood, Labour Party Birmingham Perry Barr
Steve McCabe, Labour Party Birmingham Selly Oak
Geoffrey Robinson, Labour Party Coventry North West
Gisela Stuart, Labour Party Birmingham Edgbaston
David Wright, Labour Party Telford

<http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/2373>Date tabled: 03/11/2011

Put your MP to work demand they sign EDM 2373
Early Day Motions are very good ways of raising issues in parliament, which may not get debated in normal sittings of parliament.
You can contact your MP for free, through: WriteToThem.Com

Thursday, November 3

UNISON members vote yes in pensions strike ballot

Members of UNISON, the UK’s largest union, have today voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action to protect their pensions.

The union balloted members including nurses, teaching assistants, social workers, care assistants, paramedics, police staff, school dinner ladies, probation workers and cleaners.

Overall: Yes: 245,358

No: 70,253


Local Government (Including Scotland)
Yes 171,428
No 54,500
76% in favour – Turnout 30%

NHS (including Scotland)
Yes 73,930 No 15,753
82% in favour – Turnout 25%

Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON said:
“The decisive yes vote in the ballot, reflects the deep concern that our members have over Government ministers’ proposals for their pensions. “Yesterday’s statement in Parliament was a marked improvement on earlier proposals.
“But, it is important to understand that the statement has to be translated into offers in the scheme specific talks. We still have had no offer in those negotiations, where such an offer can legitimately be made.
“We support the TUC day of action on 30 November, but will be negotiating right up to then and beyond to get a fair deal for our members.” Senior lay officials of the union are meeting throughout the afternoon to discuss the latest Government statement on pensions and to decide what action to take as a result of the strike ballot.

Wednesday, October 26

Wednesday, October 19

Birmingham and Coventry branch - NUJ

Calling notice - October Branch Meeting

Tuesday 25th October
Red Pepper's
117 Wharfside Street
The Mailbox
B1 1RF
6:00 for 6:30


1) Introduction by chair/those attending / apologies

2) Any matters arising from September meeting. (No minutes available as meeting was not quorate).

3) Secretary/Treasurers reports

4) Branch reports/national reports

5) Talk by Charles Atangana, a leading Cameroonian journalist who overcame attempts to deport him.

6) Proposed job cuts at the BBC in Birmingham and Coventry

7) Update on NUJ Deputy General Secretary elections

8) Newsquest Cheshire/Merseyside strike. Brother Morley to propose donation of £350.

9) Any other business

Disabled people, their friends, family and supporters from across the region will gather in Birmingham city centre on 22 October 2011 to protest against cuts to disability benefits and services. We need you to join us and help make our voice heard.
We will gather in Birmingham city centre to protest against Government cuts to disability benefits and services. This is one year on from the comprehensive spending review, which revealed the Government’s intention to slash public spending.
Venue: Victoria Square, outside the council house for the rally.
WHEN: 22 October 2011, at 12:00pm for a 12:30pm start.

Disabled people, those with long-term conditions and their families are being hit the hardest by cuts to the benefits and services they need to live their lives.
Many are living in fear of cuts to essential benefits including Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The total cuts will mean an estimated £9billion loss to disabled people and their families’ incomes in the UK over the next four years, on top of cuts to many local care and support services.

Sign up for the campaign at: Email

Or phone 01905 740 500
Find out more info at
Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/thehardesthit
or using #hardesthit on Twitter

Thursday, September 8

March and Rally - Birmingham for the Alternative

Date: Sunday 18 September
Assemble at 11 am on Granville Street B1 1JW
Speakers include: Frances O'Grady TUC, Billy Hayes CWU, Mark Serwotka PCS, Christine Blower NUT, Paul Kenny GMB

This year the Lib Dems are having their annual conference in Birmingham and the TUC is organising a march and rally to show opposition to the Coalition Government's disastrous policies of pay freezes, cuts and attacks on public services that are producing rising unemployment, cuts in living standards and stagnation. The march will also show the support for The Alternative. We need jobs, growth and justice for a sustainable future and this event will send that message loud and clear.

We call for the maximum support and are specifically asking unions and trades councils to:
  • Encourage all your members to attend, a flier is available to download [PDF] and printed copies are available, to order leaflets e mail mkesterton@tuc.org.uk clearly stating the number of leaflets wanted and a postal address for delivery, allow 5 working days for delivery ,
  • Let us know if you are booking transport and we can give advice on drop off, parking and collection,
  • To ensure that we have an effective and safe event we need a number of stewards and all affiliates are asked to nominate a number of stewards, please e mail contact details of potential stewards to mkesterton@tuc.org.uk
  • Consider making a donation to help fund the campaign.
There will be provision for marchers with disabilities, including a short route. It would be helpful if organisations could give as an indication of what their members access requirements are and we will do our very best to ensure that they are met.

Wednesday, September 7

B'ham & Coventry NUJ September Branch Meeting

Tuesday 13th September 2011
Old Windmill pub
Spon Street
Meet 6:00 pm for 6:30 start

Light refreshments will be served

1) Introduction by chair/those attending
2) Minutes of August meeting
3) Secretary/Treasurers reports
4) Branch reports
5) Guest speaker - Charles Atangana, Journalist in Exile
6) BBC dispute - Work to rule, is it working?
6) Any other business

Tuesday, September 6

Early day motion 2137: Campaign to Save The Irish Post Newspaper
That this House expresses its concern at the sudden decision of the Cork-based Thomas Crosbie Holdings to close the longest running, largest circulation community weekly newspaper for the Irish in the UK; notes the belief of former staff and management that viable alternatives to closure are available and their launch of a community campaign to `Save the Irish Post'; further notes that the Federation of Irish Societies, with more than 150 affiliated clubs and societies throughout England and Wales, has described the Post as a central pillar of the community; further notes that the Irish Post has, for more than forty years, been the `voice of the Irish in Britain', defended the community against discrimination, promoted peace and reconciliation, celebrated Irish identity, ethnicity, history and culture; showcased Irish talent and promoted trade and commerce; believes that a vibrant and diverse community press and media is vital to the promotion of good relations in society; and supports the Irish community in its battle to save this vital resource.
Primary sponsor: Chris Ruane, Date tabled: 05/09/2011

Early day motion 2133: Casual Workers' Rights
That this House is troubled at the lack of protection for casual workers in the United Kingdom; notes with disappointment that at present casual workers can have their shifts cut short with no prior notice; acknowledges that temporary agency workers can often be amongst the most vulnerable in the United Kingdom; and calls on the Government to introduce stronger minimum rights for casual workers, including a minimum notice period before a shift can be cut short, to ensure that they are treated fairly and with respect in the workplace.
Primary sponsor: Katy Clark, Date tabled: 05/09/2011

Monday, August 1

On the Picket Line BBC Mail Box Birmingham, note the CPS banner on right

More photos by Stalingrad O'Neill, here . . . .

Tuesday, July 26

BBC Dispute - Defend jobs - Stop compulsory redundancies

Support the strike on Monday 1st August 2011

The BBC is threatening to make NUJ members at the BBC compulsorily redundant despite there being clear alternatives. NUJ continue to put forward practical solutions for the small number of people concerned but the BBC is refusing to act.
Read more here . . . .

Colleagues working for BBC Coventry & BBC Birmingham & Black Country will be on Strike on Monday 1st August 2011

Colleagues are planning a picket of the BBC building in Coventry . . . .

BBC Coventry
1 Priory Place

07:00 am - 12:00 noon

If you can't be there in person send a message of solidarity/support to:

Vanessa Pearce <vanessa_pearce@sky.com>

And thanks again to other members who turned out on the last day of action.

Colleagues are planning a picket of the "Mailbox, which houses BBC Birmingham & Black Country

From 11:00 am to 12:00 noon there will be a rally outside the Mailbox, to which everyone is invited, the public, Birmingham trade unionists et al.

The Mailbox,
Wharfside Street
The Mailbox
B1 1XL

If you can't be there in person send a message of solidarity/support to:
"Michele Paduano" <michele.paduano@bbc.co.uk>

Thursday, July 21

Twitter link fo Birmingham and Coventry NUJ

Working to get the Twitter feed up and running...... hopefully this will be done in the next few days.

Tuesday, July 19

Early day motion 2103: Announcement of Job Losses at Media Wales Newspapers
That this House is shocked at the announcement by Media Wales that it is to cut 22 jobs across its publications in Wales; notes that the proposals by Media Wales management would see 10 district office staff, eight production journalists and four members of the sports staff made redundant; further notes that these cuts are proposed whilst the Chief Executive of Trinity Mirror, the parent company of Media Wales, received 1.7 million remuneration in 2010; supports the National Union of Journalists campaign to protect jobs, wages and conditions as well as the quality of Media Wales journalism; and calls on Media Wales management to meet the National Union of Journalists as a matter of urgency in order to protect jobs and the quality of journalism in Wales.
Primary sponsor: Hywel Francis, Date tabled: 18/07/2011

NUJ demands immediate talks over Media Wales job cuts plan
Journalists at Media Wales are demanding immediate talks with management after plans to cut 22 jobs were announced. The NUJ chapel declared its determination to protect jobs, wages and conditions as well as the quality of Media Wales journalism.

Thursday, July 14

Put your MP to work demand they sign EDM 2087 & EDM 2082
Early Day Motions are very good ways of raising issues in parliament, which may not get debated in normal sittings of parliament.
You can contact your MP for free, through: WriteToThem.Com

Early day motion 2087: South Yorkshire Newspapers
That this House notes that journalists at South Yorkshire Newspapers, part of Johnston Press, have voted for strike action over threatened editorial redundancies; further notes that the journalists voted in favour in a ballot that saw a 100 per cent. support on a 90 per cent. turnout; believes that the threatened cuts would cause particular damage to the weekly South Yorkshire Times and halve the editorial team who produce the best performing weekly paper in South Yorkshire Newspapers; condemns the Johnston Press' proposals to remove the posts of editor of the South Yorkshire Times, the sports editor of the Doncaster Free Press and the editor of the Goole Courier and to merge the Goole and Selby Times under one editor; further believes that journalists in Yorkshire are leading the fight for quality journalism and local news; supports the National Union of Journalists and their members in their campaign to defend the quality of news service they bring to their local communities; and calls on Johnston Press to withdraw its proposals, which will cost jobs, undermine the future viability of the affected titles and damage the provision of local news in South Yorkshire.
Primary sponsor: Austin Mitchell, Date tabled: 13/07/2011

Early day motion 2082: Yunus Bakhsh
That this House congratulates Mr Yunus Bakhsh on securing reinstatement after his unfair dismissal by the Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Trust; notes that Mr Bakhsh was a long-serving nurse and trade union representative whose unfair dismissal was found to be a result of trade union victimisation and disability discrimination; deplores the refusal of the Trust to agree to Mr Bakhsh's reinstatement in line with the order of the Employment Tribunal; further notes that Mr Bakhsh incurred considerable expense arranging legal representation and calls on the Trust to pay his legal costs; and further calls on the Secretary of State for Health to investigate the conduct of the case by the Trust and the expenditure of hundreds and thousands of pounds of public money in a failed attempt to justify the victimisation of a trade union official.
Primary sponsor: John McDonnell, Date tabled: 13/07/2011

Yunus Bakhsh turned away on first day back at work
Health bosses in Newcastle are flouting an Employment Tribunal and refusing to re-employ Yunus Bakhsh, a nurse they unlawfully sacked. Yunus won his case for unfair dismissal against Northumbria Tyne and Wear NHS Trust last year.

In a scathing judgement, the panel concluded that he had been sacked for his trade union activity and discriminated against because he suffers from depression.

The panel derided much of the Trust's evidence as "not credible". And, in a rare move, the judge ordered the Trust to "re-engage" Yunus by 30 June 2011.
by Yuri Prasad, SocialistWorkerOnline, 09/07/11

Wednesday, July 13

Early day motion 2054: News Of The World
That this House condemns the sacking of over 200 journalists and staff at the News of the World (NotW); supports the National Union of Journalists inits campaign to help journalists facing compulsory redundancy at the NotW; believes that shutting the NotW is an act of political opportunism by News International (NI); notes that the Chief Executive of NI, Rebekah Brooks, was Editor of the NotW at a time when alleged hacking of mobile telephones was underway; calls for a full public investigation into the apparent systematic abuses at the top of the operation run by both Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson; and welcomes the referral to the Competition Commission of the takeover of BSkyB by News Corporation.
Primary sponsor: Austin Mitchell, Date tabled: 11/07/2011

Thursday, July 7

News of the World - last edition this Sunday

Breaking News ........Folowing the scandal around phone hacking News International is closing the News of the World. No news yet on what happens to the jobs of journalists and staff........
'News Of The World' phone-hacking scandal: strong unions needed to safeguard quality

The fresh revelations about News of the World (NOTW) phone hacking will have horrified anyone with even the remotest shred of human decency.

That private investigators employed by the News International-owned tabloid could hack the phone of a murdered teenager (giving her parents false hope that she might still be alive and potentially obstructing a criminal investigation), and do likewise to victims of the July 7 bombings, to the parents of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, and to the families of soldiers killed in action almost beggars belief.

But this is more than a story about bad journalistic practice, it is an example of corporate power unchecked, of where rampant profiteering, vicious union-bashing and political manipulation leads.
Read more: NUJ Left, 7 July 2011
'Inviolable right to annual leave even in cases of long-term illness'

Court of Justice of the European Union Luxembourg, 7 July 2011

Advocate General's Opinion in Case C-214/10 KHS AG v Winfried Schulte

In today's (07/07/11) Opinion Advocate General Verica Trstenjak first makes clear that the case-law of the Court of Justice has established an inviolable right to annual leave even in cases of long-term illness. In her view, this applies also to the entitlement to payment in lieu of annual leave not taken, which may not be refused on the ground that it cannot be claimed because of a long-term illness.

Full press release available here . . . .
Early day motion 2040: News International and BSKYB
That this House condemns the proposal to allow the News International takeover of BSkyB; believes that News Corporation has breached previous assurances when taking over The Times, TheSunday Times, The Sun and the News of the World; further condemns the short consultation period of eight days on this takeover; further believes that there are serious questions outstanding over phone hacking at theNews International-owned News of the World; further believes that the takeover should not be approved whilst such questions are outstanding; and calls on the Government to stop the News International takeover of BSkyB.
Primary sponsor: Austin Mitchell, Date tabled: 06/07/2011

Put your MP to work demand they sign EDM 2040
Early Day Motions are very good ways of raising issues in parliament, which may not get debated in normal sittings of parliament.
You can contact your MP for free, through: WriteToThem.Com
Birmingham and Coventry NUJ

Calling notice - Branch Meeting
Tuesday 19th July
Queen's Road Baptist Church
Queen's Road
6:00 for 6:30

1) Introduction by chair/those attending / apologies
2) Minutes of June meeting
3) Secretary/Treasurers reports
4) Branch reports/national reports
5) Accepted nominees for post of NUJ Deputy General Secretary
6) BBC - Strike Action
7) Any other business

Minutes/Correspondence of June meeting attached

Branch News/Views
- NUJ members vote for strike action at the BBC
- NUJ Deputy General Secretary
- Public Sector Workers Pensions Strike - Birmingham Demo
- Current composition of Branch members

NUJ members vote for strike action at the BBC
NUJ members at the BBC have voted 72 per cent in favour of strike action and 87 per cent in favour of action short of a strike. Thousands of journalists at the BBC are threatening to hold two national one-day strikes in July unless compulsory redundancies are stopped at the BBC.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "Once again NUJ members at the BBC have shown they will not accept compulsory redundancies. Today's result demonstrates that members at the BBC are fully prepared to stand up for their colleagues under threat. If the BBC wants to provoke a strike over such small numbers it would be shameful. We call on the BBC to get round the table with us and sort it out."
Read the full release here . . . .

NUJ Deputy General Secretary
At the NUJ Executive meeting on Friday 1 July the NEC agreed to include all three applicants - Barry Fitzpatrick - Helen Gavaghan - Chris Youett to be elected by ballot for the post of NUJ Deputy General Secretary. Barry, Helen and Chris have agreed to attend a 'Hustings', which will take place after the branch August meeting to be held in Birmingham. Profiles of all three candidates will be available in next branch newsletter.

Public Sector Workers Pensions Strike - Birmingham Demo
West Midlands, teachers, lecturers, jobcentre workers and other civil servants took strike action on the 30th June over the government's proposed changes to their pensions. Also on the same day members of UNISON who were on strike against proposed forced changes to working conditions by Birmingham City Council, they too were out in force and joined the demonstration. Stalingrad O'Neill photographed the demo; to view the photo gallery go here . . . .

Current composition of Branch members
147 members working for the BBC, in Birmingham, Cardiff, Hereford-Worcester, Coventry & Warwickshire. Areas of work: Asian Network, BBC Cardiff, BBC Coventry & Warwickshire, BBC Mailbox, BBC News Interactive (England), BBC Radio & Technology, BBC Radio Hereford-Worcester, and BBC Radio WM.

7 Birmingham City Council - 82 Birmingham Post & Mail - 13 Central News - 33 Coventry Newspapers - 125 Freelance - 67 Student Members - 35 Unemployed - 4 Wolverhampton Express & Star - 10 Retired - 78 Not attached - 24 Life members

Wednesday, June 22

Early day motion 1958: BBC Regional Cuts
That this House recognises the importance of regional television andradio, including that which is provided by the BBC; notes that the BBC Look East, West Regional TV News programme, broadcast as part of the main regional Look East TV programme at 18:30 and as a dedicated service at 20:00 and 22:25 each weekday, delivers a tailored service of local news to an audience of around three million people in Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire; further notes that it is likely to be cut and replaced with a regional programme with less local news; further notes that the BBC Oxford TV Subopt service is facing a similar fate despite serving around a million people across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Swindon and the Cotswolds; further notes that the BBC Channel Island TV service is also to be cut and the service replaced by mainland programming; deprecates the decision by the BBC to cut these vital local services and replace them with far broader coverage; and calls on the BBC to protect the vital role of BBC TV News for local communities such as the west of East Anglia.
Primary sponsor: Julian Huppert, Date tabled: 21.06.2011

Friday, June 10

Christine Buckley has pulled out of next week's meeting
Apologies have been received from Christine Buckley, editor of The Journalist, who says she has an urgent, last minute personal commitment which means she can not be the guest speaker at our branch meeting in Coventry on Thursday, June 16. The meeting at the Old Windmill in Spon Street, Coventry, will carry on as usual and branch chairwoman Barbara Goulden will offer members the chance to discuss the upcoming election of a new Deputy General Secretary, internships, and which training workshops members would be interested in the branch organising.

Shropshire Newspapers to ballot for strike action over redundancies
Journalists at Shropshire Newspapers have voted unanimously at an emergency NUJ chapel meeting to ballot for strike action in a dispute over redundancies. Midland News Association, which owns the papers, is targeting 35 redundancies across all departments, but the journalists are demanding a guarantee that there will be no compulsory editorial job losses. Midland News Association also owns the Wolverhampton Express and Star where the company is seeking a redundancy target of 60 jobs.

NUJ northern and midlands organiser Chris Morley said: "Our members at Shropshire Newspapers are greatly concerned at the appalling prospect of compulsory redundancies.They also fear for the future of their titles and the communities they serve if the cuts go too deep.
Full article can be read here . . . .

Writing better features
There will be a free afternoon workshop run by journalist and film scriptwriter Brendan Foley at 2:00pm on Saturday July 16 in the BBC Coventry and Warwickshire studios in Priory Place, Coventry. Brendan has entitled his workshop Writing Better Features and says the informal afternoon session will cover print, web and radio writing and should be suitable for people at all levels of their career.
All those interested in attending should Email: barbara.goulden@btinternet.com

Scotland: 'Extraordinary level' of Daily Record/Sunday Mail job cuts
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has questioned 'the extraordinary level of redundancies being contemplated at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail' where the management has announced 90 redundancies among journalists at the titles

The chapel met Wednesday and NUJ negotiators will go back to management with a range of demands and questions. We have secured a meeting with government ministers next week and if the chapel wishes, we'll aim to organise a public meeting in the city next week and invite other unions to raise the profile of the issue. It's vital members in the building don't feel they're on their own.
Full article can be read here . . . .

Monday, June 6

Birmingham and Coventry NUJ

Calling notice - Branch Meeting - Thursday 16th June
Old Windmill
Spon Street
Coventry Cv1 3Ba
6:00pm for 6:30pm start

Guest speaker Christine Buckley, editor of 'The Journalist'
Christine Buckley has brought the first major change of style and design to the NUJ publication The Journalist since it went from newspaper to magazine style 17 years ago.
"I've sought to make the new magazine reflective of the diverse, active union that the NUJ is, and I intend that it should echo the voices of our members from across the union. Communication with members is a cornerstone of how the NUJ operates, and The Journalist editor is elected in a union-wide ballot which affirms the publication's independence of the union's leadership and of any faction." Christine Buckley

Like it, don't like it, could it be better, here's your chance to make your views known to Christine.

1) Introduction by chair/those attending / apologies
2) Christine Buckley to address those attending
3) Minutes of May meeting
4) Secretary/Treasurers reports
5) Pending industrial disputes - June 30th day of action against the cuts
6) Branch reports/national reports
7) Any other business

NUJ Pride: Celebrating/supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual members
Equality is at the heart of everything the NUJ does. NUJ Pride is a forum which celebrates and supports our LGBT members and those who support us, providing a safe place for members to discuss issues which impact on our professional lives and the media organisations which we work for.
Where We Stand: http://nujpride.org.uk/

Birmingham & Coventry Against the Cuts
Strike Day Demonstration- Thursday June 30th 2011
Assemble 12:00 noon, Victoria Square, Birmingham B1 1BB
For a rally and march.

This will be a regional demonstration for all towns/cities/boroughs in the West Midlands, and striking workers will be coming to the city centre from picket lines to join the protest. Nationally, ballots are being conducted by NUT, ATL, NAHT, PCS UNISON, over pensions/redundancies/arbitrary changes to contracts.

Coventry Against The Cuts go here . . . . Phone: 079 5277 0412

Birmingham Against The Cuts is a group formed by Trade Unions, Service Groups, User Groups and Campaign Groups in Birmingham to oppose the cuts being made by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalitions both nationally and locally.
More details here . . . .

NUJ national delegate meeting instructed the NUJ NEC:
To work with other trade unions and campaigning organisations to stop the cuts in local areas by encouraging chapels and branches to send delegates to campaign meetings and involve as many of their members as possible in anti-cuts activity.

NUJ Customized Workshops - Working for you
Branch is willing if there is a demand to organize local free workshops, which we hope would increase your skills, some suggestions:
'Writing for the web'
'Feature Writing'
'Improving your CV'
'Writing your first book/screen writing'
'Build your own Website '
There is an extensive list of NUJ workshops here . . . .

If interested contact: "Barbara Goulden" <barbara.goulden@btinternet.com>

Motions carried at NUJ Delegate Meeting 2011
Now available to download complete list of all motions carried at the Delegate meeting, which took place last April. All motions from Birmingham & Coventry branch were passed.

Friday, May 27

NUJ Left - Quality Journalism, Social Justice, Peace and Equality

The NUJ Left will be holding an annual general meeting

Saturday 4 June 2011
St Aloysius social club
20 Phoenix Road
London NW1 1TA.

The meeting will start at noon and finish at 4:00pm.

The provisional agenda is:

1) NUJ disputes.

2) 30 June, the day the civil service union, PCS, and education unions have proposed for co-ordinated strike action over cuts and pensions.

3) Union matters.

4) Election for post of deputy general secretary of the NUJ. We will hopefully be running a hustings for this post. If any prospective candidate would like to address the meeting them please contact the NUJ Left.

5) AOB, elections for NUJ committee.

There will be a pooled fare where people in London help subsidise travel costs of those from outside London.

NUJ members wanting to attend the meeting can join on the door

(Joining fee £6, equivalent to six months subs for the NUJ Left)

Tuesday, May 24

Early day motion 1840: BBC Radio Leeds, Radio Sheffield And Radio York
That this House believes the three Yorkshire radio stations BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Sheffield and BBC Radio York, are much-loved and -valued institutions, each providing a distinctive service to their respective communities; is deeply concerned about the pilot shared programme in the afternoon opting out of local programmes which, during snow or floods, will result in a loss of vital information and has already resulted in the loss of Paulette Edwards at BBC Radio Sheffield, one of the few African-Caribbean presenters of a mainstream programme; and is concerned that this pilot might provide a blueprint for other local BBC stations to follow.
<> Primary sponsor: Paul Blomfield, Date tabled: 23.05.2011

Put your MP to work demand they sign EDM 1846
Early Day Motions are very good ways of raising issues in parliament, which may not get debated in normal sittings of parliament.
You can contact your MP for free, through: WriteToThem.Com

Tuesday, May 17

Must journalists attend court hearings to report accurately?

UK Human Rights Blog, May 17, 2011 by Adam Wagner

On the one hand, it would be onerous for journalists to spend their days at the courts in the hope of picking up something interesting to report on. This may even lead to them sexing up the cases they do happen to see in order to find a story. And hearings are not always open to the public.

On the other, this is what court reporters do and have done since the time of Dickens (in fact, Dickens was a court reporter in his youth). Hearings are sometimes closed to the public but they are mostly open. And it would be odd if football journalists suddenly stopped attending matches and instead relying on a post-match interview with one of the players to piece together their report. One would always assume the report would be unbalanced and inaccurate.

Read the full article here . . . .

Monday, May 16

Information is a source of power for those challenging the abuse of power by states and other institutions.

The year 2010 may well be remembered as a watershed year when activists and journalists used new technology to speak truth to power and, in so doing, pushed for greater respect for human rights. It is also the year when repressive governments faced the real possibility that their days were numbered.

Introduction to Amnesty International Annual report 2011

Thursday, May 12

Disabled marchers turn out in thousands for benefits protest
Many of the demonstrators fear that, despite changes that have already affected them disproportionately, the worst is yet to come
Karen McVeigh, guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 11 May 2011

Early day motion 1791: Impact Of Government Reforms On Disabled People
That this House believes that it is the sign of a responsible society that it supports disabled people to lead an independent and fulfilling life; further believes that, while reform is needed, the Government's current plans are causing unnecessary uncertainty and creating risks for disabled people up and down the country; further believes that the Government has failed to appreciate the cumulative impact of the changes it is proposing; further believes that ill-thought through reform of disability benefits could push thousands of disabled people into poverty; considers it irresponsible to time limit to one year the payment of contributory employment and support allowance which will affect people suffering from cancer and fluctuating conditions; calls on the Government to abandon plans to remove the mobility component of disability living allowance from 80,000 people in residential care homes; further calls on the Government to retain automatic entitlement for people who have severe impairments, meaning that blind people, the mentally impaired and double amputees will not have to face the distress of applying for support that they genuinely need; expresses serious concern that 100,000 families with disabled children will see their support halved as a result of the decision to replace the disability element of child tax credit; and further believes that disabled people should have to wait only three months rather than six months before they can apply for the new personal independence payment.
Primary sponsor: Anas Sarwar, Date tabled: 11.05.2011

Early day motion 1797: Radar's MP Disability Dialogue Campaign
That this House recognises the importance of engaging with disabled people and increasing diversity in political life; notes that in 2010 a poll showed 88 per cent. of disabled people felt that their voices were not heard by elected representatives; further notes that only 32 per cent. of people with learning disabilities voted; regrets that this House has so few hon. Members with a declared disability; welcomes Radar's MP Disability Dialogue which aims to encourage disabled people and local disability organisations to engage in the democratic process and feel more confident about meeting their MPs and to give hon. Members of all parties increased confidence to communicate with and represent their disabled constituents effectively; and therefore calls on all hon. Members to participate in the Dialogue which starts on 12 May 2011 and runs until the end of June 2011.
Primary sponsor: Anne McGuire, Date tabled: 11.05.2011

Disability Dialogue Campaign Website - Click here . . . .

Put your MP to work demand they sign EDM 1791 and 1797
Early Day Motions are very good ways of raising issues in parliament, which may not get debated in normal sittings of parliament.
You can contact your MP for free, through: WriteToThem.Com

Friday, May 6

Early day motion 1779: La Nación Newspaper in Chile
That this House is concerned that the Chilean government is threatening to close the printed edition of La Nacin newspaper with 600 jobs at risk; believes that La Nacin has a record of being a champion for the public interest; notes that the workers at the newspaper have had to resort to the courts to prevent sackings and to maintain pay and conditions; further believes that the right to information is a fundamental human right; and calls on the Chilean government to listen to the views of the workers and stakeholders at La Nacin and to meet the trade union National Federation of Media Workers (FENATRAMCO) as a matter of urgency to resolve this dispute.
Primary sponsor: Jeremy Corbyn, Date tabled: 05.05.2011

Put your MP to work demand they sign EDM 1779
Early Day Motions are very good ways of raising issues in parliament, which may not get debated in normal sittings of parliament.
You can contact your MP for free, through: WriteToThem.Com

Thursday, May 5

May meeting NUJ - Birmingham & Coventry Branch

Come and hear Jeremy Dear, the leader of the union for the past ten years, talk about the Media and Democracy, along with news of the NUJ's latest campaigns, and his thoughts about the future.

Agenda and Calling Notice

Tuesday 17th May - 6:00 pm for 6.30pm start

Red Peppers Restaurant & Bar
117 Wharfside Street
The Mailbox
Birmingham B1 1RF

1) Introduction by chair/those attending / apologies
2) NUJ retiring General Secretary to address those attending
3) Minutes of March meeting
4) Secretary/Treasurers reports
5) Ballot on industrial action against BBC compulsory redundancies
6) Branch reports/national reports
7) Any other business

All members are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be available. The venue is only a short walk from the BBC at the Mailbox.

Blog gets national recognition!

Birmingham and Coventry NUJ's blog has been included asa  link on the branch pages of the national website. Hopefully, this will increase the number of hits we get and makes it a very worthwhile addition to branch publicity.

Many thanks to Sarah Kavanagh at the NUJ Head Office for sorting this out for us.

And the link to the national website is here: http://www.nuj.org.uk/innerPagenuj.html?docid=300

Wednesday, May 4

Employees at the Equalities and Human Rights Commission took strike action today against proposals to cut funding by 68% and staffing by 66%. Workers at the Birmingham office and call centre took to the streets to make their point. Boosted by support from the public and passing motorists workers commited to fighting cuts which will mean closing the public helpline which advises people of their rights and will mena the closure of regional offices.
One worker on the picket line said, "It is not just about our jobs, it is about support for the public at a time when they are facing discrimination and are having a really hard time. The services we provide may not get headlines but are invaluable to the thousands of people who rely on the EHRC for justice."
You can show your support for EHRC staff and the work thye do by signing the online petition at: gopetition.com/petition/43944.html
Alternatively sign up to the Facebook page, "Save the Equality and Human Rights Commission" or email your MP and Trevor Phillips via the PCS website at:
Council of Europe and PEN International call for stronger protection of freedom of expression

- The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, and the President of PEN International, John Ralston Saul, today made the following joint statement to mark World Press Freedom Day on 3 May. They added that they are making this joint statement to express their concern over the growing threats to freedom of expression.

“Journalists and writers across the world are imprisoned and silenced every year for saying or writing things that did not please those in power. Now we are witnessing the imprisonment of bloggers, citizen journalists, web-activists – even simple Internet users, for legitimately exercising their right to freedom of expression.

It has never been easier to exercise our rights to expression and information, but it has also never been easier to interfere with them.

When freedom of expression cannot be exercised fully by media professionals or by writers, the freedom of each of us, of every citizen, is endangered. Our rights to receive information and to freely form and to hold views and opinions are limited. Our right to informed participation is eroded. Ultimately, democracy is compromised.

Freedom of speech is one of the essential pillars of a genuine democracy, it requires extraordinary protection. This is enshrined in Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

We urge all governments, civil society actors, technical communities and the private sector to work together to protect freedom of expression in our common interest” Mr. Jagland and Mr. Saul said. “The Council of Europe and PEN International, drawing on our respective strengths, are currently looking at ways that we can cooperate to this end.
Council of Europe Directorate of Communication ”Strasbourg/London, 03.05.2011

Thursday, April 28

Put your MP to work request they sign
EDMs 1741/1764/1761

Early Day Motions are very good ways of raising issues in parliament, which may not get debated in normal sittings of parliament.
You can contact your MP for free, through: WriteToThem.Com

Early day motion 1741: BBC Radio Leicester
That this House celebrates the work of BBC Radio Leicester, the UK's first local radio station, in serving the communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland; recognises that 172,000 people tune into it each week; values its unique role in covering events in city and county, including the upcoming Leicester Mayor debate, which is a vital aspect of local democracy; notes that following the recent merger of Leicester Sound it is now the only station for Leicester and Leicestershire and the only regional journalism based station; appreciates its role in providing specific programming for Leicester's Black and Asian residents and in starting the Asian Network; is concerned that the BBC is considering reducing local radio output; believes that this would be a huge disservice to Leicester's communities; and calls on the BBC to maintain the current level of output from Radio Leicester.
Primary sponsor: Vaz, Keith, Date tabled: 26.04.2011

Early day motion 1764: BBC Radio Manchester
That this House believes that BBC Radio Manchester is a much loved and valuable institution throughout the North West; celebrates its unique role in providing news and information across Greater Manchester; is deeply concerned that the BBC is considering reducing local radio output; further believes that such a move would undermine local radio stations as a whole and that if it were to happen it would be a huge disservice to communities in the North West and to the millions of visitors to the region who rely on the service; and calls on the BBC to maintain the current level of output from Radio Manchester.
Primary sponsor: John Leech, Date tabled: 27.04.2011

Early day motion 1761: Workers' Memorial Day
That this House welcomes the fact that Workers' Memorial Day on 28 April is an internationally recognised day which commemorates those who have died, been seriously injured, or made seriously ill by their work; notes with regret that according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) last year 1.3 million people suffered from a long-standing or new illness caused by or made worse by their work, 152 workers were killed at work and thousands of people died of mesothelioma and occupational cancers and lung diseases; recognises that the real figures are likely to be much higher as many work-related incidents are not included in the HSE's headline statistics; deeply laments that people are still dying, being seriously injured or made ill simply as a result of carrying out their day-to-day job often as a result of health and safety failingsby employers; further notes the estimated cost of around 30 billion per year to the economy of poor workplace health and safety and that this burden is borne heavily by workers and their families; expresses concern at the budget cuts faced by the HSE of around 35 per cent. and the Government's proposals contained in Common Safety - progress report; reaffirms the right of all workers to work in a safe and healthy workplace; and therefore calls on the Government to make Workers' Memorial Day a public holiday and to ensure that the HSE is adequately resourced in order to stop more people dying or receiving injuries or being made ill unnecessarily.
Primary sponsor: John McDonnell,Date tabled: 27.04.2011
Press Self-regulation - Adjournment debate

House of Commons / 27 Apr 2011 : Column 314

Thursday, April 21

Feedback from Birmingham & Coventry NUJ Branch Meeting 19/04/11

Tindle dispute

Jonathan Lovett, FOC at the North London and Herts division of Tindle newspapers in Enfield, attended the meeting and reported that they were on the first day of strike action. Tindle newspapers now own a number of papers formerly owned by Trinity Mirror. It is a paternalistic company and early signs were hopeful but standards have fallen as staff who leave are not being replaced. It has now reached breaking point as the work of 7 reporters and 2 news editors is being done by 3 reporters and I news editor. The papers are reliant on the efforts of unpaid young people on work experience and after a year of negotiation members have not received the assurances they need. Jonathan Lovett said that they were heartened by public support for their campaign. There will be a three day strike and further action is planned.

It was agreed that that a donation of £400 be made to the chapel hardship fund and that the branch have contingency plans to make further donations of £50 per week.

Proposed Barbara Goulden, Seconded Chris Youett

Cheque for £400.00 was presented to North London and Herts Reps at meeting

New NUJ President

The branch welcomed the news that Michelle Stanistreet is the new President of the NUJ. She will take up post on July 1st. As a result there is a vacancy for the post of NUJ Deputy General Secretary. Applications' closing date is 30th June.

Christine Buckley editor to the Journalist is to attend the June branch meeting

Charles Atangana has won his appeal against Home Office plans to deport him to Cameroon.

Friday, April 15

B'ham & Coventry NUJ April Branch Meeting

Tuesday 19th April 2011
Meet 6:00 pm for 6:30 start

Old Windmill pub
Spon Street

Light refreshments will be served

1) Introduction by chair/those attending
2) Minutes of March meeting
3) Secretary/Treasurers reports
4) Branch reports
5) Report back from National Delegate Meeting
6) NUJ Deputy General Secretary to be elected, do you want to stand?
6) Any other business

The NUJ has elected its first ever woman General Secretary. Michelle Stanistreet, the current Deputy General Secretary, will take up the role from 1 July.

NUJ member Charles Atangana has won his appeal against Home Office plans to deport him to his native Cameroon, where he had been imprisoned and tortured and faces possible death in retaliation for his journalistic exposes of corruption.

North London journalists to strike as Tindle lets papers dwindle
Journalists at Sir Ray Tindle's North London and Herts Newspapers group are to strike from next Tuesday April 19 in defence of jobs and quality local journalism. They will return to work on Tuesday May 3.

Nearly 80 journalists in the North of England are to vote on industrial action to stop plans by Newsquest to axe 14 jobs in Darlington and York.

Wednesday, April 13

Personal security of journalists in Europe has become a serious concern

Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, has today Wednesday 13th April 2011, published his annual report on Human Rights

The personal security of journalists has become a serious concern. The politicised penalisation of the journalist Eynullah Fatullayev in Azerbaijan is one illustration. In the Russian Federation several journalists have been assaulted, some of them killed, by forces which have obviously wanted to silence them. It is crucial that such cases are thoroughly investigated and that the attackers - and those behind them - are brought to justice.

2.6 Freedom of expression and the media

The promotion and protection of freedom of expression and freedom of the media has been part of the Commissioner's work since he took up office. During country visits and continuous dialogue with national authorities, media professionals and civil society, the Commissioner gathers information, identifies shortcomings and provides advice on ways to ensure the enjoyment of freedom of expression and of the media.

Full text of the report can be found here . . . .

Tuesday, April 12

Investigate The Hacking, Freeze the BSKYB Deal!
Rupert Murdoch is close to taking over BSkyB, while his company is embroiled in scandal for illegally hacking celebrities' and politicians' phones. Sign an urgent petition to the government to halt the takeover until a full investigation has been done:

Thursday, April 7

NUJ elects first woman General Secretary

The NUJ has elected its first ever woman General Secretary. Michelle Stanistreet, the current Deputy General Secretary, will take up the role from 1 July.
Michelle was declared elected by the union's National Executive Council today after the only other candidate, freelance Chris Youett, withdrew.
Michelle Stanistreet said: “I am immensely proud to be elected to lead our union – and to be the first woman to have the opportunity to do so.
"I will repay the faith placed in me by working hard to build our union, speak up for members and stand up for journalism”.
NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear, who has served 10 years in the role, said: “The union is in the best possible hands. Michelle has been a fantastic deputy and has always fought resolutely to defend journalists and journalism. She will work tirelessly on behalf of all members and to ensure the NUJ is and remains the voice of journalists in the workplace and throughout the industry”.

Wednesday, April 6

Wolves cry wolf
Even before the government’s Health and Social Care Bill has passed through the House of Commons, private healthcare companies are increasing their influence within the NHS. Pulse magazine reported last week that private company bosses are set to be handed seats on the new NHS Commissioning Board, which, come June, will oversee commissioning of all primary care services and allocate budgets to GP consortia. The magazine also reported that 10% of GPs on the boards of the already established consortia also hold an executive-level position with the same private companies that will be bidding to be commissioned by them.
Early day motion 1730: BBC Radio Cornwall
That this House congratulates BBC Radio Cornwall for its work providing news and entertainment to over 140,000 loyal listeners across the Duchy, equivalent to 32 per cent. of the local population; notes that the quality of its programming gives it one of the highest average hours per listener ratings in the whole country, 15.44 hours per week; commends the valuable role it plays in maintaining Cornwall's character and community identity; acknowledges the help and information it provides to the millions of residents and tourists; believes that a functioning democracy needs an effective and objective local broadcast media; further acknowledges that BBC Radio Cornwall provides excellent value for money and is the brand leader in terms of cost per listening hour; but remains deeply concerned by proposals to end daytime programming; and calls on the BBC to make a commitment to fund Radio Cornwall to at least maintain thecurrent level and quality of output.
Primary sponsor: Andrew George, Date tabled: 05.04.2011

Early day motion 1720: BBC Radio Sussex
That this House notes BBC Radio Sussex is a much loved and valuable institution throughout the South of England; celebrates its unique role in providing news and information; is deeply concerned that the BBC is considering reducing local radio output; believes that such a move would undermine local radio stations as a whole and if it were to happen would be a huge disservice to communities in the South of England and to the millions of visitors to the region who rely on the service; and calls on the BBC to maintain the current level of output from Radio Sussex.
Primary sponsor: Caroline Lucas, Date tabled: 05.04.2011

Early day motion 1724: Employment law and tribunal rights
That this House supports the aspiration, contained in the consultation paper, Resolving Workplace Disputes, to deal with individual employment disputes efficiently; wishes to reaffirm its belief that access to employment tribunals, which enable individuals to enforce essential employment rights, isa fundamental pillar of workplace justice; fears that the proposals, as written, will significantly worsen the ability of people to enforce their rights and will encourage poor employment practice; condemns the proposal to increase the qualifying period for unfair dismissal to two years as this would further restrictrights not to be unfairly dismissed from a significant proportion of the working population; further condemns the proposal to remove the rights of employees to have their claims for unfair dismissal heard by tribunal members with extensive practical workplace experience, leaving them to be decided by judges alone; rejects the proposals to introduce a fee to file a claim in the Employment Tribunal which would inevitably deter lower paid and vulnerable members of the community from seeking to secure their rights; and therefore calls on the Government to withdraw its proposed reforms.
Primary sponsor: Kelvin Hopkins, Date tabled: 05.04.2011

Friday, April 1

Early day motion 1692: BBC Radio Solent
That this House believes BBC Radio Solent is a much loved and valuable institution throughout the South of England; celebrates its unique role in providing news and information across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isleof Wight; is deeply concerned that the BBC is considering reducing local radio output; further believes that such a move would undermine local radio stations as a whole and if it were to happen would be a huge disservice to communities in the South of England and to the millions of visitors to the region who rely on the service; and calls on the BBC to maintain the current level of output from Radio Solent.
Primary sponsor: Mike Hancock, Date tabled: 31.03.2011

Early day motion 1694: TUC March for the alternative
That this House congratulates Brendan Barber and the TUC for their role in organising the momentous March for the Alternative on Saturday 26 March attended by 500,000 people from all walks of life, all ages, and all races from all over the UK; believes this march will go down in the history of the trade union movement as the day the people said no to the unnecessary ideological spending cuts; recognises that these spending cuts will hit the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest and will destroy the crucial services that communities depend on; and calls on the Government to start listening to the people of Britain and to recognise that there is an alternative.
Primary sponsor: Ian Lavery, Date tabled: 31.03.2011