ePetition set up against Herald cuts

OBJECTORS to budget cuts being proposed at the Herald group of newspapers can now make their feelings known via an online petition.

Set up the by the National Union of Journalists, the ePetition also allows for comments to be made about a planned budget cut understood to be between two and three million pounds.

Applications for voluntary redundancy are being sought, by owners, Newsquest, with the NUJ appealing for what has been a shifting deadline, for applications, to be continued until at least next week – by which time a clearer picture is expected to emerge as to the impact on pensions of any pay-offs.

NUJ Scottish organiser, Paul Holleran, has recently held meetings with the editors of all three newspapers affected – The Herald, the Sunday Herald and the Evening Times – to discuss the production implications of having to operate with much fewer staff.

He told Spike: “They have been constructive. But the rush [for voluntary redundancies] has created something akin to ‘Wacky Races’.”

The union has also sought advice from the Department of Trade and Industry and also the Office of Fair Trading as to whether the Competition Commission hearing that permitted Newsquest parent company, Gannett, to buy the papers four years ago, could be re-convened.