Hopes high work-to-rule about to end

HOPES are high that a work-to-rule at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail newspapers is soon to come to an end.

It was hoped that the end might have been yesterday, so advanced are negotiations between the National Union of Journalists and the papers’ management, which NUJ Scottish Organiser, Paul Holleran, yesterday described as “constructive”.

The work to rule follows a ballot on industrial action, conducted by the NUJ, following concerns of under-staffing. It has resulted in staff working to the terms of their contract – including taking designated breaks – and has caused disruption to the production of editions. But it has also meant some staff at the Record being unable to work freelance for the Sunday Mail, for example doing sub-editing shifts.

But Holleran is optimistic that a resolution can soon be found, not least because of an invitation from management that the NUJ be part of a working party looking into a proposed implementation of a new production system, some time next year, that will undoubtedly have an impact on staffing requirements.

Said Holleran: “At The Herald and the BBC, new production systems have been imposed on staff. What is being proposed this time around is much more positive. Talks have been constructive.”