Reduced Cuts Now Expected at Record and Sunday Mail

The number of posts to be axed at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail looks set to be reduced from 70 to around 50, following negotiations yesterday between management and the National Union of Journalists.

On Monday, it announced (read here) that almost a third of the papers’ 256 staff was facing redundancy – as part of a merging of production that would see most journalists working across both titles and Record editor, Bruce Waddell, at the helm of the two newspapers, as editor-in-chief.

Yesterday, at meeting of NUJ members at the papers, Scottish Organiser, Paul Holleran, resisted angry calls for industrial action and a boycott of the merging process. He argued the union maintain the same policy it operated when all but a handful of the 250 journalists at the Herald group of newspapers were, in December, asked to re-apply for 40 fewer posts: ie it seeks to ensure that all departures are voluntary and on the best possible payment terms.

Having already attended one meeting with the Record and Sunday Mail’s managing director and head of HR, Mark Hollinshead and Linda Sommerville, he then went into a second from which he believes he has secured a saving of around 20 posts, plus an extension by a week to the 30-day consultation process announced by management on Monday.

He says that the numbers from a previous round of voluntary redunancies – in December (here) – have been included among the 70 being earmarked this time around. Also, those who failed to gain voluntary redundancy in December are to be allowed to present their case again.

He told “We believe progress has been made in respect of getting the numbers down and winning breathing space, in terms of the extra week’s consultation, for staff to find out what the new posts will entail and efforts to maximise the voluntary redundancy terms.”

Comment: The situation at the Record/Sunday Mail is even worse than we expected, not better as Paul Holleran seems to be claiming. Experienced subs on both news and sport look certain to have their pay cut plus an extra four hours a week’s work with even more anti-social hours than before. The only answer would have been a straight ballot for strike. No one on the entire editorial floor believes management any more. Tartan Partan

Comment: Re Tartan Partan’s comment – well, the situation is better than expected, in that they are now looking for less redundancies. However, I’m surprised Trinity can get away with just reducing the terms and conditions like that. The company appears to have caught the Herald ‘management’ bug. What a sad state of affairs that no newspaper executives in Scotland can think more independently, creatively and longer-term than this. Surely there must be some forward thinking newspaper management out there? Anon

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