NUJ Seeking Meeting with Herald Publishers Over Freelance Terms

The National Union of Journalists is hoping to persuade the publishers of The Herald newspaper to re-word new terms and conditions being offered to freelance contributors.

The Scottish Organiser of the NUJ is seeking a meeting early next week, as publishers, Newsquest, continues to request freelancers agree to the new terms, as a prerequesite to receiving work.

Last week, freelancers yet to sign their agreement – or who have refused to – received a letter from Newsquest claiming that “well over 125 freelancers immediately returned signed contracts”.

The NUJ is particularly concerned by some of the wording regarding Newsquest's ability to re-use a freelancer's work.

Says Paul Holleran: “It is difficult to say who those 125-plus freelances are, as all of the NUJ people who have contacted the union are refusing to sign. This week, I am hoping to meet with some freelancers to draft an alternative form of words for some of the clauses and try and get Newsquest to agree a new minimum terms contract. I have asked [group managing editor] Tom Thomson for a meeting next Tuesday.”

He added: “The difficulty is the issue of copyright and payment allotted for additional use. At the moment, many people will not agree to the contract. In particular the photographers are angry and standing strong. It will be up to the management to say if they are prepared to negotiate, we are ready to try again.”

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