The threat of compulsory redundancies at the Herald & Times Group continues to loom large despite the National Union of Journalists having recently received seven applications for voluntary redundancy, as the company seeks to axe ten editorial posts.
Members of the NUJ met today to hear the union's Scottish Organiser, Paul Holleran, explain what would happen were compulsory redundancies to be pursued by the group, which includes The Herald, the Sunday Herald and the Evening Times newspapers.
Said Holleran: “There's total opposition to compulsory redundancy and I think people were quite shocked when I explained to them how the compulsory redundancy process operates; basically, people are interviewed.”
The seven applicants for voluntary redundancy appear have done so despite the terms being lower than on previous, recent occasions when the group has sought to shed staff. This time around, only statutory terms are on offer: one week for every year for people under the age of 41; one-and-a-half weeks for those aged 41 and above.
The NUJ is seeking enhanced terms and is aiming to meet management tomorrow.
Holleran fears that, while seven applicants for voluntary redundancy appears to be almost there in meeting the company's target, some might be actually refused by the company because the individuals involved are much-needed production journalists.
“I am not sure we are near the target, though it might seem like that. We've put a couple of names forward of journalists who, with some re-training, could become production staff, to allow for the volunteers to go. The last thing we want are compulsory redundancies.”