[Freelance]

Motions for the union's Annual Delegate Meeting

Freelance representation

This ADM notes the growing proportion of freelances within the Union and instructs the NEC to initiate a study reporting back to ADM 2000, aiming:

a) To clarify whether the NUJ is allocating resources in a way that delivers value for freelances' subscriptions.

b) To examine whether the NEC's own structures give proper representation to freelances spread through all areas of journalism.

c) To identify whether freelance modes of organisation can usefully be adapted to staff sectors.

Proposed: Humphrey Evans

Amendment delete sub paragraph a) and replace by:

a) to consider whether the NUJ is allocating resources in a way that takes full account of the Freelance Sector.

Proposed: John Spencer.

Freelances and Industrial Councils

This ADM instructs all industrial councils, regional councils and other organisational bodies within the Union to provide to the Freelance Industrial Council, within three months following ADM each year, a statement of what actions they plan to take during the coming year to benefit freelance members working under their auspices and a list of any problems they want the FIC to take under advisement.

Proposed: Humphrey Evans

Freelances and the Annual Report

This ADM instructs all bodies within the Union that provide accounts of their activities for the Annual report, up to and including the NEC, to mention within that account what actions they have taken to benefit freelance members coming under their auspices.

Proposed: Humphrey Evans

Freelances & Chapels

This ADM urges every chapel to appoint a Freelance Liaison Officer with the aim of building contact between staff and freelance journalists working for each outlet to the benefit of both.

Proposed: Humphrey Evans

Copyright

This ADM congratulates the NEC on sending a representative to lobby the July conference in Vienna on the European Commission's Directorate XV attitude to moral rights in copyright for both staff and freelance journalists. This ADM instructs the NEC to continue this work, which has already had some success in changing the Commission's attitudes to arguments put forward by proprietor organisations.

ADM instructs the NEC to call upon the Journalists' Copyright Fund to consider funding this work.

Proposed: Humphrey Evans

ALCS

This ADM congratulates the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society on the work it had been doing to develop sources of income from the reuse of freelance journalistic work and instructs the NEC to make every effort to liaise with ALCS at the highest possible level to continue this work and explore whether it can be extended to cover aspects of staff journalistic work.

Proposed: Humphrey Evans

Media reform

This ADM notes the continuing growth of cross-media ownership by Rupert Murdoch and other proprietors and the lack of adequate regulation of the media industry.

This ADM instructs the NEC to continue to give full support to the activities and aims of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom and the Campaign for Freedom of Information. ADM calls on all Branches, Chapels and individual members to give financial and active support to these campaigns and to continue to press the Government to reform the media.

This ADM instructs the NEC to use all its offices to press for the following:

a) A year long public enquiry into the ownership, accountability and regulation of the press and electronic media, including a review of the 1996 Broadcasting Act. The inquiry should explore ways of encouraging diversity of ownership and redistributing income from taxation of advertising revenues and licence fees to promote diversity.

b) A separate year-long enquiry into the future of public service broadcasting.

This ADM instructs the NEC to press for the Government to immediately institute the following:

a) A statutory Right of Reply to factual inaccuracies in all media.

b)The creation of an independent authority to monitor and promote media freedom and to supervise the Right of Reply.

c) Advertising all appointments to the boards of broadcasting authorities and of senior media regulators, and making the appointments subject to approval by a Committee of the House of Commons.

d) A Freedom of Information Bill as set out in the Government's White paper `Your Right to Know' published in December 1997.

Proposed: Steve Wilkinson

Training for NEC members

This ADM instructs the NEC

1) to provide induction training, through a suitably qualified outside body, for all members elected or re-elected to the NEC, covering in particular their legal, financial and employment responsibilities

2) to add a new clause to Rule 8, to make completion of such training a requirement before any member can vote in the NEC.

Proposed: Rosalind Bayley

The budgeting process

This ADM instructs the NEC to develop procedures by next ADM that will

1) require the NEC to bring the union's draft budget to ADM for approval

2) ensure that approval of the budget and decisions about subscription rates take account of any motions with spending commitments that have been passed by ADM.

Proposed: Rosalind Bayley

Deputy Gen. Secretary

This ADM, believing that the union will be better run if lines of responsibility are clear, instructs the NEC to change the rules to the effect that from the end of the term of the current deputy general secretary, the post shall be appointed, not elected.

Proposed: Rosalind Bayley

Sector conferences

This ADM instructs the NEC to change the union's rules so that ADM is held in alternate years, with centrally funded sector conferences organised in the years in between, starting with sector conferences in 2000.

Proposed: Rosalind Bayley

Fairness at work

This branch notes the need to distinguish in proposed legislation on employment rights between :

a) casualised workers, who work regularly for a particular company on shifts, but without the benefits of employment, and

b) voluntary freelances, who chose self-employed status and do only irregular work for any given company.

This branch therefore calls on the NEC to make this distinction between the two types of freelances clear in any literature it produces on the legislation and to lobby to have the distinction included in the legislation, to prevent recognition ballots being jeopardised by the inclusion of occasional contributors and to protect the tax and copyright status of voluntary freelances.

Proposed: Rosalind Bayley

Openness

This ADM urges members to observe the following principles:

1) no material relating to the union shall be published anonimously,

2) members of any party, caucus, voting bloc or other grouping, either inside or outside the union, that discusses union business shall declare their participation in such a group when they stand for election to any union body

3) any such grouping within the union shall, if asked, give information about their aims, affiliations to other bodies, and membership.

This ADM instructs the NEC to report on the observance of these principles to the next ADM.

Complaints

This ADM instructs the NEC to draw up a complaints procedure, to allow individual members to bring complaints against the union, that sets out clearly how a member should complain, how the union will respond, time scales for response at all stages of the complaint, guidelines to ensure that the complaint is heard by someone not involved in the matter complained of and guidelines about the possible remedies that may be offered.

Disciplinary procedure

This ADM instructs the NEC to revise the union's internal disciplinary procedures to ensure that disciplinary hearings involving staff are conducted by individuals who were not involved in the matter that gave rise to the hearing.

Subscriptions

This ADM calls on the NEC to increase subscription charges by ten per cent for the forthcoming year.

Proposed: Steve Wilkinson

Strike Fund

This ADM instructs the NEC to reduce the £1million strike fund set up last year to £500,000 and to reduce the portion of the subscription fee going into the strike fund by half so that the money thereby saved can be diverted to paying the legal fees arising out of the Financial Times RSI case.

Proposed: Steve Wilkinson

Head Office

This ADM instructs the Finance Committee to investigate the feasibility of selling Acorn House and purchasing a smaller, less expensive, property as a new HQ with the purpose of realising sufficient capital on the asset in order to repay the debt brought on by the loss of the Financial Times case. The Finance Committee is instructed to publish the findings of this study by October 1999 so that the members will be able to make an informed judgement as to whether such a move will be beneficial or not to the Union. If the results of the enquiry are positive, ADM instructs the NEC to bring an enabling motion to the next ADM for consideration.

Proposed: Steve Wilkinson

Fighting Fund

ADM instructs the NEC to amend the rules as a matter of urgency to give effect to the principle that money from the Union's Fighting Fund can be used to pay for campaigning on matters of NUJ concern (such as copyright or health and safety issues) including the payment of legal bills where the NEC determines a point of principle is involved.

Proposed: Humphrey Evans

FT case & union strategy

In order to optimise the union's financial capability to

a) respond the possibly historic opportunity to redevelop members' collective strength and activities as may be presented by the recognition clauses of Fairness at Work legislation (and thus revive the union's standing among disaffected journalists in all media), and

b) support members' activities and needs, collective and individual, in all sectors of the union:

ADM instructs the NEC to spread payment of the bill from the Financial Times RSI case (and any other substantial bills accrued during this financial year which cannot be paid immediately) over the longest period that can be sensibly agreed with the NUJ's bankers.

Proposed: Phil Sutcliffe

Budget Cuts

ADM instructs NEC at its next meeting to reconsider the 10 per cent cuts on budget items, such as industrial councils, carried out last October affecting the democratic representation and activities of the membership in the light of

a) the union's actual financial position halfway through the financial year (as compared to the earlier projections), and

b) this ADM's decision on subscription rates, with a view to rescinding or reducing those cuts.

Proposed: Phil Sutcliffe


Nov/Dec 1998
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