Brighton Branch minutes
Minutes of 18 June 2003
Minutes of AGM on 17 October 2003
Minutes of 19 November 2003
Minutes of 14 January 2004
Minutes of 19 April 2004
Minutes of 14 June 2004
Minutes of 21 July 2004
Minutes of 15 September 2004
Minutes of 15 September 2004
Apologies: Adrian Colley, Fraser Addecott
Present: Rowan Dore, Jemima Kiss, Barbara Wiseman
Membership applications from Kitty Bale, Michael O'Flynn, Isobel Todd, Sally Gainsbury, Robin Emanuel approved.
Rest of meeting abandoned due to low turnout. It was unfortunate – and rather embarrassing – that the three of us were joined by no less than seven members of Justice for Colombia who arrived early to speak to our branch, fresh from their fringe meeting at the Trades Union Congress.
Speakers: Justice for Colombia
Liam Craig-Best, Tom Feiling and Oliver Houston of Justice for Colombia brought Hernando Hernandez to speak. Hernando is the president of the Colombian USO (oil workers' union) and has become a national hero in Colombia – their own Nelson Mandela – after numerous assassination attempts and 14 months under house arrest for his union activities.
Hernando spoke about President Uribe's regime and how the 'war on terror' has been used as an excuse to clamp down on trade unionists, claiming that they are collaborating with Colombia's guerrilla forces. The government wants to weaken the unions by removing their leaders, leaving US-controlled firms, such as Exxon and BP, in control of Colombia's lucrative oil industry. Some union leaders have been imprisoned for 5-6 years with no charge, and 1,500 trade unionists have been assassinated in Colombia in the past ten years.
Teachers and health workers, who are seen as community leaders, are also targeted by Uribe's military forces. Uribe is supported by the US, UK and Israeli governments only; Spain withdrew its support when Zapatero's government came to power in March this year. Justice for Colombia say that the regime displaces 650 Colombians every day, and kills 7,000 civilians every year.
Hernando was in the UK for just three weeks and also spoke at the Welsh Assembly, Amnesty International Newport, Northern TUC International Forum, at public meetings in Manchester and Glasgow and at the Labour Party conference.
Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the UJ, is vice chair of Justice for Colombia.
For more information on their campaigns, or to donate more to Justice for Colombia, please visit www.justiceforcolombia.org.
Questionnaires on how to improve our branch meetings: 13 received so far. Your comments would be helpful, so please send your completed questionnaires by post before 10 October to Adrian Colley, 35 Campbell Road, Brighton BN1 4QD. If you need another questionnaire or would like to be emailed a copy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Branch account balance is £1358.10.
The branch has received a copy of the NUJ petition to support the BBC. Please attend the next meeting on 20 October if you wish to sign this.
The NUJ has published ethical guidelines and working practices for journalists working in PR and information services. More information will be available at the next meeting.
The European Social Forum takes place 15-17 October: three days of international debate, celebration and protest. The NUJ has played a major role in organising the event and speakers include Tony Benn, George Monbiot and Jeremy dear. Tickets are £30 (£20 concessions); see http://www.fse-esf.org for more details.
Age discrimination at work seminar: 12 October, 1.30pm to 4.15pm at the NATFHE Centre, Britannia Street, London WC1. Contact the Institute of Employment Rights for more information on 020 7498 6119.
TUFS – Trade Union Friends of Searchlight: Ten copies available for members at the next meeting.
Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom: Our branch subscription runs out next month!
Searchlight: copy available at next meeting.
The Palestine Post: copy available at next meeting.
Minutes of meeting on 21 July
Present: Fraser Addecott, Virginia Bridgewater, Adrian Colley, Jemima Kiss, David Blackman, Gordon Scott, Steve Whitehead, Rowan Dore, Jon Kendrick, Nicky Sullivan. Apologies: Karen Hoy
1 Minutes of the June meeting were accepted
2 Several new members were admitted to the branch.
3 Correspondence: A letter from Justice for Colombia, thanking us for affiliating to the cause was handed round. The monthly copy of anti-fascist magazine Searchlight was also available.
4 Officer's reports. Treasurer Adrian Colley said we had £1,269.55 in the bank.
5 Chapel reports – Argus. Rowan Dore said the hot-off-the-press news was that union recognition had been won at the Argus that very day. The ballot had 100% support in favour of the NUJ representation on issues like pay and conditions. Discussions about a pay claim would be held in August at a Newsquest group chapel meeting. Rowan said some staff at the paper were on a pittance. He paid tribute to the hard work of Karen Hoy, the Mother of the Chapel.
6 Donations: The branch gave £100 to the Brighton and Hove Unemployed Workers Centre towards the cost of a summer outing for children in need. The outing, on the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex, was for kids whose parents are sick, out of work or on low income.
A donation of £60 was also agreed towards the cost of a national conference for freelance activists. This hopes to promote collective organisation of freelance members.
The meeting was followed by a talk from a speaker from the Cuba Solidarity Campaign.
Minutes of meeting on 14 June
Present: Barbara Wiseman, Fraser Addecott, Karen Hoy, Virginia Bridgewater, Chris Baker, plus two who don't normally attend (names unavailable) and two Brighton College students.
- Yvonne Ridley had been booked to speak at today's meeting but cancelled at lunchtime citing personal reasons. MANY APOLOGIES TO ALL THOSE BRANCH MEMBERS THAT WERE DISAPPOINTED – BUT THANK YOU FOR TURNING UP ANYWAY! It was particularly unfortunate that Yvonne could not come to this event -after the plaintive message in last month's note! To add to the confusion, staff at the Brighthelm centre were quite disorganised. Rowan Dore very kindly arranged for Brighton councillor Ken Bodfish to speak on the relationship between the press and local government in her place, but only six members were had arrived by 8pm so we rang him and asked if we could reschedule for another time. He wanted to watch the football anyway...
- Two students from City College's journalism courses turned up. Although they were disappointed that Yvonne had cancelled, they did say that they are interested in future events but that there should be better promoted. One student also said that she had tried to join the NUJ but found the website difficult to navigate and no-one at her college seemed to know much about it.
- A couple more members arrived and the meeting turned to address the subject of low turnout. Members discussed ideas for themed meetings, ideas for speakers, reasons for low turn-out (including which day of the week would be best) and also what the point of the branch is overall.
- * Members agreed that good speakers are needed to boost attendance which means that we can attract better speakers.
- Jemima suggested we could spruce up the website and add a free bulk emailing programme. This could allow members to automatically update their email address and would list bounced emails, etc etc.
- Ideas for themed evenings included:
- An Argus evening to encourage recruitment and provide support for current staff.
- A meeting specifically designed to introduce young or new journalists or students to the NUJ. Jeremy could come and speak, we could provide some introductory info on the union, invite all local/regional news courses etc.
- A meeting for freelancers with, perhaps, an experienced freelance talking about their work, a workshop on how to find work or start out as a freelancer and some union advice on working as a freelance. (Ask John Toner to attend?)
- A session on training courses would be also be useful. The NUJ contact is Linda King.
- Virginia asked if Jemima could mention the meetings on the freelancejournalism.com email discussion list.
- Fraser asked the group what the actually point of the branch is. He suggested that a joint project might give the group some purpose and something to work towards, and used the Zimbabwean journalists' request for laptops as an example. The branch could work on raising funds for equipment, for example. Jemima suggested a sponsored swim (or a sponsored anything!) might be an easy way to start! Barbara said that the forum for elderly people is a good cause. Jemima said a 'cause' would also be a good way of getting everyone to know each other.
- Speakers could be quarterly, which would allow more promotion to encourage attendance to meetings by building up awareness about events for 2 months beforehand. Quarterly meetings could also be tied in with news diaries, such as conference season.
- David suggested that the branch could explore webcasting events so that other members could watch without attending in person. (This would involve videoing the event and broadcasting it through a broadband web connection.)
- Karen Hoy updated the group on recognition for the Argus chapel. After an ACAS meeting at Headland House between Karen, Martin Willis, Don Mackglew and (I think) Simon Bradshaw they had agreed a bargaining unit of 69 people. Staff are being asked to return completed forms by 7 July.
- Branch agrees that questionnaire would be the best way to ask members what they feel about branch meetings and what would be useful or more interesting for them Jemima will prepare one to be approved for the July meeting and to then be distributed with the branch mailshot.
- A branch picnic had been suggested for August but Jemima is unwilling to organise (and attend) if most of the branch can't or won't attend. This question will be added to the questionnaire, along with asking members to RSVP to events so we can assess interest in different types of speakers and meetings.
- Is the Arts Club the right venue?
- Barbara Wiseman also asked the branch to commend Jemima for efforts in organising speakers.
Minutes of meeting on 19 April
1 Apologies: Barbara Wiseman, Naomi Marks, Naomi Phillipson.
2 Present: Jemima Kiss, David Blackman, Veronica Bridgewater, Karen Hoy, Wale Azeez, Bipinchandra Mistry, John O'Donoghue, Adam Juniper, Deborah Tucknott, Brendan Montague, Steve Whitehead, Rowan Dore, Adrian Colley, Chris Langdon, Chris Baker, Fraser Addecott, Jon Kendrick, Linda Harrison, Adrian Colley.
3 Officers' reports: Treasurer Adrian Colley reported we had £1,190 in the bank. Social Secretary Jemima Kiss announced that former Mirror editor Roy Greenslade was to speak at the May meeting and Yvonne Ridley would, she hoped, be able to make it to the June meeting.
4 Chapel report: Karen Hoy, from the Argus said arbitration service ACAS had met the managing director at the Argus. The 'bargaining unit' hoping to gain union recognition is some 90 members of staff. Nearly all the reporters had joined the NUJ and there were more applications in the pipeline she said. Recent pay rises were between 1.4% and 4.5%. She said the paper was eight staff down in the last 12 months and the new MD was being approached by Argus editor Simon Bradshaw about the problem.
5 ADM report: Rowan Dore's report was accepted. Adrian Colley pointed out that the branch had been critical of the Journalist magazine and had been told that there were vacancies on its editorial board, so if anyone wants to make the criticisms count then they can be nominated to serve on the board, which meets four times a year.
6 Members in Need donation: The branch agreed to sponsor a Scottish member who ran in the London Marathon. £50 will go towards the money she raised for the NUJ's Members In Need charity.
7 Any other business: Soundings were taken as to whether a summer party should be held in August. A vote favoured a party in a park rather than a beach.
The 2004 NUJ Annual Delegate Meeting was lively and high-profile – particularly in the wake of the Hutton report and the background of rationalisation of the regional TV companies and campaigns to get better pay and conditions in the regional press.
The branch sent two delegates, Adrian Colley and myself. We attended all the sessions of what has now become a four-day conference. We were impressed by the professionalism of the NUJ conference team. Have filled in questionnaire recommending minor changes to the way conference is organised.
We were surprised at the lack of newspaper journalists, especially reporters from the national and provincial press. The union is now very much a multi-media union with delegates representing PR companies, websites, their own commercial/journalism businesses, and union associated media outlets. As always there was a strong Irish contingent.
I found the sector conference on newspapers on Thursday evening very valuable. It was good to hear there is strong union representation at The Independent, Daily Telegraph and Daily Express. On all these papers chapels have managed to get decent wage rises and on The Independent the rise has been around 7%, taking the average pay of journalists on the paper to more than £30,000. The chapel at the Express was able to deal with the problems of the blatantly racist editorial policy towards immigrants, resulting in the toning down of the paper's right-wing stance towards refugees and gypsies.
On the provincial side there was concern expressed at the way Newsquest under instruction of parent company Gannet was keeping down wages and cutting back publications in the Surrey area, which for me is too close to home. Several papers in the Surrey Comet circulation area have been merged and dumped and some have become freesheets.
The NUJ is strong in the Newsquest offices in Surrey and they have managed to push up wage rates. Union reps did not know of anyone on less than £15,000, including trainees. The conference passed a resolution saying the minimum pay for all journalists should be £15,000 in the regions and £17,000 in London. Average wage increases throughout Newsquest group were between 1.5% and 3%. The campaign to highlight low pay in the company would continue. Newsquest is currently operating on a 25% profit margin while the profits made by Gannet are increasing, hence they can afford to bid for the Daily Telegraph.
The branch put forward two motions. One on Zimbabwe calling for the Government to do more to ensure the press in Zimbabwe operates freely from restrictive laws. I made speech linking the way The Argus had been able to write freely about the activities of Nicholas van Hoogstraten in Sussex and that the main newspaper in Zimbabwe, the Daily News, had been unable to do likewise. Our motion sparked a good debate. It was unanimously approved and the NUJ agreed to give tangible, financial and practical support to the Daily News. My speech based on information given by our NEC representative, Fraser Addecott and our successful motion, was reported in Press Gazette.
Our other motion, calling for the redesign of The Journalist, sparked one of the liveliest debates of the conference. I said there was too much use made of colour in the paper and the blue on green text as well as orange on red made it difficult to read. I said it was not a black and white issue and there were too many pictures of Jeremy Dear. NUJ editor Tim Gopsill was forced to defend and said The Journalist advisory committee was always grateful for suggestions as to how The Journalist could be improved. Other speakers also pointed out that if people wanted to criticise the magazine (as has happened regularly at Brighton and Mid-Sussex branch meetings), then they should consider serving on the advisory committee, which meets four times a year, as there are vacancies on the committee.
It was clear our motion would not be approved after one speaker said he could see no point in the NEC setting up a committee to do the same job as the advisory committee. Tim Gopsill invited Brighton and Mid-Sussex to nominate someone for the advisory committee as there were vacancies.
I withdrew the motion to applause, saying we had sparked a positive discussion on the matter. The debate led to a parody of my speech at the end-of-conference revue with Tim Gopsill arriving on stage on all fours as a 'lapdog'. He was told The Journalist was going to be edited by The Black and White Minstrels from Brighton. The 'lapdog' was finally sent off-stage with the instructions 'To go and find some more photographs of Jeremy Dear'.
Other decisions which directly affected our branch included more promotion of the training programmes which the NUJ has set up, rejection of an NUJ campaign against the Euro, outlawing of moonlighting while a staff journalist (although one delegate said this would be completely ignored by ambitious journalists), status quo on people who receive half their income from journalistic activities being allowed to join.
There was also a motion agreed that chapels should work with management to express best practice regarding work experience on papers to end exploitation of free labour. A motion to fight job losses in regional TV was also approved.
A motion calling for the setting up of a New Media Industrial Council was agreed and another one calling for the Government to introduce a statutory 35-hour week with no loss of pay was also approved. There was also a call for the NUJ to enter into discussions about media facilities at new sports stadiums. As Brighton may get two new sports stadiums (hopefully not at Falmer) in the next few years we need to bear this in mind.
Next year's conference will be at Scarborough 7-10 April, 2005. Close of motions 1 November, close of amendments and delegate registration 7 February.
Minutes of branch meeting on 14 January 2004
Present: Jon Kendrick, Fraser Addecott (chair), Jemima Kiss (social
secretary), Adrian Colley (secretary/treasurer), Alan Whitehead, Sam
Thomson, Virginia Bridgewater, Naomi Marks, Linda Harrison, David Blackman,
1 Apologies: Emmannuelle Riviere, Chris Baker, Barbara Wiseman, Toby
Chasseaud, Bip Mistry, Karen Hoy, Rowan Dore.
2 Minutes of November meeting were circulated and accepted with no
3 13 new members were elected to the branch.
4 Correspondence: a number of head office circulars for members to see,
including copies of the Trade Union Friends of Searchlight newsletter, a
copy of the Searchlight magazine itself, the latest Campaign for Press and
Broadcasting Freedom newsletter.
5 Officers' reports. Treasurer Adrian Colley reported that we had £1,023
in the bank.
6 Chapel reports: Fraser Addecott, the former Father of Chapel at the
Argus said that union president Jeremy Dear had spoken to the managing
director of Newsquest Sussex and that an agreement had been reached to
approach the ACAS arbitration service to help decide who would comprise the
bargaining unit at the Argus. This would determine the number of people
entitled to vote in the campaign to win union recognition at the newspaper.
7 A £25 donation was backed to the George Viner memorial fund, which helps
would-be black students pay for the costs of tuition.
8 Rowan Dore (nominated by Fraser Addecott, seconded by Virginia
Bridgewater) and Adrian Colley (nominated by Fraser Addecott, seconded by
Naomi Marks) were elected as the branch's delegates for the union's delegate
meeting in Liverpool in March.
9 A request to become involved in helping to stage a freelance conference
was circulated. There was no interest expressed at the meeting in helping
out with this.
10 Fraser Addecott pointed out that a request to give money to the Argus chapel had already been passed last year. Adrian Colley apologised for
putting it on the agenda.
11 Anti-fascist organisation Searchlight, to which the branch affiliated
last year, was appealing for donations. Adrian Colley said its January
edition of its magazine painted an alarming scenario of how well the BNP
might do in the European elections in the summer. Searchlight believes that
in the north east the BNP could win a European Parliament seat with just 8%
of the vote in a low turnout and that the party might capitalise on a slump
in support for the UK Independence Party. (More information at www.stopthebnp.com).
The meeting agreed to donate £50 to the campaign and asked secretary Adrian
Colley to ask Searchlight for more of its magazines as it was felt that one
copy for more than 180 members was not sufficient.
12 Fraser Addecott asked to be nominated to the TUC's southern and eastern
regional council for 2004/05.
13 Rejected Annual Delegate Motions: the branch had two motions for the
Liverpool ADM rejected by the union's standing orders committee for lack of
1 " This ADM instructs the NEC to put pressure on the British government to
allow the press in Zimbabwe to operate freely from restrictive laws and the
fear of violence and intimidation. The union should support practical
independent journalism in Zimbabwe by making available such equipment as it
requires for it to operate."
2 "This ADM recommends that the Journalist magazine to be redesigned to
reflect the dynamics of the NUJ."
On the second one, it was decided to ask for an amendment to be made to our
motion to the effect that a committee be established to look at improving
the editorial and design of the Journalist.
Minutes of 19 November 2003
Apologies: Adrian Colley
Present: Fraser Addecott, Bipinchandra Mistry, Jon Kendrick, David Blackman, Jemima Kiss, Chris Baker, Virginia Bridgewater.
Argus/Newsquest have asked management to recognise the union chapel. Managing Director has acknowledged receipt of the 6% pay claim, although he wouldn't answer it. Several new members have joined at Newsquest. Why aren't they here? Takes a while for new applications to be processed. Fraser leaving the Argus on Thursday 20th!
Brighton and Hove TUC Unemployed Workers Centre have written asking for donations for the Christmas party they run for kids. Last year the branch donated £25; this year the group voted unanimously to donate £50.
Membership applications approved for: four new members admitted.
Memos from the NUJ circular
Warning that Newsquest have apparently been asking staff to opt out of working time directive, which limits the amount of hours staff can work each week.
Anniversary of Miners' strike: Staffordshire Miners' Wives Association have requested donations for a plaque. Meeting decided not to donate as it was felt that this was more of a regional issue than a local one.
New legislation on employment rights for lesbian, gay and bi-sexual workers. Leaflets distributed.
Campaign still under way for the BBC to reinstate Adli and Abdulhadi two journalists that were unfairly dismissed.
Hands off Cuba campaign leaflets distributed.
Memo: Jeremy Dear has been re-elected as general secretary and Anita Halpin as treasurer.
The group unanimously agreed that £100 was a fair amount to spend on food for the event. They also voted in favour of finding a salsa teacher in favour of a magician, if one could be found for less than £100.
The group decided not to provide a free drink for guests as this would have been too expensive overall.
Nothing else left to sort out. Jemima will buy the food on the 9th and deliver it to the club. Fraser also asked that we buy some balloons and party streamers from that £100 and tie some balloons to the railings outside the club. They have to be red.
Music is sorted, so we just have to turn up.
Chris wanted to formally thank Jon Kendrick for his hard work as joint-chairman last year and as chair for the two previous years. Jon added that Fraser had also done much for the branch in the last year.
Bipinchandra said that he had written to Adrian about possible funding for his next Gaza project. This should be dealt with at the next meeting.
Newsquest new leaflets had been produced to inform the public about the fair pay campaign. Recent union research had shown that members of the public estimated a journalist's salary at £25k nearly double the starting salary for junior staff.
Argus journalists are to leaflet the public outside Churchill Square and outside the Dyke Road Argus office on 6 December.
No December meeting.
Minutes of AGM on 17 October 2003
Present: Jon Kendrick, Fraser Addecott, Bipinchandra Mistry, Jemima Kiss, Mark McCall, Barbara Wiseman, Toby Chasseaud, Naomi Phillipson, Rowan Dore, David Blackman, Neil Hamilton, Dominic O'Byrne, Chris Baker, Adrian Colley and AN Other, whose signature could not be worked out.
1 Apologies: None
2 Minutes. The minutes were circulated and accepted. Barbara Wiseman reminded the meeting that she had asked that the branch put forward a motion to ADM mourning the loss of journalists' life in Iraq
3 Officers' reports: passed round a number of head office circulars for members to see.
4 Officer elections. The following officers were elected:
Chairman – Fraser Addecott, secretary has no note of who nominated him but he was seconded by Bipinchandra Mistry;
Secretary – Adrian Colley, nominated by Jemima Kiss and seconded by Jon Kendrick;
Treasurer - Adrian Colley, nominated by Fraser Addecott;
Social secretary – Jemima Kiss, nominated by Jon Kendrick and seconded by Fraser Addecott.
No nominations were made for the post of welfare officer.
5 ADM Motions. The following four motions were submitted for the Annual Delegate Meeting to be held in Liverpool in March:
a) This ADM instructs the NEC to put pressure on the British government to allow the press in Zimbabwe to operate freely from restrictive laws and the fear of violence and intimidation. The union should support practical independent journalism in Zimbabwe by making available such equipment as it requires for it to operate.
Motion proposer – Fraser Addecott. Backed 8-0 with 6 abstentions.
b) This ADM recommends that the Journalist magazine to be redesigned to reflect the dynamics of the NUJ.
Motion proposer – Bipinchandra Mistry. Backed 7-0 with 7 abstentions.
c) This ADM commends the NUJ's campaign for fair pay for colleagues working at Newsquest titles and calls on the NEC to pursue the campaign vigorously and support any colleague employed by Newsquest who is victimised for fighting for better pay and conditions.
Motion proposer – Chris Baker. Backed unanimously.
d) This ADM notes that during the course of the Iraq war 19 of our colleagues have been killed. The Brighton branch calls on members of the union to pay tribute to our colleagues. ADM instructs the NEC that in future conflicts to urge news organisations to do their utmost to ensure the safety of correspondents by establishing rules of engagement for journalists.
Motion proposer – Barbara Wiseman. Backed unanimously.
A fifth motion from Jon Kendrick on the government's use of spin doctors and
calling for the adoption of a code of practice for such PR people was voted
6 Chapel reports. Argus FoC Fraser Addecott said that due to the NUJ targeting Newsquest titles, the Brighton paper had several recruits over the past few weeks. He said: 'Things are looking up and we are working at looking for recognition. It's encouraging at the moment.'
7 NEC elections. Fraser Addecott was nominated to stand for election to the union's top council, the National Executive Council, by Jon Kendrick. Seconded by Jemima Kiss.
8 There were no nominations for posts on any of the union's industrial councils.
9 Christmas Party. Jemima Kiss outlined the plan to have the party at Havana in Regency Square, Brighton, on Wednesday 10 December from 8pm to 2am. She said the venue was free. It would hold 100 people. A variety of suggestions were made as to what entertainment and inducements to attend could be offered. Suggestions included hiring a magician and having mince pies. One new member (the secretary apologises for not having made a note of the member's name) suggested that if a magician was required she was married to one and so she could help the branch.
10 Any other business. Bipinchandra Mistry asked whether the branch could make a donation to the cost of a trip he hoped to undertake to the Middle East to do a story on the effect of conflict on the Gaza Strip on childrens' mental health. Adrian Colley wondered whether the branch should be making donations towards the costs of members carrying out their freelance work and asked for the subject to be discussed in November so that he could check with head office to see if union rules allowed this.
Barbara Wiseman said she felt that was a legalistic way of looking at it and
she felt Bipinchandra should be supported. Jon Kendrick wondered if
Bipinchandra could look at commercial sponsorship and said there was a grey
area between a philanthropic venture and freelance work.
Minutes of the Brighton & Mid Sussex Branch meeting on 18 June 2003
Present: Fraser Addecott, David Blackman, Gordon Scott, Rowan Dore, Jon Kendrick, Bipinchandra Mistry, Adrian Colley.
Apologies: Barbara Wiseman, Chris Baker.
1 Minutes: Bi Mistry said he did not get the June newsletter via email and supplied an up-to-date email address.
Adrian Colley pointed out that the discussion in May on who to invite to speak would be progressed by someone actually coming forward to take on the responsibility of organising speakers and events. He said most of the branch admin was run by one person, himself, and that he did not have time to take on this role. When the branch was first set up he had shared this role with Peter Baker and the role worked well. And while it was fair enough having ideas about who to invite, it was a waste of time if nobody was prepared to take it a step further.
He said money was available to pay for speakers' expenses. After further discussion Bip Mistry and Fraser Addecott agreed to fill the role.
2 Five new members were admitted.
3 Officers reports:
i) A Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom openmeeting on 23 June was publicised: 'Biased news – do we want it here?'
ii) CPBF literature on the BBC World Service sacking of NUJ activists was handed out.
iii) A circular from Deputy General Secretary election candidate Chris Youett was circulated
iv) Members signed a petition from London freelance branch asking the government to stop the deportation to Kosovo of NUJ member Besim Gerguir and his wife Luljeta.
v) Sussex Action for Peace's hosting of George Galloway at a meeting last month was publicised, topic: 'War, propaganda, lies and dissent'.
vi) Circulars handed out on TUC migrant workers' rights conference and a 'Save Our Party' socialist conference.
Treasurer Adrian Colley said we had £1,018.92 in the bank.
4 Chapel reports: Argus FoC Fraser Addecott said that at a recent Newsquest chapel meeting in Manchester that the NUJ nationally were looking to take on an organiser purely to deal with Newsquest titles. Newsquest's pay rise for the year was 2% throughout the country and there will be a national campaign next year on pay at Newsquest titles.
5 Any other business: Tony Benn. Fraser Addecott said Tony Benn had agreed to speak to the branch at 4.30pm in Brighton on 6 August, prior to another engagement in the city. He said the timing would allow for a speech and for him to take questions and answers from members. He said he hoped Brighton and Mid Sussex members would make a special effort to attend, despite the mid-afternoon start.
He said he would like to contact all members to gauge the possible turnout we could expect and said he would investigate the possibility of staging it at the Arts Club.
Rowan Dore suggested that members' partners and other trade unions like the firefighters, Unison and GMB be invited to attend.