[Freelance]

Irish Times deal recognises staff rights

AS THE Freelance went to press, journalists at the Irish Times were balloting on a ground-breaking new house agreement with management. The proposed agreement offers staff a payment of £IR 450 a year in recognition of the re-use of their work on the paper's website and elsewhere. This is despite the new Irish Copyright Bill, which is due to be signed into law imminently. Journalists, including freelances, will also receive a bonus for accepting new technology and a reorganisation of copy-flow to a "team" system - £IR 1200 for staff.

The agreement is even more interesting in the realm of "family-friendly policies". It notes that new technology leaves little reason for journalists not to work from home where necessary. It recognises the value of job-sharing. It commits management and unions to discussing childcare at the workplace.

And it introduces a concept pioneered by the Irish Civil Service, which may make workers in the UK gape. After seven years, staff will be entitled to apply to work nine months of the year - for example to be with the kids during holidays. Sabbaticals for professional development are also recognised, with a fund to support selected cases.

For further details contact the NUJ Ireland office: email eoinr@nuj.ie or seamusd@nuj.ie or call 00 353 1 874 8694.

Aug/Sep 2000
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Last modified: 25 July 2000
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