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© 1999 NUJ & contributors;
moral rights asserted
Last modified: 16 Nov 1999
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Nominations

  • Candidates for the National Executive Committee (NEC), to be elected by postal vote. The numbers in parentheses are the total places to be elected.
    • London seats (6): Ros Bayley; Marc Wadsworth; Molly Cooper; Chris Wheal; William Whyte.
    • SE England seat (1): Paul Iredale
    • Freelance seat (1): Kevin Cooper; Steve Wilkinson; Miles Barter (SW & MB have since announced their intention to stand as a jobshare)
    • Black Members' Council seat (1): William Whyte; Alex Pascal; Beulah Ainley.
  • Freelance Industrial Council (FIC), to be elected by postal vote: Phil Sutcliffe; Mike Holderness; Hillary McAskill; Jenny Vaughan; Mike Cross; Beulah Ainley.
  • Equality Council (7): Anita Halpern; Ju Gosling; Beulah Ainley; Anne Coltart.
  • Disabled Members' Council (7): Ju Gosling; Kit Wells.
  • Appeals Tribunal (9): Simon Pirani; John Spencer; Steve Wilkinson; Emma Wood.
  • Journalist Editorial Advisory Board (7): Steve Wilkinson; Emma Wood.
  • ADM Standing Orders Committee (5): Pauline Norris; Pat Healy; Rosaline Kelly.
  • TUC Delegation (3): Kevin Cooper; Mark Turnbull; Mark Wadsworth; Anita Halpin; Bob Norris.
  • Women's TUC Delegation (4-ish): Molly Cooper; Ju Gosling; Jackie Page.
  • International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Congress delegates: Mike Holderness; Ian Richards; Jim Boumela.
  • European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) Steering Committee: Marc Wadsworth; Ian Richards; Mark Turnbull.

Motions

  1. Fairness at work and freelances
  2. Independent financial advice
  3. The US Blockade of Cuba
  4. Freedom to report
  5. Mumia Abu-Jamal
  6. Magazine & book organiser
  7. NATO
  8. Yugoslavia
  9. Recruitment
  10. Rail safety & privatisation
  11. Public service broadcasting
  12. 1% rule
  13. Media Ownership and Technological Convergence
  14. Copyright & Authors' Rights

Fairness at work and freelances

This ADM recognises that

  • fair rates and conditions for freelances benefit both staff and freelances as low rates give publishers and broadcasters an incentive to cut jobs and to use regular freelances as a substitute without offering proper employment conditions
  • the Fairness at Work legislation should increase the opportunities for both staff and freelances to negotiate pay and conditions agreements, and to restrict the use of freelances as a substitute for employment of staff
  • staff/freelance co-operation is crucial, whether pay and conditions agreements are negotiated for staff and freelances separately or together This ADM notes that the key elements of freelance conditions should be:
    • a minimum freelance day rate at least 1.66 of a notional "staff day rate" based on the salary divided by the number of days worked, to counterbalance the lack of security and extra costs born by freelances;
    • a minimum day rate for freelance photographers of 2.00 the notional "staff day rate" on the above basis;
    • acceptance of freelances' right to retain copyright and be paid for additional uses of their material such as websites and syndication; and
    • payment 30 days after delivery, not after publication.

This ADM further notes that:

  • the freelance office now has an e-mail database database capable of listing all NUJ freelances and the places where they work; and that
  • freelance branches and freelance industrial council (FIC) are sponsoring networks of freelances working for different publishers and broadcasters.

This ADM therefore instructs the national executive committee (NEC) to

  • remind staff and freelances of the importance of having freelance representation on their chapel committees where possible
  • encourage chapels and freelances (whether in branches and/or networks and/or individually, and in consultation with the FIC) to consult and work together on recognition campaigns and pay and conditions negotiations
  • ensure that the ratification and signing of combined and separate staff and freelance agreements is co-ordinated
  • ensure that the decision to recommend (or not) ratification of agreements to the NEC is made by the appropriate industrial councils, always including FIC where there is either a separate freelance agreement or a combined staff and freelance agreement to be signed.

Independent financial advice

This ADM believes that many Union members would benefit from access to independent financial advice on matters such as pensions and insurance. It therefore urges the NEC to look into the possibility of providing such a service for the membership and, if feasible organising it as soon as possible and in any case, reporting back to ADM 2001 on its findings.


The US Blockade of Cuba

ADM applauds the Foreign Secretary Robin Cook for making clear the Labour Government's opposition to the US policy of trying to blockade Cuba in his speech at the Labour Party conference in Brighton in 1999.

ADM agrees with Mr Cook's opinion that human rights will not improve in Cuba unless the blockade policy ends. Indeed, ADM takes the view, in agreement with the American organisation Human Rights Watch in its latest report on the island, that the US policy "has not only failed to bring about human rights improvements in Cuba but has become counterproductive."

ADM reaffirms its view that the US policy of blockading Cuba is illegal under international law, immoral because it denies food and medicine to children and the sick, and is a failure because it has neither succeeded in its aim of removing Fidel Castro from power nor has it prevented the Cuban economy from developing. ADM therefore believes the blockade should be immediately and unconditionally lifted and that Britain should do all it can to oppose this policy.

ADM is therefore delighted by recent British initiatives such as the rescheduling of Cuba's debt and the deal by the drugs company SmithKline Beecham to market Cuba's meningitis vaccine.

ADM instructs the NEC to:

  1. Write to the Rt. Hon. Robin Cook, congatulating him upon the Labour Government's position against the US blockade and underlining the NUJ's opposition to it.
  2. Organise a ballot of members in order affiliate the NUJ to the Cuba Solidarity Campaign.
  3. Make a donation of £500 and pledge the Union's name to the CSC's "Sign up for Cuba!" campaign which calls for the immediate and unconditional lifting of the US blockade. ADM would like to see the Union's name among the published list of all signatories to the campaign which CSC will place in a National Newspaper before the UN General Assembly meets to vote on the blockade issue at its meeting in October, 2000.
  4. Ask the editor of the Journalist to give space to an article which highlights the role of the US government in financing and fomenting opposition in Cuba, in particular the financing of anti-Castro newsgroups, websites and so-called "independent" journalists.
  5. Ask its Policy Committee to organise a fact-finding mission to Cuba and Miami so that an objective NUJ report can be compiled which will explain as far as possible the facts surrounding the situation of free expression in both places. The report to be made available to all editors and broadcast news producers.

Freedom to report

ADM notes with concern:

  1. Continuing evidence of hindrance of members' attempts to report public order situations, ranging from police requests to "move for your own safety" to arrest;
  2. Poor functioning of the Press Card system, particularly outside London, with reports that police officers are not recognising it; and
  3. Threats to members from demonstrators convinced that photographs will be delivered to the police and used in evidence against them.

ADM welcomes Judge Henry Pownall's decision at the Old Bailey on 2 July 1999 to refuse a City of London Police demand to seize journalists' films, notes and tapes from the events in the City on June 18; congratulates the Guardian, Independent, Times, Reuters, BBC, ITN, Channel 4 News and Sky TV for successfully opposing the demand; and castigates those news organisations which failed to oppose it.

ADM therefore instructs the NEC to:

  1. Publicise the existence of the Press Card and the proper opearation of the PIN number asssociated with it directly to police officers in the UK and Ireland;
  2. Initiate dialogue with the Metropolitan Police, the Association of Chief Police Officers and other bodies to improve awareness of the need for free and open reporting;
  3. Produce a report for the next NUJ Delegate Meeting on opportunities for NUJ input to police training, especially public order training;
  4. Campaign vigorously for the principle that no journalist nor publisher nor broadcaster shall hand images or notes to the police or criminal justice system unless compelled to do so by an effective court order;
  5. Publicise to NUJ members the options for relinquishing control of sensitive material; and
  6. Publicise to all concerned the NUJ's determination that members will resist all attempts to compromise their independence by associating them with the criminal justice system, by seizure of images and notes or otherwise.

Mumia Abu-Jamal

ADM expresses its apalled horror at the death sentence passed on Philadelphia journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and instructs the NEC to:

  1. express the NUJ's support for the demand for a retrial; and
  2. disburse up to £1000 to publicise UK journalists' opposition to this death sentence directly to the people of Pennsylvania.

Magazine & book organiser

ADM instructs the NEC to employ full-time organisers to give their undivided attention to the Magazine and Book sectors, and to ensure that the candidates selected receives proper training in the legal aspects of copyright and contract law so that he/she may better serve the many hundreds of freelances who also work in those sectors.


NATO

ADM takes the view that since the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO is no longer a necessary alliance and should be dissolved so that international peace-keeping and disputes may be wholly settled by a reformed and strengthened United Nations based upon the principles of accountability, democracy and the sovereignty of nation states.


Yugoslavia

ADM deplores bot the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, including the bombing of the TV station, and deplores the action of Serbian military and paramilitary forces against civilians in Kosovo.

ADM salutes the work done by the IFJ in giving support to journalists in all parts of former Yugoslavia to establish journalism and trade unionism independent of all state and military forces and instructs the NEC to do all in its power to ensure that such support continues.


Recruitment

ADM instructs the NEC to put more resources into active recruitment campaigning and to ensure that there will be adequate resources available in the future to further this end. This should begin with a new recruitment leaflet and a national advertising campaign. ADM feels that the time is right for a campaign specifically aimed at recruiting members in the electronic publishing industry.


Rail safety & privatisation

ADM is appalled at the woeful lack of safety on Britain's railways and instructs the NEC to add its weight to the call for the establishment of a Royal Commission to look into the future of Britain's rail infrastructure, in particular at the efficacy of privatisation. ADM also calls for a re-examination of the work and responsibilities of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), aimed at making it more effective. In view of the considerable doubts raised as a result of the Paddington disaster, ADM instructs the NEC to demand of HM Government that it cancel all plans for the privatisation of the London Underground and of Air Traffic Control.


Public service broadcasting

ADM is in favour of public service broadcasting paid for by the licence fee. It instructs the NEC to finance an active campaign in defence of the concept of a publicly accountable broadcasting service. This campaign should be orchestrated in consultation with the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom.


One per cent rule

This ADM recognises the need to encourage low-paid journalists to join the union but notes that the existence of two levels of reduced membership contributions - 0.5 per cent and 1 per cent of income - is confusing and administratively unsatisfactory, placing an extra burden on the membership department as well as substantially reducing income to the union. ADM therefore instructs the NEC to amend the rules to return to the principle of having only one level of reduced membershp contributions, and to make that 1 per cent of income.


Media Ownership and Technological Convergence

This ADM recognises:

  • The growing concentration of media and communications ownership leading to a monopoly of news, entertainment and information.
  • The digital convergence of telecomms, video and data technologies.
  • The implications this has for communications and media workers and their unions and other organisations, including: the NUJ; Graphical, Paper and Media Union (GPMU); Writers' Guild (WG); Society of Authors (SoA); Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU); Actors Equity; Musicians Union (MU); Communication Workers Union (CWU); and the Society of Telecom Executives (STE).

This ADM therefore instructs the National Executive Committee (NEC) to:

  • Draw up a policy statement on the ownership of mass media and digital convergence of technology by ADM 2001.
  • Hold discussions with the above unions and societies on media ownership concentration and digital convergence and its consequences for our members and publish the results to branches.
  • Report to ADM 2001 on the possibility of forming a Confederation of Media and Communication Unions, comprised of the above unions. This might include sharing facilities for legal aid; premises; educational facilities; research and library; membership services and so on.

Copyright & Authors' Rights

This ADM welcomes the 24 September New York Court of Appeals judgement in the case Tasini et al -v- New York Times et al, as giving renewed vigour and sustencance to the worldwide campaign by journalists and other authors to retain rights in our work and to receive decent payment for it use and re-use.

ADM congratulates the General Secretary and the NEC on the initiative to hold an international conference of trades union activists and other campaigners for authors' rights in London in May 2000, to co-ordinate the development of this international campaign.

ADM thanks the General Secretary and NEC for their continuing support for the campaign in the UK and Ireland and internationally and fervently hopes that they will continue this support and extend it as necessitated by further developments.

ADM notes the danger that both authors' rights and the European systems of public service broadcasting will come under pressure in the forthcoming Millennium Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) talks and in the extension of the existing WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

ADM reaffirms its conviction that strong authors' rights embodied in law are the best guarantee of vigorous, diverse, free and responsible journalism and in particular that:

  • all authors, including reporters and photographers and whether staff or freelance, should have rights to be identified as authors of their works and to defend the integrity of those works (so-called "moral rights"); and that
  • further collective agreements following and developing the terms of the Guardian framework agreement on minimum freelance terms and remuneration are the best means to ensure that journalists in the UK & Ireland receive proper payment for use and re-use of their work, especially in the new media;

ADM therefore instructs the NEC to:

  1. make strong representations to the UK government, and in concert with the Irish Executive Council to the government of the Republic of Ireland, to the effect that neither they nor the European Union should back-track on or horse-trade over the EU's current stated position of defending authors' rights and public broadcasting at the WTO;
  2. initiate and fund a study on proper payment systems for journalists contributing to the new media, in particular:
    • the possibility of journalists sharing directly in revenue from "pay-per-view" media and databases such as FT Profile;
    • the options for negotiated payment scales for use of work in advertiser-supported new media (where readership is precisely measured); and
    • similar options for syndication of work
    and to report in outline to ADM 2001, having carried the study out in collaboration with appropriate national and international authors' rights organisations,
  3. involve the NUJ actively in author-controlled syndication and licensing services such as ByLine, including financial involvement; and to
  4. strengthen support for NUJ involvement in co-ordinated lobbying efforts by trades unions and authors' organisations internationally, particularly those aimed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).