Jim Oldfield, editor of the South Yorkshire Times, has been made redundant.
After a career spanning 37 years Jim received a letter on Monday informing him that he will soon be out of a job.
He has been taking part in indefinite strike action against proposals by Johnston Press to cut 18 staff at South Yorkshire Newspapers. He will now appeal against his redundancy and wants it to be heard by company chief executive John Fry.
Said Jim: “I have now been made redundant by JP, in a brown paper envelope couriered to my home on Monday evening after close of play and shoved through my letterbox – a fine thank-you from a company for whom I worked for seven-plus years, for a maximum salary of £25,000 and from whom I claimed but a handful of expenses in those seven years, running my own car on my own petrol while acting as everything from editor to photographer.
He added: “I have now demanded that my appeal is heard by Fry himself and the considered by board of directors.”
Jim ran a story on the front page of the Mexborough-based paper when the proposals were announced which led to a dispute with management who made changes to the article.
Jim then checked the company’s Editors’ Handbook in which CEO John Fry says “editors must be free to edit without management interference”.
He then brought a grievance against editor-in-chief Graeme Huston for gross misconduct which was not upheld by the company.
He later went on to speak at a National Union of Journalists’ meeting in which he not only revealed his own wage but the wages of all his staff.
He said he was paid £25,500 while trainee journalists at South Yorkshire Newspapers were on £14,000; page designers £15,000; senior reporters £18,000; and assistant editors £24,000.
Yesterday we reported that he is due to meet with Labour leader Ed Miliband to talk about regional newspaper companies being included in the phone hacking enquiry.
Doncaster-based editor-in-chief of South Yorkshire Newspapers Graeme Huston will take over responsibility for the South Yorkshire Times.
Johnston Press did not wish to comment.