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Union ballot suspended as 25 volunteer for redundancy at MEN

National Union of Journalists members at the Manchester Evening News have suspended a ballot for industrial action after the company announced that 25 staff had volunteered for redundancy, making compulsory job losses unlikely.

Earlier this month the company announced it was cutting 27 editorial posts as it changes the way it works in order to “thrive in a digital future”.

Staff were given a week to volunteer and 25 journalists came forward. It is understood they will leave the company by March 2.

In addition two journalists are being redeployed.

But MEN mother of chapel Rachel Broady said union members were still concerned over possible changes to working conditions, after the company proposed that editorial staff work flexibly across mornings, afternoons, evenings and weekends.

She told HoldtheFrontPage: “We welcome the fact that compulsory redundancies appear to have been avoided but we are concerned about the new agreement.”

She said the company had refused to give them details such as where the redundancies have been made, the future of the Evening News and Metro News, the edition structure, working times and changes to duties, and the matter has been put into dispute.

She added: “We have instructed national union officers to conduct a ballot of staff affected by the changes.

“We asked editor Paul Horrocks when we will find out what work we are doing and he said when the rotas go up, but people have childcare issues and holidays.

“Someone who works on the MEN could come in on March 4 and be told they are now working on the Stockport Express, we need to know whether that is likely.”