AddThis SmartLayers

Redundancy scheme 'shambles' at Glasgow titles

Management at a Newsquest centre have been accused of presiding over a “shambles” after telling staff who applied for voluntary redundancy they must now interviewe for new roles.

A restructure on The Herald, Evening Times and Sunday Herald means the company is currently looking to reduce its editorial payroll by up to 40 posts from 250 to 210.

But after being presented with list of 37 volunteers by the National Union of Journalists, the voluntary redundancy scheme has now been put on hold.

Editor-in-chief Donald Martin told staff in a memo, seen by HoldtheFrontPage, that talks with the NUJ had broken down.

It said: “We will therefore be continuing to interview for suitable roles all staff including those who have applied for voluntary redundancy.

“As we have made clear, where staff decline an offered post for which they are qualified and suitable and no alternative roles can be found, the redundancy terms may be modified but will not be less than the legally-required statutory terms.

“In the meantime, processing of voluntary redundancies cannot go ahead.”

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran said: “This is strange as apparently the first question to applicants is ‘Are you committed to working under the new structure?’.

“Obviously not if they have already applied for redundancy. The words shambles and embarrassing come to mind, but not necessarily in that order.

“Putting the redundancy process on hold is a bizarre decision, as they have been more than keen to get people out of the door as soon as possible.”

The NUJ claims the redundancy scheme has been postponed until three Fathers of Chapel sign away their rights to take legal action for victimisation.

The NUJ recently submitted grievances and tribunal claims on behalf of The Herald’s Foc Ian Bruce and Evening Times Foc John McCann and deputy FoC Gordon Thomson for victimisation under trade union and disability.

The company wants the trio to leave next week and be paid until March, says the union.

A compromise agreement is being proposed by Newsquest management but the NUJ says this is far short of any settlement which a successful tribunal would offer a claimant.

Managing editor Tom Thomson had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.