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Five jobs saved at Suffolk dailies – but nine still at risk

The number of journalists set to lose their jobs at two regional newspapers in Suffolk has been reduced by five following talks.

Archant Suffolk announced last month that 14 jobs were at risk a result of the Ipswich Evening Star’s move from a six day a week publication to five.

The company has now confirmed that, following consultations, the number of jobs set to be lost out of the 91 strong workforce at the Star and sister paper East Anglian Daily Times now totals nine.

Despite this members of the National Union of Journalists claim that bosses are refusing to negotiate properly over the redundancies and have accused them of targeting their Father of Chapel as one of those whose role is still under threat.

The chapel, which last month called for editors to be sacked instead of staff, is challenging the management’s selection criteria for the redundancies.

But managing director of Archant Anglia Johnny Hustler said in a letter to the union this week that he believed the company had consulted appropriately with the NUJ and employees.

He said: “The number of proposed redundancies is less than 20 and there is no obligation on Archant to consult collectively.

“I am delighted to say that as a result of the consultation meetings held so far we are hopeful, subject to the conclusion of the individual consultations; the number of people leaving Archant as a result of this process will be significantly less (9 rather than 14).”

Sarah Chambers, NUJ Mother of Chapel, said: “The journalists here are doing their best to do a professional job, but the management is making it very difficult for us to provide a good service to our readers.

“We are particularly concerned that the Father of Chapel, Malcolm Grubb, has been targeted for redundancy.”

In his letter, Mr Hustler added that the company would continue to consider any alternatives or amendments to the pool.