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Union members question Gen Sec’s ‘golden goodbye’

A local branch of the National Union of Journalists has raised concerns over a £45k ‘golden goodbye’ to former general secretary Jeremy Dear.

Jeremy left his post six months early in July 2011 after his former deputy Michelle Stanistreet was elected unopposed to replace him.

He received a payment of £30,639 in lieu of notice, a further £9,444 in lieu of untaken sabbaticals, and £5,384 in employers’ national insurance.

The payment, which had not been reported to the union’s National Executive Committee, came to light during an inspection of the accounts by the Nottingham branch which was seeking to overturn a decision by the union to scrap its training department.

Branch officials subsequently circulated a memo written by former deputy general secretary Jake Ecclestone questioning the payment.

Jake argued that Jeremy “could not possibly have been entitled” to the notice payment as he had already announced in January 2011 that he would not be seeking re-election.

Wrote Jake: “The explanation for this payment “in lieu of notice” is egregious nonsense. Mr Dear told the then president, Peter Murray, and the treasurer, Anita Halpin, in early January 2011 that he did not intend to seek-re-election later that year.

“His impending departure was reported to a meeting of the National Executive Council on 4 February , and he left in July. Having given and worked six months’ notice according to his contract of employment, Mr Dear could not possibly have been entitled to a further six months’ money.”

In response, the union has claimed the payment was within Jeremy’s contractual terms and so did not need to be sanctioned by the NEC.

The union has previously told members that subscriptions may have to rise in order to stave off a “financial crisis.”


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  • September 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    “In response, the union has claimed the payment was within Jeremy’s contractual terms and so did not need to be sanctioned by the NEC.”

    I am sure that the union will have all the appropriate paperwork to back this up – why not just show it and then the matter ends? (Why has this matter remained unresolved for more than four months)?

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  • September 11, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Exactly Pete, but I suspect said paperwork doesn’t exist, or was formerly part of a fag packet. And people wonder why the union is skint?

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  • October 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    As my first Chief sub might have said: “For the last effing time Michelle Stanistreet was NOT elected unopposed. I submitted a valid nomination & the then General Secretary Jeremy Dear asked me ‘as a mate’ to stand down as Michelle & I largelly agreed on the way we wanted the NUN to go. This saved the union £25K.

    It was suggested to me that I would be DGS. That would have saved the NUJ a further £25K.

    This promise was not kept – and had I know about this secret deal I would NEVER had stood down.

    After he informed the NEC that he would not be seeking re-election, Jeremy did discuss with me his entitlements. I said that he was owed between four and six months money for time off he had not been able to take – but he would need to provide some paperwork on this to the NEC.

    I believe the real aim of this subterfuge was the “London Mafia” obsession with stopping me getting any full-time post in the NUJ.

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