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Staff offered voluntary redundancy at Yorkshire titles

A group of weekly newspapers in Yorkshire is offering voluntary redundancy to all its staff – at their request.

Yorkshire Regional Newspapers, which includes the Scarborough News, Bridlington Free Press and Whitby Gazette, has confirmed it has launched a voluntary redundancy scheme.

The company said the move was made after it was approached by some employees about the possibility of taking voluntary redundancy.

Other titles which come under YRN include the Pocklington Post, Beverley Guardian, Driffield Times & Post and the Malton & Pickering Mercury.

A spokesman for YRN said: “We were approached by staff regarding the possibility of voluntary redundancy across our Yorkshire bases and we have opened up the opportunity for all before any decisions are made.”

Last October, parent company Johnston Press launched a group-wide voluntary redundancy scheme targeted at journalists, in a bid to cut costs across the business.

The move comes amid a raft of changes at the titles, including the departure of Gazette editor Jon Stokoe, who was axed when the company decided to combine his role with that of Scarborough News editor Ed Asquith.

There are also a number of office moves planned, with the News and Gazette offices both being put up for sale and staff set to move to new bases.

The company has played down rumours that the News could to move to a building previously occupied by a local building society, saying no decisions had yet been made about where the new bases for the News or the Gazette would be.

11 comments

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  • July 11, 2013 at 8:09 am
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    Presumably these papers are not closing (yet!) so will still need the staff and yet JP think it a good idea to offer voluntary redundancy again. Not only will they be paying out to lose experienced staff, but leaving those that remain under pressure – physically doing more work and mentally wondering if they have made the right decision. Any new staff (that they will need to train) won’t hang around for long I’m sure. I noticed a poor recruitment ad for sales reps (no specific role) for Ackrill Newspapers (JP) too the other day which sounded as though they were after a job lot!

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  • July 11, 2013 at 9:18 am
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    I’m also was made redundant from YRN. I felt at the time before I was made redundant a lot of pressure from the powers to be to impress them to try and get another job within the company. After leaving I have found it very hard to secure new employment elsewhere, I do find my confidence has been rocked and the root cause is my redundancy from YRN. I just wish Ashley Highfield knows what effect his ex employers feel.

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  • July 11, 2013 at 9:38 am
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    Not just Yorkshire: this is happening in the Midlands too. Odd, as they claimed it was also in response to staff requesting redundancy.

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  • July 11, 2013 at 10:37 am
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    One thing that never changes though Paul, is that photographers struggle with spelling and sentence structure. :)

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  • July 11, 2013 at 10:48 am
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    I cannot believe that staff really are asking for redundancy. In the current climate they should feel relieved to still have a job with JP (I wish I still had mine). If staff want to find another role – go ahead, and then leave. Isn’t that the way it should be? I’d hate to think that the savings made by making me, and others, compulsorily redundant are going towards those that just want to leave. Sorry if that sounds harsh.

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  • July 11, 2013 at 11:33 am
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    It’s a cost saver if you can pay off experienced staff – ie your higher earners – with a one-off lump sum. That’s why these companies are so keen to do it. You either then don’t replace them, bring in a younger, cheaper version, or perhaps a freelance who’ll also cost less.

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  • July 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm
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    Doctors, teachers, plumbers, are like a good wine…they are considered by the public to improve with age (everybody feels more confident with some 60 year old guy to mend a burst pipe rather than a 20 year old). Journalists, on the other hand, are like an old pair of socks, you don’t try to mend them, just throw them away. Unless you’ve networked well and are lucky, your job prospects in the media rapidly diminish with age. That’s the tragedy of regional papers today, and perhaps one reason why circulations are collapsing…it’s too much a young person’s game.

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  • July 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm
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    “The company has played down rumours that the News could to move to a building previously occupied by a local building society”

    Funny how the staff working at the News are saying the exact opposite…..

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