Members at the N.U.J. Annual Delegates Meeting in Birmingham voted on Saturday morning to raise the yearly subscriptions to the Union.
This will mean that members on Grade 1 will pay an extra £5.68, Grade 2 will pay an extra £7.00 and Grade 3 an extra £9.60. Speakers who supported the motion made mention of the recruiting power of a simple and fair subscription system.
The average wage increase for N.U.J. members is £2,000 per year. When asked to contribute to increased subscriptions, proposers of the motion said, most people say that they are saving for a mortgage or car or other expence. They seem to be unaware, until it is pointed out to them, that unions are responsible for negotiating their better pay and conditions.
General Secretary Jeremy Dear quoted Leon Trotsky, saying “Finances are the sinews of war”.
Other finance motions
A motion that sought to raise the minimum subscription that any individual would pay – to £75 – was defeated.
Conference also voted for a motion which instructed the National Executive Council to give effect to the principle that “…members in New Media departments of established media workplaces should normally pay subs at the same rate as their colleages”.
Delegates further carried a motion which means that students will now pay a subscription of £25 “…contribution to cover the the full duration of their course”, and “…receive a 25% discount on their first year’s full membership if they apply within 12 months of completing the course for which they were granted student membership”.
Speakers passionately refered to students as being the future of the Union movement. These references were generally greeted with enthusiastic applause.
Three other uncontoversial motions were passed without debate. Number 72 dealt with the ease with which it will now be possible for members to pay their subs by direct debit or credit card.
Number 74 instructed the N.E.C. to “…investigate the availability of libel/defamation insurance policies for freelance journalists in the Republic of Ireland”.
Finally, under this Finance Section, motion 75 asked the N.E.C. to provide “…a handbook or electronic guidance for branch treasurers on the effective control of branch finances”.
This proved to be a highly popular idea, as most Union activists are aware of how difficult it can be to elect a Treasurer in their branch. Any help that budding Treasurers can get will be gladly received.
The often controversial Finance Sector of the A.D.M. was was quite swiftly completed with little contentious debate.