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Deal between the NUJ and the Independent avoids compulsory redundancies in first phase of restructuring plans

By Angela Haggerty, Reporter

April 4, 2013 | 3 min read

Compulsory redundancies are to be avoided in the first phase of a restructuring plan after a deal was struck between the NUJ and the Independent, the union announced on Thursday.

Fears: Restructure plans have raised job cut concerns

The NUJ said in a statement that union negotiators had reduced the number of posts to be cut and there would be no forced redundancies, while managing editor of the Independent, Doug Wills, said the paper had reached the agreement on the basis that existing voluntary redundancy agreements went ahead.

"I am happy to confirm that we are now confident that if those taking voluntary redundancies complete documentation drawn up on the basis of agreements already reached with them, compulsory redundancies will not be necessary to achieve the saving required by the company in the changes to a seven-day operation," said Wills.

However, the statement added that the local NUJ chapel would "need to show the same resolve" to ensure the next phase of the restructuring process at the titles was "carried out in a similarly cooperative manner".

NUJ general secretary, Barry Fitzpatrick, commented: "We still have serious concerns about the editorial quality and individual identity of the newspaper titles once the seven-day integration takes place. But importantly we have stopped people being forcibly pushed out the door.

"This is clearly good news and unlikely to have been possible without the strength and unity of our chapel. We know the process has been unpleasant and nerve wracking for many."

Job fears heightened earlier this year when the NUJ claimed up to 20 jobs could be cut as a result of integration between the Independent titles and the Evening Standard. Independent on Sunday editor John Mullin was made redundant in February as the Sunday edition editorial team merged with the Monday to Saturday staff, while there are plans for a London local TV channel to launch next year.

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