Michelle Stanistreet NUJ
Credit: Yui Mok/PA

Protection of the National Union of Journalists "is needed by journalists now more than ever before", general secretary Michelle Stanistreet has warned in a statement, as it emerged that the union is "facing a severe financial crisis".

Journalism.co.uk reported earlier this afternoon that a "recovery plan" issued to the National Executive Council from general secretary Michelle Stanistreet revealed the union has just £300,000 in cash, which equates to three weeks running costs.

The document contained proposals to cut a fifth of staff and cease union-funded professional training activities.

In the report Stanistreet warns: "If immediate action is not taken this money will run out in October and the union would be insolvent".

The union has since confirmed that the National Executive Council has agreed a strategy "including cuts across all areas of union expenditure, including provision for staff redundancies".

In a statement issued in response Stanistreet said: "This is not the first time the NUJ has had to take decisive action to deal with financial difficulties.

"Previous solutions to falling income, resulting from a fall in employment in our industries, have sustained us until now.

"But we are conscious that if we are to plan responsibly for the future of the union, and the members whom we serve, we need a comprehensive strategy which involves managing expenditure and practising good housekeeping while continuing to provide the service to NUJ members which they are entitled to expect.
"As an immediate priority we will be extending the union's activities and membership across all sectors of the industry where the union's protection is needed by journalists now more than ever before."
Responding to the news, Chris Morley, the father of the officials' chapel, told Journalism.co.uk: "The officials realise that there is financial situation that has to be tackled, but it is the case that my members are against compulsory redundancy.

"We are in a formal consultation process and everything possible shall be done to avoid the possibility of compulsory redundancies."

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