Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Thursday 11th October, 2012
Guardian News and Media are weighing up compulsory redundancies after offering up to 100 staff voluntary redundancy which has seen a minimal take-up.
It’s emerged that around 30 editorial staff have volunteered to leave, meaning the publisher is left with little choice but to force through the shortfall.
The newspaper has since met with the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) to consider options on how to meet their initial target of 70 to 100 voluntary redundancies.
Having been quizzed about the prospect of obligatory job losses, a spokesperson for the Guardian News and Media group said:
"We are working closely with the NUJ to discuss how the necessary savings can be achieved and will not be making any further comment at this stage."
NUJ deputy general secretary Barry Fitzpatrick has stated that there is “a mountain to climb” in discussions between the union and the publisher.
He was quoted saying: "There have been less than 35 positive voluntary redundancy applications, much less than the numbers we know [GNM] is seeking. Our position is no different than before. We do not expect this to be resolved by compulsory redundancies."
Earlier this year the company reported a 15 per cent rise in operating losses to £44.2m for the year to March 2012 and appealed for journalists willing to take voluntary redundancy.
A spokeswoman for the company said in July it was "on course" to save £25 million by the end of a five-year programme to focus more on online publishing by 2016/17, adding: "As part of that, in editorial we aim to reduce costs by £7 million to fund investment and GNM has re-opened the voluntary redundancy programme for editorial."
The spokeswoman said "investment in digital platforms and set-up costs for the five-year transformation programme" was partly responsible for the operating loss.