The first meeting of the NUJ's Dundee branch since COVID restrictions were lifted will take place in Beans & Berries on Wednesday 25 August. Members can also attend online via Google Meet, and joining information will be sent out a week before the meeting.
Long serving chair Ian Roache stood down some time ago and so did his replacement, Tom Duthie, some time later. His nominated successor was Calum Woodger, who has also moved on, so it is now essential that the Branch elects a new Chair. Other executive positions are also open.
Branch Secretary Jim Symons will report on his work dealing with welfare matters, and he has also been taking part in various NUJ national committees.
Suggestions for speakers are welcome; possible subjects are many. Journalists across the world are facing hostile action from governments and activists; there are fears that new UK legislation may put journalists at risk if they reveal government secrets; Lady Dorrian's judgement in the Craig Murray case appears to give mainstream journalists differing rights from citizen bloggers; and is it possible to report Scotland's independence campaign accurately without being excoriated by one side or the other?
Previous branch news articles ...
From the Secretary
Unfortunately is has been some time since we were able to meet, and I sincerely hope that you are all well. Since our last meeting in February, several changes have occurred, which have changed the make up of our executive. We are sad to report that our Chair, Tom Duthie, has decided to stand down and has gone as far as resigning from the Union. His decision was personal, and had nothing to do with the Branch nor it's members. I'm sure he has let those of you who are close friends know his reasons. Tom is a good socialist and trade unionist, and will be missed from our ranks. We thank him for his help and assistance during his tenure.
I had offered my resignation as Branch Secretary on health grounds, having had heart surgery last October, however a no one has come forward, I will stay on until a replacement can be found. Having resurrected the branch several years ago, and built it back up again through recruitment, it would be unthinkable to walk away. On that note, let's all pull together and once again help each other by forming a strong executive to take the branch forward. To this end, I am going to invite our Treasurer, Jimmy Black to arrange a zoom meeting early in the new year which I hope all members will attend.
I was just thinking the other day of the many happy Xmas nights out we have enjoyed over the last few years, and I hope that when circumstances change, we can have a get together to share our experiences during the lockdown, as well as a good bevvy.
May I remind all members that I am available to assist you in any way I can. Please use the Contact Form (see menu above).
I wish you all, and your families, a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.
Jim Symons Branch Secretary Dundee.
Branch Report 2020
As you are aware, this has been a turbulent year for all of us, however it has not prevented the work of the Branch continuing. I have remained active as Chair of NUJ 60+, Disabled Members Council and member of the Equality Strands Council, which are national bodies of our Union. I have also retained my seat on the Executive of the Scottish Pensioners Forum, as well as other bodies including our membership of Dundee Trades Unions Council.
We are also very active with the WASPI campaign in Scotland, who apart from waiting for a judicial review are also awaiting a hearing at the Supreme Court. I will report on this in the New Year.
Tom Duthie and myself attended the picket line, with our Banner, at Dundee University during their strike action earlier in the year, and we provided hot food for them and also for the pickets at Ninewells Hospital during their Industrial Action.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the NUJ has been unable to hold its biennial Delegate Meeting. The union hopes to organise a DM in the early Spring.
Although all NUJ HQ staff are working remotely, any queries regarding membership, press cards, legal facilities and other matters can be addressed by contacting the branch secretary.
I find that it is good to show solidarity with our fellow Unions, and let them know that our Branch is still strong. After all, we are the oldest Branch in Scotland, dating back to 1909, only two years after the Union itself was formed. Regardless of how long the Pandemic lasts, our branch will continue to fly the flag.
Jim Symons (Secretary)
COVID and the branch
NUJ Dundee has not met since the beginning of the pandemic. We do continue to assist members who contact us. Our Chair, Tom Duthie, has resigned and any members who wish to take on this role should contact the Secretary, Jim Symons, using the Contact Form.
No meetings are currently planned.
Ian Roache steps down as Branch Chair
Ian Roache has given up the role of Branch Chair to concentrate on journalistic and academic commitments. Ian has led the branch through the last few years, helping to build a core of branch members who have kept the NUJ active locally. Branch Treasurer Jimmy Black said of Ian, "We wish him well and we know that Ian will continue to be an active member. He was a conscientious Chair, attended national union events and helped ensure a continuing NUJ presence in Dundee."
The Branch Executive met on Friday 22 November and agreed to appoint Tom Duthie to take over as Chair. This followed a call to members from the Secretary for candidates; Tom was the sole nominee, and will chair his first meeting early in the New Year, dates to be confirmed.
Sheena Wellington on Music and the Media
Celebrated folksinger Sheena Wellington spoke at September's NUJ meeting in Number Ten, 10 Constitution Road. Sheena regretted the lack of traditional music on local radio, and also drew attention to the centenary of Hamish Henderson's birth, to be celebrated shortly in Blairgowrie where he was born. Henderson was a poet, army intelligence officer, rode jeeps with the Italian partisans in WW2, collected songs from Scotland's travelling people, and wrote the Freedom Come All Ye which some would want for Scotland's national anthem.
In the earlier business part of the meeting, members noted that the union was ready to assist staff affected by changes at DC Thomson's titles.
Honouring Lyra McKee
Trades unionists and the Pensioners Forum joined members of NUJ Dundee and others to honour Lyra McKee, the young journalist recently murdered in Northern Ireland. Members walked behind a piper and the NUJ banner from Albert Square to the City Chambers. Thanks to Alan Richardson for these pictures ...
NUJ Dundee - office bearers re-elected
NUJ Dundee held their AGM in DVA's Camperdown Room on Tuesday 19 March. The Rev Erik Cramb (pictured standing) told a busy room about the Pensioners' Forum's support for a new social enterprise which helps bereaved families avoid large funeral debts. He also said there were efforts to set up a fund to help those who have no money at all to bury their loved ones, particularly people who have died young.
Also pictured is Scottish NUJ Organiser Nick McGowan-Lowe, answering some searching but friendly questions from guests who attended the meeting from other trades unions.
The branch re-elected Ian Roache as Chair, Jim Symons as Secretary and Jimmy Black as Treasurer.