By Christina Zaba
Bristol branch takes care of some 350 NUJ members across the region, including members from the BBC, ITV, the local papers, freelances, exiled journalists, students, PRs and online workers.
Branches are the main organising unit for the NUJ locally, administering funds and advice for local workplace groups – which we call chapels – and others.
Our work is wide-ranging, from lobbying MPs on national media campaigns to running meetings and social events, assisting with new member applications, organising campaigns and events, and being a first port of call for any local member in trouble or any query.
We work to support the NUJ and its aims nationally, and try to make sure that our members’ views and needs are represented in the union’s democratic structures, so that their union really does work for them.
We also take part in the work of the wider trade union movement in the South-West, including sending representatives to South-West TUC meetings and conferences, taking part in Bristol Trades Council meetings and sitting on the Trades Council executive. We also liaise with the Bristol-based organisation Bristol Media, and with the local Chartered Insititute of Public Relations.
How do we do it and why do we go to all this trouble for no pay at all?
It’s interesting. It leads to some good work. It’s about solidarity and support. And we enjoy it.
There are six elected officers who take care of the day-to-day running of the branch: chair Christina Zaba; secretary Simon Chapman; treasurer Paul Breeden; freelance officer Susie Weldon; equality officer Katy Ladbrook; and Exiled Journalists’ Network officer Forward Maisokwadzo.
Christina Zaba also sits on the NUJ’s national Equality Council; Simon Chapman sits on the Freelance Industrial Council; and Katy Ladbrook is a delegate to the TUC women’s conference 2010. Branch member Mike Jempson sits on the Ethics Council and Tony Gosling sits on New Media Industrial Council and the Ethics Council.
The union is controlled by its National Executive Council, and our South West representative on the NEC is Tim Lezard, who is also chair of NUJ Gloucester branch.
We have strong links with journalism students in the city, including with UWE’s student-run Journalism Society.
If you are interested in joining Bristol NUJ, if you’re a journalist who needs help or if you want to find out more, feel free to contact us. Please remember that we all have jobs and may not be able to get back to you straight away, but we will do our best to get in touch as soon as we can.
For the branch to work, people need to come to branch meetings. To come to branch meetings, you need to be a member. To become a full member, 50 per cent or more of your income has to come from paid journalism or journalism-related work such as book editing, website writing, digital design, public relations or communications. For detailed membership criteria, part-time membership requirements and press card requirements, find details from the national NUJ website here.
Bristol is a great city and it’s full of media workers. We want all of them to belong to the NUJ. Don’t hesitate. Get in touch.
Chair: Christina Zaba firstname.lastname@example.org
Filed Under: Branch News