NUJ elects Michelle as first ever woman General Secretary

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ General Secretary elect (Photo © Simon Chapman)

“I am very pleased that the first union to negotiate equal pay for our sisters now has one as our General Secretary – she can count on my support,” said former candidate Chris Youett after withdrawing from the contest

by CHRISTINA ZABA

The NUJ has elected former Express journalist and Deputy General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet as its first ever woman General Secretary.

Michelle said: “I am immensely proud to be elected to lead our union – and to be the first woman to have the opportunity to do so.

“I will repay the faith placed in me by working hard to build our union, speak up for members and stand up for journalism.”

Outgoing General Secretary Jeremy Dear, who has led the union since being elected as its youngest ever leader in 2001, said: “The union is in the best possible hands. Michelle has been a fantastic deputy and has always fought resolutely to defend journalists and journalism.

“She will work tirelessly on behalf of all members and to ensure that the NUJ is and remains the voice of journalists in the workplace and throughout the industry.”

Michelle was declared elected to the post by the union’s national executive council today after the only other candidate, freelance journalist and Birmingham and Coventry Branch member Chris Youett, withdrew.

Moments later, Chris messaged the NUJ Left email list: “Following the close of nominations for the 2011 General Secretary election, the NEC heard that the only two candidates were myself and Sis Michelle Stanistreet.

“Outgoing GS Jeremy Dear asked both candidates whether they wanted to withdraw, in accordance with union policy.

“Given that I broadly support Sis Stanistreet, we were each other’s second choice under the rules of STV, and we have both personally defeated some of the media’s most Neanderthal employers – in my case Robert Maxwell and in her case Richard “Dirty Des” Desmond – I am delighted to withdraw in her favour.

“I am very pleased that the first union to negotiate equal pay for our sisters now has one as our General Secretary – and she can look forward to my support over the coming battles.”

Michelle will take up the post on 1 July 2011.

Members are welcome to email Chris back with their views on: chris_youett@yahoo.co.uk

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