Here is the email sent to staff at the Guardian and the Observer today by managing editor Jan Thompson and Sheila Fitzsimons, Executive Director, transformation, at Guardian News & Media.
Today editorial management met with NUJ officials to discuss ways to achieve the required budget and headcount reduction in editorial. The NUJ have asked us to re-open the voluntary redundancy scheme which we have agreed to do and you will be receiving a letter about this soon.
We also tabled other possible cost-saving measures we would like to discuss with the NUJ, including: a pay freeze; reducing the use of casuals; encouraging part-time working; and changing terms and conditions, including reviewing the 9-day fortnight and sabbaticals.
Of course, we hope that we will be able to achieve the required savings without making compulsory redundancies, but because we recognise that they can’t be ruled out, we have today entered into a formal consultation period with the NUJ for a minimum of 90 days. During that time, we want to work constructively with the NUJ to achieve the savings by voluntary means if at all possible.
We will be in touch again soon to let you know how talks are progressing.
Sheila and Jan