Monday, 13 September 2021

Vote for Matt Salusbury for a London seat on the NUJ’s National Executive Council (NEC)

Photo: © Hazel Dunlop

As Chair of NUJ London Freelance Branch (LFB), the Union's biggest and most active Branch, I have been providing leadership and pastoral care to members throughout the pandemic, chairing lively online Branch meetings where there are often over 70 members present.

I have been deputy editor of the Freelance, the online and print newsletter and resource for the NUJ's freelances, since 2006, re-elected annually. For the Freelance, I have covered developments in the Union and throughout our industry in detail for many years. This has given me a unique insight into the workings of the NUJ and the issues that affect and engage our members. The role has involved working together with members, officials and staff across the Union.

I also worked part-time as a staff journalist for many years, as a commissioning editor for a business-to-business magazine, so I understand issues that affect staffers as well as freelances - I have in the past called on the services of one of our excellent NUJ Organisers when I was myself facing redundancy.

I am also a former NUJ representative on the Writers' Organisations Advisory Group and a former Freelance Industrial Council representative on the Newspapers and Agencies Industrial Council. I currently sit on the Journalist Editorial Advisory Board.

I have served on the Freelance Industrial Council representing our London members in the sector since the late noughties. COVID and changes in the industry are now leading to increasing numbers of London's staff journalists being made redundant and many are moving to the freelance sector. This will mean the sector will need more representation within the Union.

However, I feel that with my background, experience and insights I can conscientiously represent all of London's NUJ members on the National Executive Council, whether staff or freelance, whatever their employment status.

Please give me your first vote and also give your second vote to London Freelance Branch's Deborah Hobson.

"I can't think of a better candidate for the NEC than Matt Salusbury.

I've known Matt for a great many years – having sat with him on London Freelance Branch Committee and seen him chair meetings over the last year in very difficult circumstances. In the past, I have sat with him on the Freelance Industrial Council, and know well the depth and breadth of his experience across the media – both nationally and internationally – and his commitment to the NUJ and trade unionism.

I've seen first-hand how his work on the Freelance has given him a detailed insight into and understanding of issues that affect freelances, and his experience as a staff member broadens that understanding. As co-editor of the Freelance he has become an invaluable source of information for members about our industry and extremely knowledgeable about the Union in general.

He is never afraid to question and challenge the status quo, while always grasping the complexities of issues as they arise. He is an excellent communicator, always ready to take the time to explain the mysteries of the NUJ to lay members and to give support to colleagues.

The freelance sector is growing throughout the union. Matt's understanding of the sector and how this fits in with and impinges on other sectors will be an invaluable contribution to the executive, while his firm grip on the basics of trade unionism and understanding of how the union as a whole works will mean he can be relied upon to work hard for all sectors and regions."

Jenny Vaughan – Treasurer, NUJ London Freelance Branch, NUJ Gold Badge owner

"For years Matt has been working hard and unshowily for LFB, FIC and the NUJ generally. Lately he's chaired the Branch with great care for firm-fairness in all ways, while sustaining an affable, relaxed atmosphere. Co-editing with Mike Holderness, he's ensured that the Freelance newssheet is always cogent - and there on time. He's a wholly decent, good man."

Phil Sutcliffe, NUJ Member of Honour, LFB membership secretary, ex-NEC/FIC, etc.

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