The small group within the Belfast NUJ
who have fought hard to block my perfectly legitimate membership, have run out of road.
This realisation has led to an almighty tantrum, with the Belfast NUJ social media page even stating that the NUJ “used to attract a better class of applicant”. An astonishing comment from a union that is supposed to base their entire ethos on equality.
The Belfast NUJ gleefully rejected my application. I appealed this decision and won. My appeal was upheld within 24 hours.
Despite the fact the appeals panel ruled in my favour, still some members of the Belfast NUJ resolved that they would block me from being ratified.
Despite my letter confirming my eligibility and successful appeal, the Belfast NUJ continued to use their social media accounts to claim I was not a member of their union and make other comments about me. I posted a copy of the picture confirming all the details of my successful appeal on their page- they deleted it!
In January, their final throw of the dice also failed as the NUJ governing body, the NEC, ratified my membership.
At this point the Belfast NUJ decided that they would shut down their social media accounts- which they had used to announce I was not a member of their Union. Whether this is on instruction, or because they would have had to clarify that I am a member of the Union, is not known.
There has also been posts made on the Belfast Branch NUJ page, which refer to me as an individual unsuitable to be a member to the Union. That is an outrageous comment. I responded, as per my right, and the Belfast NUJ simply removed my post and banned me from their page.
At this point I emailed the Belfast Branch secretary and requested that I be added to the branch mailing list and informed of meeting times. The secretary responded saying “no”. It appears that now this small group within the Branch also wish to exclude me from all Branch activities.
This is a disgraceful way to treat any person. All groups and organisations have rules which should be equally applied.
I have succeeded in gaining membership through the proper channels and by using the NUJ’s own rules; it appears the next phase is for the Belfast NUJ to treat me like some kind of sub-human that is not allowed to be included in activities or even added to the Branch mailing list.
The former secretary, who has resigned in outrage, writes in today’s Newsletter that I am not a journalist. The logical conclusion of this is that he does not agree with the NUJ’s broad definition of journalism. One would wonder why he only became so infuriated at this broad entry criteria once I submitted an application.
The former Secretary also makes clear in the Newsletter he does “not accept” the NUJ’s decision. It appears the rules are only good so long as they work in their favour; much like class equality is the ethos, until such times as they come across an application from an individual who doesn’t meet their “class of applicant”.
Perhaps some of the outraged individuals, including those quoted in the Newsletter, could point us to some stories with their byline on it?
Due to their stringent definition of journalists I presume subs, PR consultants or authors don’t fall under their criteria. Perhaps they will end up demanding such a tight criteria that they will exclude themselves.
Most actual journalists I have spoken to this week are too busy covering a momentous week in politics. They have no time, no interest, in worrying about whether I am in the NUJ or not. Meanwhile others are calling emergency meetings to plan how they are going to inflict more humiliation upon themselves.
As far as I am concerned this matter is now closed. The small cabal within the Belfast NUJ- who are not reflective of the vast majority of members- have done little but humiliate themselves with their squalid little sectarian campaign to block me, presumably because I wasn’t a high enough “class” of applicant. Their tantrum-now they have run out of road- is quite a sight to behold.