Guardian News and Media journalists warned about redundancies as company seeks £54m cuts - Press Gazette

Guardian News and Media journalists warned about redundancies as company seeks £54m cuts

Guardian News and Media journalists have been warned about redundancies as the company seeks to cut £54m a year from its annual costs.

An email to staff, reported on Twitter by the Telegraph's Patrick Foster, quotes the head of HR saying: "As our staff costs are by far our biggest overhead, one outcome of the budgeting process may be that redundancies are proposed.

"If such proposals are made, and if they affect your area of the organisation, we will consult with the relevant employee representatives about such proposed redundancies, their potential impact and ways of avoiding them."

Plans for 20 per cent cuts were announced in January when The Guardian revealed it is set to report a loss of more than £50m for the year to the end of March. It said that it has spent £80m of its cash reserves over the last year and that a further £20m has gone through decline in the value of investments.

This leaves parent company Guardian Media Group with £735m in the bank, enough to sustain it for only another seven years at the current rate of decline.

The Guardian sought to cut up to 100 journalists in 2013 in order to curb its then escalating losses.

The paper's heavily-unionised workforce resisted compulsory redundancies and in the end 58 took voluntary redundancy (a reduction of 50 full-time positions).

Since then, the editorial team has rapidly expanded, particularly in Australia and the US.

As of last year Guardian News and Media claimed to have 968 "core editorial staff", a figure which is understood to include some casuals.

The Times today reports that a figure of 100 editorial redundancies is again being mooted. A 20 per cent cut of the 968 figure would be neared 200.

Asked whether the figure of 100 editorial redundancies was accurate, a Guardian spokersperson said: "We are working up proposals to target an overall reduction of 20 per cent in our current cost base. Due to the level of cost reduction we need to make it is ?possible that this ?could  have an impact on roles across all parts of our organisation.

"Exactly how and where the cost savings will be achieved will be worked through via the budgeting process as well as discussions with colleagues, the unions and appointed employee representatives. Our journalistic integrity and the quality of our editorial products will remain integral to our future growth and development."  



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