According to a press release, the NUJ's national executive council on Friday 8 November welcomed the Netherlands landmark ruling that sets a 50 per cent pay increase for media workers.

The freelance photojournalists Britt van Uem (Tubantia) and Ruud Rogier (Brabants Dagblad) won their case on 1 November in a lawsuit against DPG Media (formerly De Persgroep).

The court ruled that the rates they received for their work, respectively 13 cents per word and 42 euros per photo, were not fair.

The judge has increased the rates by 50 per cent to 0.21 cents per word and 65 euros per photo respectively. DPG Media therefore has to pay these two freelancers extra for work they did in 2018.  

The NUJ and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have both welcomed this historical decision and congratulated the Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ), which in cooperation with the Dutch Association of Photojournalists (NVF) have supported the journalists in their lawsuit.  

Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ president, said: 

Throughout Europe we applaud the courage and persistence of the two photojournalists and the support of the union. This decision has indeed a great importance beyond the Dutch borders. We invite media to respect fair remuneration of photojournalists throughout Europe. Professional photo are key for the quality and trust of the press, but without fair remuneration photojournalists cannot survive.

 The NVJ said it will enter into discussions with all media organisations to achieve better rates for all freelancers.
 
Although the rates set by the court with regard to the NVJ/NVF are an absolute bottom rather than a reasonable advisory rate for the entire market, there has definitely been a breakthrough in the market for regional and local titles in particular. 

Rosa García López, the NVJ's officer for freelance and photographers, said:

This ruling ensures that all (photo) journalists in the region have a much better starting position and can claim a right to rates that are up to 50 per cent higher than what is currently customary in large regional media companies. This makes it clear that the Copyright Contracts Act can be of value to all journalists and creative creators in the Netherlands. 

This is the first time that two freelancers have made an appeal to the Copyright Contracts Act and consequently, the first time the court gives substance to what is fair. This law states that creators such as independent (photo) journalists are entitled to fair compensations and the judge has made clear what he bases this compensation on and how he made the weighting.

According to the court, it was also relevant to take into account what journalists earn as an employee for the same work. Another circumstance that the court examined was what is customary in the market in terms of rates. 

The photojournalists in the Netherlands continue their campaign 'photojournalism has a prize' for more recognition of their profession and better rates. This verdict underlines that the rates currently paid by DPG Media to its regional freelance journalists are not fair. 

Pablo Aiquel, co-chair of the EFJ's freelance expert group, said:

This gives us even more motivation to fight for fair remuneration for photojournalists and freelancers throughout Europe. We know we cannot only rely on courts. We also need the employers to recognise that our profession has to earn its life from its work.

In what our Dutch sister union, the NVJ is calling, a historic breakthrough, two freelance journalists have been awarded a 50% pay rise by an Amsterdam court, to a rate the judges deem “reasonable”.

The two, who worked for the regional media, had refused to accept rates as low as €15 an hour, and the court applying for the first time the revised Authors’ Contract law, designed to protect freelance journalists, agreed.

The law says pay rates should be “reasonable” but this the first time a court has given an interpretation of what reasonable means.

Their employer DPG Media must now pay the reporter €0.21 a word, and the photographer €65 a photograph – approximately €25 an hour.

The NVJ is set to take up more cases. Rosa García López, secretary of the NVJ’s freelance and photographers sections said this was “an historic judgement” with “consequences for all Dutch self-employed photographers and journalists”.

You can read more about the case on the NVJ (Dutch Association of Journalists) website.

 

 

We tend to think of architects as professionals rather than workers. Architects design, create, delegate, follow a special calling. Still, they’re not often seen as “working for a living,” and they’re certainly not much like the workers who construct or extract the resources for the buildings they design.

And yet, architectural work in the twenty-first century has become ever more precarious. As with other white-collar workers, architects are becoming increasingly accustomed to short-term contracts, overtime without pay, and other traditional hallmarks of exploited labour.

The podcast Architects Unionise! from Failed Architecture (FA) jointly produced by NUJ Netherlands' member Charlie Clemoes discusses this new reality.

For more information and to listen to the podcast.

 

 

 

All NUJ members should by now have received a ballot paper for the election of the editor of The Journalist.

If you haven't you can contact the National Union of Journalists

Ballot papers must be returned no later than Wednesday, November 6th.

NUJ member Jens Anders Wejsmark Sorensen, who we interviewed earlier, offered the following self-publishing tips at a recent branch meeting. You can contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

GET THE RIGHT TOOLS

  • Scrivener (/ˈskrɪvənər/) is a word-processing program and outliner designed for authors that provides a management system for documents, notes and metadata (€ 52)
  • Grammarly is an online grammar checking, spell checking, and plagiarism detection platform (€ 120/year)
  • Oxford Dictionary of English / Oxford Thesaurus of English.

 

GET YOUR BOOK EDITED

  • Scribendi – American editing and proof reading service (75.000 words / € 1,275)
  • Local editor (€ 1 per manuscript page / 70.000 words / 500 manuscript pages)

 

CONSIDER YOUR BOOK COVER DESIGN CAREFULLY

  • Use Amazon free Cover Creator tool to design a cover for your eBook or paperback. The tool allows you to customize your cover with a variety of layouts and fonts. 
  • Get an illustrator to do it (€ 800)

 

GET A GOOD BOOK DISTRIBUTOR

 

GET YOUR OWN ISBN

  • ISBN - Reserved 100 numbers / € 12 per number (www.isbn.nl)

 

MARKET / PROMOTE YOUR BOOK

  • Launch
  • Reviews
  • Advertising social media
  • KDP University - Campaign manager

 

MAKE FRIENDS

  • Other authors and professionals in the writing community
  • With the booksellers
  • With your readers
  • Author workshops

 

BE REALISTIC

The self-publishing revolution has resulted in a flood of content on top of all of the books published by traditional publishers each year – so you most likely won’t sell millions of copies. Be thoughtful about what goals you set for yourself and your book and then put steps in place to achieve them. Success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication and business savvy.

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