BAJ pay claim angers Post staff

More than 100 journalists at the Racing Post have handed in a petition to their company repudiating a pay claim submitted on their behalf by the British Association of Journalists.

The 111 staffers, all NUJ or nonunion members working for the Post and other sports titles at MGN, the national papers subsidiary of Trinity Mirror, have asserted that the claim has no legitimacy and does not represent their wishes. BAJ has no members at the newspaper, they claim.

They have been protesting since the company signed last year’s pay deal with BAJ, when it had only one member.

But a Central Arbitration Committee review in January of their request to be represented instead by the NUJ was turned down.

Steve Turner, BAJ general secretary, told Press Gazette: “BAJ represents 500 journalists on MGN’s national titles, so it makes sense for BAJ to represent the 140 journalists on MGN’s sports titles as well. BAJ is currently negotiating a house agreement for the Racing Post and associated titles. The outcome will be put before the journalists for approval as soon as possible.

“BAJ does not believe in negotiating in public and does not think it will be helpful to say any more about the matter.”

The Post journalists want a judicial review of the CAC decision.

Barry Fitzpatrick, NUJ national papers organiser, said: “It’s nonsense to have a situation where it [the BAJ] has no members at the Post. This is a ludicrous arrangement whose time is up.

It’s becoming an utter farce.”

By Jean Morgan

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