The Central Arbitration Committee has ruled against the Telegraph Group and in favour of the NUJ that all journalists, whether casual, fixed-term or permanent, should be part of one bargaining unit represented by the union if it is recognised by the group’s titles.
The NUJ says the decision is a major boost to the employment rights of fixed-term and casual journalists in publishing and to the union’s campaign against creeping casualisation.
NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: "Publishers are increasingly using such contracts to employ journalists and it is making the lives and careers of our members extremely insecure. It is bad enough that an employer can use fixed-term contracts to avoid certain legal commitments, such as redundancy payments. Why should it also allow them to treat such staff differently when it comes to setting their rates of pay?"
The NUJ plans to ballot for recognition at the Telegraph Group soon.
The company had argued that including all journalists would be "incompatible with effective management". It claimed there were significant differences between casual and fixed-term journalists and those on permanent contracts. The CAC did not accept this.