Coventry strike averted

A one-day strike at the Coventry Evening Telegraph was averted on Friday after management agreed to new negotiations to discuss conditions.

NUJ members accepted the original deal of 2.7 per cent when management agreed to also look at improving rates for trainees, pay banding and rises for long-serving seniors.

NUJ northern organiser Miles Barter said, even after the pay rise, some senior journalists on weekly papers in the group, such as the Hinckley Times and Bedworth Echo, are on salaries of £13,200.

He said: “Management told us they were surprised by the strength of feeling that was demonstrated by the chapel on the issue of pay and that they agreed to address that as soon as possible.”

The NUJ does not have official recognition at Coventry, but on Monday an ACAS membership check revealed that 66 per cent of editorial staff are in the union. Therefore parent company Trinity Mirror has agreed to proceed with voluntary recognition.

A company spokesman said: “We have agreed to meet to discuss issues which we believe are important to our staff. Specifically, these are: rates for trainees, pay structures and salaries for senior journalists on our weekly titles. There will be no negotiation over the 2004 pay increase awarded in January.”

By Dominic Ponsford

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