Express Newspapers is considering "standardising" rates of pay for casual sub-editors across the titles. Angry journalists tell Press Gazette this means a pay cut.
Most rates for sub-editors have not gone up for 10 years but now the company is planning to reduce shift payments, say sources.
A features sub currently earns £116 for a six-hour shift. That’s due to be slashed to £100 but could be £104 if the casuals agree to work an extra hour per shift.
Long shifts on the stone, usually done by senior sub-editors, will also be subject to a pay cut – "by about a third", Press Gazette has learned.
"This is the latest kick in the teeth for freelances and casuals at Ludgate House. It’s an insult to all the casuals who have stuck with the Express through thick and thin. Stagnant rates are bad enough but lowering them?" asked one senior casual indignantly.
A spokeswoman for the company said: "Express Newspapers are in the process of standardising their casual production rates across the group. Senior management is in consultation at the moment but nothing’s been implemented or finalised. It is still at the discussion stage. I can’t confirm any figures at this stage."
By Jean Morgan