FT journalists agree improved pensions deal ending threat of strike action for new owners Nikkei

Financial Times staff have agreed a revised deal which enhances the pensions package on offer under new owners Nikkei.

The deal includes extra benefits to ease the impact of taking journalists out of the final salary pension scheme (full details here).

Here is the statement from the Financial Times National Union of Journalists chapel put out yesterday:

After seven months of conflict at the Financial Times centring around two threats of strike action, NUJ members at the Financial Times have voted to accept renegotiated pension terms following an improved offer from management at ACAS, the conciliation service.

?Last week's talks at ACAS went to the wire?, with the final proposal announced ?just ?seven ?hours before a ?planned ?24-hour strike, voted for by almost 92 per cent of ?NUJ members. ?The action would have been the first full day's strike ?at the FT ?in 34 years?. 

??Staff ??had condemned Nikkei and FT management for failing to honour promises to maintain equivalent terms of employment following the takeover from Pearson? and for proposing to steal from the pensions budget to pay the rent on the title's landmark building on the Thames?.

Following a consultative ballot, 88 per cent ?of members ?agreed to accept the new offer?,? ?under ??which FT managers promise to limit expected losses for Defined Benefit pension scheme members to 15 per cent of predicted DB terms ?and ?also grant improved terms for the company's Defined Contribution scheme members.

?Tthe following motion was passed? today by the FT chapel: "The FT chapel notes the decision by NUJ members to accept the latest offer on pensions put forward at Acas last week. United and determined opposition by journalists and staff across the Financial Times group has won a fairer settlement for Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution and Auto-Enrolment pension scheme members. We call on pension reps to defend existing terms as part of an effective governance of the pension scheme and call on FT managers to continue to improve existing DC arrangements and do more to address the poorer pension arrangements for local hires.

? ?"Over the past seven months, the FT chapel has shown that it is prepared fight to defend terms, conditions and benefits for journalists against all management cuts and will continue to do so in future."

?Steve Bird,?head of the NUJ chapel at ?the FT's, ?explained that the change in terms had resulted from overwhelming solidarity among the NUJ members and staff.

? He said: "?Messages of support and solidarity from across the FT showed how determined and effective the proposed strike would have been. Without this stand, chapel reps would not have got this final deal. I am proud of the unity between DB and DC scheme members in defence of our rights and conditions. As a chapel, we stood up to corporate bullying and would do so again in the face of any attacks in future."??? 

A delegation from the ?FT chapel including Steve Bird?, Ursula Milton, deputy MoC, ?and Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, went to Tokyo to lobby for support for the union. They met representatives from the Japanese press and broadcasting, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) and the International Federation of Journalists and visited ?unions at NHK, the national broadcaster.? 

?The FT chapel also voted to support journalists at the Independent, passing the following motion at today's meeting: "The FT chapel condemns the decision by managers at the Independent and Independent on Sunday to close the print titles without consulting employees. We call on the company to meet its legal and moral obligations to avoid compulsory redundancies and to enter into talks with NUJ reps. We offer our full support and solidarity to all journalists at the Independent and IoS in the face of this summary action. UK media will be the poorer for the loss of an important voice on the newsstands."

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