Guardian strike off as journalists accept pay deal

Guardian on the Guardian today abandoned their strike ballot and accepted a deal which will give more than 60 web journalists pay rises of between £5,000 and £12,000 a year.

The rest of the paper’s journalists will get an increase of three per cent.

Management will be hoping the deal means the end of long-standing grievances held by website journalists who have generally earned much less than their newspaper colleagues.

The strike ballot was due to conclude tomorrow (Friday).

According to the NUJ, the pay rise works out as 5.3 per cent on average for all journalists.

The NUJ said that Guardian management has also promised a "major overhaul" of the company's pension scheme following concern that the ending of the final salary scheme 15 years ago has led to a great reduction in final payouts.

The 500-strong NUJ chapel represents the overwhelming majority of Guardian journalists.

The dispute dates back to April, when an initial pay offer of three per cent was made to all staff.

According to the NUJ, all journalists will receive more than three per cent if their salary falls below £47,000.

Matt Seaton, joint FoC of the Guardian NUJ chapel, said: "This is a resounding victory for the chapel who were determined to see an end to the two-tier workforce at the Guardian. With the Guardian facing an exciting integration agenda, the time for journalists on the website to be paid a fair rate for the job was ripe.

“We are also delighted that the editor and the chief executive of GMG have implicitly agreed that the pension scheme is failing employees and needs to be overhauled. We look forward to working with them to ensure that the future pay of retiring journalists can be improved.”

Guardian managing editor Chris Elliot said: “We are very pleased
that after a great deal of hard work this dispute has been settled with goodwill and now we can look forward to an exciting future for the paper and the website."

Meanwhile journalists at Express Newspapers are continuing with a strike ballot in protest at plans to cut 55 editorial jobs at the papers.

And at Telegraph Media Group a three-day strike due to start this week has been suspended for one month while management talks to union reps about “imposed” changes to working conditions which have followed the office move to Victoria.

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