Guardian web row ends as journalists accept pay deal

Journalists at The Guardian have claimed a victory in a six-month pay dispute after the paper's 60 website journalists were awarded pay rises of between £5,000 and £12,000 a year.

The paper's 500-strong NUJ chapel, which represents the vast majority of Guardian journalists, was due to complete a strike ballot on Friday last week.

But journalists instead agreed to a management pay deal on Thursday.

The settlement chiefly deals with long-standing grievances held by website journalists, who have generally earned much less than their newspaper colleagues.

According to the NUJ, the pay deal 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 payouts. According to the NUJ, all journalists will receive more than 3 per cent if their salary falls below the average for all Guardian staff of £47,000. The rises will be backdated to April, when the initial pay offer of 3 per cent was made.

Matt Seaton, joint FoC of the 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."

Joint MoC Helene Mulholland said: "The ballot gave voice to Guardian journalists' collective strength and succeeded in a dramatic shift in the original pay offer. We hope this sends a message to other chapels across the country that a strong chapel and an active committee can make a difference."

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."

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