Irish INM journalists offered shares for taking pay cut

The National Union of Journalists has criticised Independent News and Media (INM) in Ireland for offering company shares as compensation to staff who have been told they must take pay cuts.

As part of cost-cutting measures by INM, staff who have received a pay cut have the option to take shares worth 2.5 times the salary they have lost.

This means that someone receiving a pay cut of €1,000 would be eligible to receive €2,500 in shares.

An NUJ source has described INM’s plan as “foolish” and said that few people were prepared to take up the offer.

“Nobody wants these shares; they can’t be compared with a salary,” the source said.

“It relies on the shares going through the roof, which at the moment, doesn’t look likely.”

An INM spokesman said the company was pleased with the number of people who had so far accepted the offer.

“Staff have until 23 January to decide if they wish to take the share option,” he said.

“We are satisfied with the number of people who have made that decision so far.”

In December last year, INM proposed a graded series of cuts dependent on salary size.

Staff earning between €40,000 to €50,000 (£36,000 to £45,000) have been asked to take a 2.5 per cent cut.

Employees on more than €50,000 face a five per cent cut and those on more than €100,000 (£90,000) a 10 per cent cut.

Staff earning less than €40,000 face a pay freeze instead of a cut.

Independent News and Media’s Irish division publishes the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday World and The Star.

It also owns 16 regional newspapers in the country.

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