MGN subs offered chance to follow jobs 200 miles north

Production journalists currently at risk of redundancy at Mirror Group Newspapers are being offered the chance to relocate nearly 200 miles north to Yorkshire.

Trinity Mirror, owner of MGN, confirmed earlier this month its intention to outsource some sub-editing jobs from the Daily Mirror, People and Sunday Mirror to the Press Association’s base in Howden, Yorkshire.

Under employment laws, staff are entitled to follow outsourced work when it transfers from London to Yorkshire later in the year.

Managing editor Eugine Duffy wrote to subbing staff telling them that those who did not want to transfer could instead opt for voluntary redundancy or apply to be retained in-house.

Staff wishing to transfer to work for PA will receive “a one-off compensation payment” from MGN to cover differences between existing terms and conditions of employment and those likely to be offered by PA.

Press Gazette understands the BAJ has been at loggerheads with PA and MGN over the application of “TUPE” regulations – which seek to protect the rights of employees transferring to a new business – arguing that transferring staff should retain their previous terms and conditions.

It is understood that both PA and MGN believe that because of the nature of the outsourcing plan they are not obliged to retain the terms and conditions of staff wishing to transfer from London to Yorkshire.

PA is also understood to have proposed forming an entirely new team of 20 full-time staff to work on news and features pages of the Mirror and sub the two other MGN titles. The team be a seven-day operation with staff working a five-day week.

At Howden wages are expected to be lower than those in equivalent roles at MGN in London. In the new PA team it is understood that a rank-and-file production journalist will earn in the region of £24,000 per year.

According to a new recruitment ad running on the holdthefrontpage website, PA is seeking “top-class production journalists and designers of all levels of experience” to join its editorial team in Howden.

The ad calls for each applicant to be an “excellent wordsmith and/or creative designer, and display a rounded knowledge of Britain’s news and showbiz agenda”.

Trinity Mirrorplans to cut around 200 editorial jobs across the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People.

Around 60 casuals are expected to be dropped with the remaining 140 cuts coming from the staff journalists – reducing the total editorial workforce from its current level of 554 as Trinity Mirror adopts a multimedia newsroom similar to those introduced at its regional newspaper centres and outsource much of the subbing.

Trinity Mirror and PA both declined to comment.

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