NUJ demands pay rise of up to 8% at Newsquest

The National Union of Journalists is demanding that Newsquest ends its pay freeze by increasing the wage it provides its employees by five to eight per cent.

The union submitted its pay claim to management at the regional newspaper publisher yesterday after claiming journalists working for the company had worked more than a thousand days without a pay increase.

Newsquest, which is the UK's second biggest regional publisher, is the only one which still has a pay freeze in place, the union said.

According to the union, journalists working for Newsquest on papers based in Bradford, Darlington and York have been offered new contracts that state there is no automatic annual pay review.

The union said this risks enshrining low pay into journalistic work regardless of company profit levels.

The NUJ is also in a stand-off with Newsquest over planned changes to the company's pension scheme which would see closure of the final salary pension scheme.

Bob Smith, father of the NUJ's Newsquest group chapel said: "Decent pay and pensions for all is the only sustainable basis for long-term success.

"Paying poverty pay and pensions causes higher levels of staff turnover, absenteeism, resentment, demoralisation and lack of motivation.

"The NUJ fights to protect and improve pay and conditions for all journalists. It is simply not acceptable for Newsquest to pay out big money to the people at the top and expect the rest of the staff to tighten their belts year after year."

Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the NUJ, has written to Newsquest's US parent company Gannett to raise concerns about what the union sees as the latest in a long line of attacks on pay and pensions.

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