NUJ: PA pay and conditions are 'appalling'

The NUJ has complained of “appalling pay and working conditions” at
the Press Association after conducting a survey which it claims
included more than 100 staff.

The union claims that one-third of PA staff earn less than £15,000 a year and that two-thirds do unpaid overtime.

The
survey, which covered staff in London and Howden, also alleges that
nearly all staff under the age of 27 earn less than £25,000 a year;
only seven per cent take a full hour’s lunch break; and on average,
journalists do five hours’

unpaid overtime a day. The NUJ does
not have official recognition at PA but is currently undertaking a
recruitment drive for new members.

General secretary Jeremy Dear
said: “Many staff work long hours for low pay because they are
committed to the company, but get almost nothing in return. It says a
lot about a firm when employees are scared to take a 10- minute lunch
break or feel guilty about taking time off sick.”

The NUJ included a number of anonymous comments from staff in the survey. These included:

● “Staff shortages are a big problem and running such a tight ship
means that when people are off or ill, the situation gets ridiculous.”

● “Overtime always goes unrecognised. Nobody claims time back
and the culture at PA is such that people are discouraged from even
mentioning they’ve worked extra hours.”

● “PA’s pay scale is demeaning and I have to live like a student.”

PA reported a profit of £5.9m on a turnover of £69.7m for last year. It declined to comment on the survey findings.

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