PA staff hungry for rest rooms and better redundancy terms

Journalists at the Press Association’s new centre in Howden, Yorkshire, claim they have nowhere to eat their lunch.

The £5m complex was opened by Prince Charles in April 2003, and now employs 500 people across a range of functions including sports news and TV listings.

According to the National Union of Journalists and general union the GMB, more than 100 staff have signed a petition calling for proper rest rooms at the building.

NUJ assistant organiser Jenny Lennox said: “In a couple of hours standing outside the building, we collected 118 signatures.

We launched the petition after complaints from union members. Staff feel very strongly about this issue.

“If no action is taken, we will have to inform the health and safety authorities.”

A PA spokesman said: “It is not true to say that the Press Association’s new building in Yorkshire breaches health and safety regulations.”

Up to 11 staff could be affected by PA’s plan to move its photographic archive department from the company’s Vauxhall Bridge Road headquarters in London to Nottingham.

Staff are understood to be unhappy at the redundancy terms offered, which equate to roughly one week’s pay for every year of service for people who have worked two years or more. The maximum weekly pay figure has been capped at £270.

The proposed move is scheduled to take place on 3 December.

PA said: “Following the acquisition of Empics by the Press Association earlier this year, the company has commenced a period of staff consultation over a proposal to relocate some photo syndication roles based in London to the Empics Nottingham office.”

Dominic Ponsford

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