Sly told: it takes us a year to earn five days of your salary

By Sarah Lagan

Trinity Mirror’s £1-million-a-year chief executive Sly Bailey was
challenged by regional journalists over pay while on a visit to the
company’s newspapers in the Midlands this week.

About 10 reporters employed by Trinity’s Coventry Newspapers staged
an impromptu demonstration, holding up placards saying “make low pay
history” and “talk to us” as Bailey visited the offices in a chauffeur-driven BMW.

The journalists have been taking industrial action in support of a pay claim.

Bailey
said her schedule was too tight to hold a question and answer session
with journalists, but at 4pm she was shown around the newsroom.

Lucy
Lynch, NUJ chapel secretary at the paper, approached Bailey, who in
2004 earned £1,045,000, to point out the difference between her
remuneration and that of senior journalists at Coventry’s weekly
papers. She said: “I confronted her about the fact she earned more in
five days than senior journalists on the Coventry weekly papers earned
in a year, which is £14,000.”

Mother of Chapel at Coventry
Newspapers, Barbara Goulden, said: “I pointed out to Sly that I’d been
a journalist for 30 years and believe there is a direct relationship
between low pay, staff turnover and declining circulation and Sly said
that we should raise these issues with local management.” A Trinity
Mirror spokesman said: “Sly was of course aware of the NUJ’s concerns,
and made a point of approaching Lucy as the first person she spoke to
in the newsroom.

“There was no ‘confrontation’ – the visit was
very positive and Sly was happy to hear the views of staff on a variety
of subjects.

“Sly stressed that addressing circulation decline
was of equal importance to her, and that we should be working together
to resolve these issues.

“She did not respond to the comments about her pay, as her remuneration is a matter of public record.”

Journalists at Coventry Newspapers are continuing their industrial action with a two-day strike on Thursday and Friday.

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