Telegraph snubs badly paid staff, claims NUJ

By Dominic Ponsford

Journalists at the Telegraph Group have passed an NUJ motion that "condemns the management’s refusal" to help lower paid journalists while recruiting "ever-increasing numbers of highly paid executives".

The motion was passed after NUJ members "reluctantly" accepted a 3 per cent pay deal, up from an original offer of 2.5 per cent, which failed to tackle union demands that minimum pay rates are increased.

The motion said the chapel "resolves to pursue all available means of rectifying the anomalies caused by the continuing absence of a fair and transparent pay structure".

Meanwhile, journalists at two other national newspaper groups were this week threatening strike action — at The Independent over pay and at Mirror Group over redundancy terms.

Journalists in the joint Independent NUJ chapel were due to meet on Thursday to discuss striking over a management pay offer of 2.5 per cent.

Mother of chapel Kate Simon said: "There’s a clear feeling that people think 2.5 per cent is not enough of a recognition of the hard work that people have put in to turn The Independent tabloid and start turning around the paper’s fortunes.

"People want a bit of a reward, but the company are telling us they have not got the money. We are part of a multinational profit-making company — people think they are being very mean and tight-fisted."

Last year, journalists at Independent titles were given a 3 per cent pay rise plus improvements to their pension deal, which the NUJ said equated to a 4 per cent rise overall. The current retail price index rate of inflation is 2.2 per cent.

At Mirror Group, journalists are currently holding an official ballot over whether to strike over the terms for 40 staff on the national titles who have been made redundant.

At Express Group, journalists have backed away from industrial action this year and settled for a rise of 2.4 per cent.

An NUJ source there said: "Negotiations have gone on for quite a long time, we had a bit of industrial action last year and I don’t think there was any great enthusiasm to go through that again.

"The vote to accept the offer was at a fairly badly attended chapel meeting — people were very upset at the amount of money, but not prepared to go through the aggravation for themselves and the company to try to get more."

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