Telegraph volunteers top 80

By Dominic Ponsford

More than 80 Telegraph journalists have volunteered for redundancy, management has confirmed.

The 81 volunteers is still short of the management target of
reducing the headcount at the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph by
90 from 521. Next Monday is the deadline for more volunteers to come
forward.

Meanwhile, the paper’s NUJ organisers are continuing to organise a strike ballot to protest against the proposed changes.

They
claimed a victory on Tuesday when management increased payouts for
editorial staff to put them in line with those for production. The
month’s pay per year of service has been changed to a calendar month,
rather than 28 days, and the maximum package has been increased to 18
months’

pay from 12.

Details of the proposed cuts have now
been released. On The Daily Telegraph, they comprise: 12-16 out of 70
on news/foreign; 12-20 out of 95 on production; 3-8 out of 60 on sport;
4-8 out of 45 on City; 12-18 out of 110 on features; and 3-7 out of 30
on the magazine.

On The Sunday Telegraph, 6-12 are to go on
news/foreign/sport, 2-6 out of 15 on City, 2-7 out of 25 on the
magazine and 3-7 on the review.

Section heads have been asked to
score journalists out of 35 on criteria including “commitment,
enthusiasm and time-keeping” and “ability to use new technology”.

One insider said: “The process is deeply flawed, it’s very subjective and open to manipulation in all sorts of ways.”

NUJ officials believe the selection process could be open to legal challenge if it is used to justify compulsory redundancies.

● NUJ members at the Express titles also decided last week to ballot on strike action after rejecting a 3.3 per cent pay offer.

Union
members are arguing for an increase in basic holiday entitlement from
the current total of 23 days and for an increase in minimum pay rates.

At
Trinity Mirror’s national titles – the Daily Mirror , Sunday Mirror and
People – the British Association of Journalists is continuing to
negotiate over a management pay offer of 2.5 per cent.

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