Trinity and Newsquest rebuff NUJ

By Sarah Lagan

Trinity Mirror and Newsquest have said they will continue to conduct
pay negotiations through local management, despite the NUJ lodging
joint national pay claims on behalf of journalists employed by both
groups.

Following a spate of pay strikes and industrial action throughout
the regional press, NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear this week called
on chief executives Sly Bailey of Trinity and Paul Davidson of
Newsquest to hold a meeting to address low pay among journalists at the
UK’s two largest regional publishers. The NUJ is pushing for a national
minimum pay rise of five per cent or £1,300, whichever is higher, for
the hundreds of journalists working at the groups.

A Trinity Mirror spokesman said: “There is no intention to change the current bargaining arrangements.”

Newsquest
said in a statement: “Newsquest Media Group’s staffing levels, pay and
conditions, including annual awards, are determined at local level,
each local business taking into account local conditions.”

Dear
said: “In the past these companies have taken a divide and
ruleapproach, when in fact the low pay of journalists is a national
problem.

“Some senior journalists can earn a minimum of £14,000 a
year while trainees at some titles start on salaries of less than
£12,000.”

Dear spoke out against “outdated and unfair
anti-union laws” at the TUC conference in Brighton. He said that
regional journalists are underpaid, exploited and that their health and
well-being is compromised. He said legislation has denied many
journalists union recognition, which has contributed to low pay and
long-hours throughout the regional press.

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