What's in your wallet?

By Dominic Ponsford

Just weeks after the resolution of a series of industrial disputes
in the national press two strikes are now being threatened in the
regions.

The disputes have been sparked by pay and redundancies.

At the
Trinity Mirror-owned Coventry Evening Telegraph and its sister weekly
titles journalists are threatening to strike in protest at minimum
rates for qualified seniors which start from £14,000. They are also
unhappy about a below inflation pay offer of 2.75 per cent plus an
extra £200 on minimum pay rates.

And at the Newsquest-owned Southern Daily Echo, staff are to ballot on industrial action over plans to axe eight journalists.

The paper is to cut down from six editions to two and 70 staff have been consulted about redundancies.

An NUJ spokesman at the Echo said: “Morale, already low here, has hit rock bottom.

It is a poor reward for a loyal and dedicated workforce.”

NUJ
North of England organiser Miles Barter said of the Coventry offer:
“The current deal offers £14,000 to people who have got degrees,
post-graduate qualifications and the two years experience to get their
NCEs.

This is half the average national wage and coming from Trinity Mirror, which made £200 million last year.”

A
spokesman for Coventry Newspapers Ltd said: “We are disappointed that
the local branch of the NUJ has decided to reject the proposal brokered
by ACAS and pursue this course of action, as the company has delivered
on all its promises and responded positively to every request made by
the union.”

Whereas pay rises at most national papers take effect
from 1 January, in the regional press the pay year usually starts in
April.

Pay negotiations are ongoing at a number of regional
newspapers between NUJ chapels and management where below inflation pay
offers have been rejected.

Barter said: “In many places the
company’s basic pay offers are still below RPI, which is winding up our
members, particularly as they continue to make huge profits. But with
changes to pay scales in different places some have been able to get
bigger pay rises – particularly people at the lower end of the scale.”

 

Region-by-region guide to pay offers

WHO’S GETTING WHAT

Trinity Mirror: Birmingham

2.75 per cent minimum rise. Minimum bandings up by £200. Daily
senior minimum up to £19,600, weekly senior minimum up from £13,250 to
£14,000. Agreed.

Trinity Mirror: Coventry

Offer of 2.75 per cent plus £200 on minimum rates, taking the
minimum for a senior on a daily to £18,800. Offer rejected, balloting
on industrial action.

Trinity Mirror: Liverpool

2.75 per cent minimum, an extra week of sick pay, weekly senior
minimum up from £14,250 to £15,000. Daily senior minimum up to £19,000.
Agreed.

Trinity Mirror: Middlesbrough 2.9 per cent. Agreed.

Trinity Mirror: Newcastle

2.9 per cent or £650 per year whichever is the higher. Would take senior minimum to about £19,200. Rejected – talks ongoing.

Newsquest: Blackburn

2.8 per cent imposed by management.

Newsquest: Bolton

2.8 per cent. Agreed.

Newsquest: Bradford

3.5 per cent for juniors and newly-qualified seniors. 2.75 per cent for everyone else. Agreed.

Newsquest: South London Guardian

3 per cent pay offer. Talks ongoing.

Newsquest: Darlington

2.75 per cent basic rise plus 9 per cent rises for trainees and
newly-qualified seniors. Minimum senior rate of £18,500 for daily and
£17,500 on weeklies. Agreed.

Newsquest: Kendal

2.8 per cent. Agreed.

Newsquest: York

3 per cent basic with minimums on weeklies of £16,500 for newly
qualified seniors and £17,750 for two-year seniors. Minimums on daily
of £18,500 for newly-qualified seniors and £19,500 for two-year
seniors. Agreed.

Yattenden

Burton Mail – 3.1 percent. Agreed.

Johnston Press: Chesterfield

3 per cent. Agreed.

Johnston Press: Dewsbury

New pay structure which management say means rises of between 2.8 per cent and six-ish per cent. Talks ongoing.

Johnston Press: Leeds

Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post: three per cent and a £20,000 minimum starting rate for seniors. Agreed.

Johnston Press: Preston

3per cent plus a one-off payment of £450 for people switching from January to June pay dates. Agreed.

Cumbrian Newspapers

3 per cent. Agreed.

Archant Norfolk

3.2 per cent. Agreed.

Guardian Media Group

Greater Manchester weeklies. 4 per cent.

Agreed.

Source: NUJ

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