York Evening Press staff back action over hours

By Zoe Smith

Staff at the York Evening Press have voted in favour of industrial action in a dispute over hours and working conditions.

Although initial concerns over proposed redundancies have been resolved, issues still remain among staff regarding the changes to be enforced when the evening paper moves from a four edition to a one early edition paper.

David Stanford, joint NUJ FoC, said: "All of us are going into this blind because most of us have been working here a long time so have never worked on a morning paper before."

The dispute over proposed job cuts was resolved by a number of staff agreeing to take voluntary redundancy with only one compulsory redundancy being made.

But as a result of the new early edition, journalists’ hours will change with more weekend work, including Sundays.

On weekdays staff will work later — from 10am until 6pm instead of 8am until 4pm.

Stanford said: "In the past week we have been negotiating with management to get some sort of recompense for working weekends and have discussed other issues related to people working late at night."

Staff at the Manchester Evening News, which suffered huge job losses earlier this year when one fifth of its staff were made redundant, have rejected the management’s latest flexibility agreement.

The agreement required staff to work more ‘flexibly’ in the mornings, evenings and at weekends. Instead the chapel asked for talks at arbitration service Acas and asked the NUJ to organise a ballot for industrial action.

FoC Judy Gordon said: "Members will work the management’s new rota, which will include some evening shifts, for two weeks as a gesture of goodwill."

The NUJ chapel at The News, Portsmouth, has rejected the latest pay offer of 2.75 per cent and the next stage is to go to Acas.

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