Gazette staff settle pay dispute

have decided to call off a planned second one-day strike and accept management’s original pay offer.

About 25 staff took part in a 24-hour stoppage on 10 June protesting against a minimum pay rise of 3 per cent.

Although improvements for lowerpaid staff took the overall average increase to 4.4 per cent, 14 long-serving staff, who were only to get the minimum increase, were lobbying for further rises to recognise seniority.

NUJ north of England organiser Miles Barter said: “The chapel felt that their action had brought more people out on strike than the company expected and they had made their point that the company wasn’t taking their concerns about pay seriously.

“They agreed to settle this year’s pay dispute and go straight into negotiations for a new pay structure next year, which management have agreed to.”

The deal includes minimum rates of £17,600 for senior journalists, £19,000 for specialist journalists and £20,200 for top-table subs and chief reporters.

Newsquest Lancashire said in a statement: “Members of the NUJ have now accepted the 2004 offer made prior to the start of industrial action.

We now look forward to constructive discussions with the NUJ for 2005.”

By Dominic Ponsford

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