The NUJ has asked Guardian News and Media to consider introducing £100,000 salary caps for senior editorial staff as a means of cutting costs at the loss-making newspaper group.
The paper was quick to deny claims that the proposal was put forward by GNM yesterday when the paper’s former media reporter James Robinson tweeted that “The Guardian was asking senior execs to consider capping their pay at 100k as it tries to avoid redundancies”, before quickly adding:
Happy to clarify that the 100k pay cap idea at the Guardian is an NUJ proposal NOT a management proposal. Apologies. More soon.
— james robinson (@jamesro47) October 18, 2012
A Guardian spokesman told Press Gazette: “To clarify, these are not GNM's proposals, it is a suggestion in an email to editorial staff from the NUJ. We will continue to work closely with the union to discuss how the necessary savings can be achieved but these suggestions are absolutely not from The Guardian."
Last week we reported that journalists at GNM are set to argue that the publisher should review its printing arrangements and digital investment before axing another 70 editorial staff.
Only 30 staff have expressed interest in the company’s voluntary redundancy programme so far, after it announced that up to 100 journalists need to be cut in order to achieve cost savings of around £7m.
The company reported a 15 per cent increase in operating losses to £44.2m in July.
In an email to staff from an NUJ representative yesterday, the union said it was keen to hear from anyone at the paper who wanted to reduce their working week, which “proved to be highly effective the last time there was a major cost-cutting exercise”.
The email continued: “As ever, it is the chapel’s position that any reductions in staffing must be done voluntarily. It is also our position that cost-cutting cannot be done at the expense of our journalism, and we’re happy to report that the management regularly expresses the same view.
“We are talking to the company about potential savings, and they would like to hear any ideas that NUJ members have on the subject."
In February Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger announced he was taking a voluntary 10 per cent pay cut for the 2012-13 financial year, which will see his pay drop from £438,900 to £395,010