Journalists at Newsquest York end strike

Journalists at Newsquest York have ended their ten-month pay dispute accepting the original pay offer of three per cent.

It follows a five day strike in May and another day of industrial action last month.

The move follows news last month that eight editorial redundancies are planned in the editorial department.

NUJ joint Father of Chapel Sam Southgate said: ‘These savage cuts demonstrate just what Newsquest employees are up against.

‘The chapel still feels we deserve an above-inflation pay rise that recognises our hard work and commitment. But we also feel duty bound to secure the best deal possible for those who are forced out.

‘We will resist any compulsory redundancies and we will carry on our battle against low pay. In the coming weeks chapel members will begin drawing up next year’s claim.”

According to the NUJ the deal, which will be backdated to January, includes a £100 increase in payments to specialist reporters.

The NUJ says that it takes the basic rate for senior journalists over £20,000 for the first time and includes increases in meal allowances and extra cash for Bank Holiday working. The new basic rate for seniors is £20,235 and the supplement paid to specialist reporters has increased 13 per cent, from £750 to £850.

Southgate said: ‘We were overwhelmed by the support our campaign received from fellow journalists and trade unionists across the country.

‘From readers, local councillors and MPs the message was loud and clear: the job our members do is highly valued by this community.

‘Our hope is that Newsquest bosses have come to recognise this fact and will begin to invest in their skilled and dedicated team of journalists.”

According to the NUJ, starting pay for new trainees has increased from £13,449 to £16,188. But a Newsquest York management source insisted this reflected the scrapping of a three-month probationary pay rate which has was rarely used.

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