Yorkshire journalists' dispute

29 Jan 2002

It’s settled

Following a visit by National Union of Journalists outgoing General Secretary John Foster, the dispute at Newsquest titles in West Yorkshire was settled. The agreement gives significant increases to the lowest-paid.

24 January 2002

The Newsquest dispute is settled

NUJ members at Newsquest Bradford have called off their strike action and accepted a company offer, which gives increased pay rises, to everyone earning less than £20,000.

The company agreed to a minimum increase of £500. This means a rise of 3.2 percent for weekly reporters earning £15,500 or 2.9 percent for evening paper reporters earning £17,500.

The minimum starting rate has risen by £1,500 - an increase of 14.2 percent for the lowest paid.

The minimum rate for seniors on the weeklies has gone up by at least £1,000 - 7.1 percent.

The newly agreed minimum rates are minimum rates are: for trainees on the weeklies £12,000; for trainees on the evening £13,680; newly qualified seniors on the weeklies £15,000; newly qualified seniors on the evening paper £17,100; weekly reporters/subs who have been a senior for a year £15,350; evening reporters/subs who have been a senior for a year £17,500; weekly paper "desk heads" with more than two people reporting to them £16,000; evening paper senior reporters/subs with specialist responsibility £19,000; evening paper seniors who deputise for managers, like the deputy chief sub etc; £19,500.

A number of people receive rises of more than £500 to reach their position on the scale. One person I have spoken to should get a rise of £13.5 percent.

Everyone earning over £20,000 receives a 2.5 per cent rise.

It is difficult to work out what percentage the rise is overall. In the Keighley News office - where we have the highest percentage of NUJ members, we calculate the average rise to be 3.41% for our members, ranging from 2.5% for highest paid staff to 5.88% for the lowest-paid trainee.

This is probably the best settlement in local papers in England and Wales so far this year. It took a half-day strike by about 50 percent of the journalists. Makes you think.

You were great...

Thanks to everyone who sent money and messages of support. It was a fantastic boost to the chapel. I will report in detail what happened to the money in a future northern soul. The chapel may be able to give everyone a bit back!

One last job. Send congratulations to sarah@casamft.freeserve.co.uk and/or bobsmith2001@btopenworld.com

The fight goes on...

NUJ members on Newsquest's Bolton-based titles, part of the same division as Bradford, have also rejected a 2.5 percent pay offer. The management have promised to try to replicate the Bradford offer. The chapel awaits developments.

Newsquest's York division - where the NUJ is not yet recognised - has responded to union lobbying over pay and increased the basic senior rate by a £1,000 to £17,000. A proper pay structure has been unveiled for the first time since derecognition, including rates for two-year and five-year seniors - something which bosses in Bradford wouldn't agree to.

The chapel at the Daily Express have this afternoon voted for a ballot for industrial action over pay after an offer of 1.8 percent.

The NUJ chapel at the North West Evening Mail in Barrow have rejected an offer of 2.7 percent.

Membership is growing at Greater Manchester Weekly Newspapers (North) in response to a campaign over wages and conditions.

A recruitment and recognition campaign has been launched at Ananova - an online publisher in Leeds.

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Last modified: 30 January 2002

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