22/03/2006

Back to work

The Independent chapel last night called off today's action after an improved offer from management, reported to the Freelance thusly:

  • 5% for those on minimum rates;
  • 2.5% on basic rates;
  • A £200 "compact bonus" for those who were with the company before January 2004 and are not included in the 5% increase;
  • A £500 bonus for 10 years' service;
  • A pledge of no editorial redundancies before April 2007;
  • Monthly meetings between union and management on staffing levels.

At the Independent, payments for freelance shifts rise at the same time and by the same amount as staff rates. How this applies in detail will remain to be worked out.

Freelances who are out of pocket having found themselves unavailable for work today should contact the Freelance Office.

Freelances to support Indy NUJ chapel action

NUJ freelances have voted overwhelmingly to support their colleagues at The Independent on March 22.

Of 164 freelances balloted, 65 have said they will support the action by being unavailable for work. Only two said they would work on that day.

The result was announced after the chapel rejected a new offer by management, described as “inadequate”.

NUJ Freelance Organiser John Toner said: “We are delighted that freelances have pledged their support in such overwhelming numbers. It means that action taken by the chapel is more likely to be effective.”

There is no legal requirement for such a ballot, and the NUJ cannot issue instructions to freelances.

Toner said: “The scale of the vote shows the anger felt by freelances at the low rates paid by Independent Newspapers, and also at the sweeping licence that allows the company to re-use freelance work.”

Further information from: John Toner, NUJ Freelance Organiser.

  • The Freelance wants to collect a gallery of photos of members not working for the Independent on Wednesday. Email your submissions to editor@londonfreelance.org
Press Release

14/03/06

Independent journalists to strike on Budget Day

NUJ members at The Independent/Independent on Sunday are to strike on Budget Day (22 March) in a dispute over pay.

Journalists voted for strike action after the breakdown of pay talks and the failure of the company to improve its 2.5% offer and confirmed plans for a strike next week at a packed union meeting earlier today.

The strike will run from 01.00 until 23.59 and is expected to disrupt production of the following day's newspaper.

NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear said: "Senior managers at Independent Newspapers tell the City how well they are doing and tell the public of the success of the new paper - yet they tell staff they cannot afford to increase their pay offer.

"By voting for strike action journalists have made it clear they will not sit back and accept crumbs from the table whilst senior management are handsomely rewarded through generous bonuses or inflation-busting pay rises.

"If the papers are a success it is in large part down to the hard work and professionalism of the editorial staff and it is time their contribution was recognised."

Jeremy Dear said: "We remain committed to trying to find a negotiated solution to this dispute but prepared to strike should the company fail to address very real concerns about pay at the titles"

For more information contact Jeremy Dear

Last modified: 22 March 2006 - © 2006 contributors
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