Tag Archives: pay freeze

Newsquest: An update on the reported pay freeze thaw

There have been several reports this week that a long-standing, group-wide pay freeze at Newsquest has shown signs of thawing. Journalism.co.uk has reported extensively on the National Union of Journalists’ (NUJ) campaign against the pay freeze and the series of strikes that have taken place at Newsquest titles in the past few months.

So has the pay freeze been lifted? Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward as that. Here’s what we know:

  • An NUJ update and official has confirmed that a 2 per cent pay increase has been offered at some Newsquest centres;
  • The centres that have been confirmed so far are Bradford, York and Darlington;
  • The NUJ has not yet returned our calls to confirm what centres, if any, in the south or Scotland have been made an offer;
  • Journalism.co.uk has learned that in the current offers, no move to backdating pay has been included;
  • The date from which a pay increase would take place – if the offers are accepted – depends on each centre’s “pay anniversary”, a date agreed between NUJ chapels and management when new pay or holiday settlements would be introduced.

A step in the right direction – but there’s more to come on this story…

NUJ: Southern Daily Echo chapel to ballot for strikes over pay freeze

Members of the National Union of Journalists at the Southern Daily Echo are being balloted again by the union for more strike action, in an ongoing dispute over a pay freeze at Newsquest.

Around 75 per cent of editorial staff have already taken part in two 48 hour strikes at the title in Southampton. Yesterday Journalism.co.uk reported that members felt a decision by the paper to give extra pay to staff who did not take part in the strike action would provoke further action.

NUJ: More strife for Newsquest as four more NUJ centres vote to strike

Protests at Newsquest-owned titles across the country continue this week as members of the National Union of Journalists at four more centres vote in favour of strike action.

According to a release from the NUJ today, members at Newsquest Blackburn, Bradford, Bolton and York have all voted for indsutrial action.

The new votes follow two days of strike action carried out by members at the Brighton Argus and Southern Daily Echo this week, the second round of industrial action for both titles.

Union members are taking action against a continuing pay freeze, redundancies and closure of the pension scheme to future accrual.

More than 90 per cent of members at Newsquest Bradford voted in favour of strike action in a recent ballot while all voters supported action short of a strike, the release adds.

All NUJ members who took part in the ballot at Newsquest Blackburn have voted overwhelmingly for strike action and action short of a strike. NUJ members at Newsquest Bolton have also voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action.

… NUJ members at Newsquest York today voted overwhelmingly for strike action and action short of a strike.

According to the release the newspaper titles within these centres includes:

  • Newsquest Bradford – Bradford Telegraph & Argus, Ilkley Gazette, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, Craven Herald and the Keighley News.
  • Newsquest Bolton and Newsquest Blackburn – Bolton News and the Bury Times Group weekly series (the Bury Times, Radcliffe Times and The Guide covering Prestwich & Whitefield) and the Lancashire Telegraph, Burnley Citizen, Blackburn Citizen, Chorley Citizen, Bury Journal, Bolton Journal and Westmorland Gazette.
  • Newsquest York – the Press and the Gazette & Herald.

NUJ members at Newsquest Warrington as well as members at the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times in Scotland have also voted to ballot for industrial action.

The NUJ parliamentary group this week launched an Early Day Motion in support of NUJ members at Newsquest, calling on the company to “enter into meaningful discussions with the union at all levels to resolve the disputes by protecting jobs and investing in journalism”.