31 January 2015

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York journalists walk out amid pay-docking claims

Journalists involved in a pay freeze dispute with their management have walked out today after claiming they were being docked an entire day’s pay for a 10-minute meeting.

Members of the National Union of Journalists at Newsquest York, which publishes The Press, have been holding mandatory chapel meetings at 10am every day this week after their pay was frozen for 2012.

But after returning from the meeting today, the chapel members claim they were told that they were being docked a full day’s pay for attending it, resulting in them walking out for the rest of the day.

The pay freeze dispute has gone on for many weeks after the chapel claimed they have had no pay rise for three out of the last four years and has seen a number of mandatory chapel meetings take place.

Joint fathers of chapel Tony Kelly and Mark Stead said in a statement: “The management response is intolerable and utterly unjustified. We are in the midst of legally-balloted industrial action, so to penalise our members for a ten-minute meeting is against all concepts of fairness.

“Our members attended today’s meeting in the full knowledge that they faced losing a day’s pay, once again demonstrating their commitment to our cause, but remain angry and disappointed at the continuing intransigence of Newsquest management. 

“We are not asking for the moon. We are asking for a fair pay rise from a company that is making significant profits for its management and the company’s share-holders in the United States.”

The NUJ members say that they were told by York managing editor Steve Hughes that the meeting constituted “part performance” and a full day’s pay would be docked from each journalist who attended.

Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, added: “It is incredibly disappointing that the management has acted in this way by cutting the journalists’ pay.”

Staff working for Newsquest in Bradford are also involved in the pay freeze dispute and held a mandatory meeting today.

Management at Newsquest York has not responded to requests for a comment.


  1. Adrian Fisher, Brough

    I hope common sense prevails and an amicable solution for all concerned is reached.

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  2. Half pint

    Newquest have yet to come up with a single offer or conciliatory gesture.
    Every attempt by staff to try and resolve this dispute amicably has been knocked back abruptly and with cold-hearted callousness.

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  3. Shutterupyerface, Mars

    Seems like Newsquest bosses are fed up with Johnston management getting all the attention.
    Seriously though, this beggars belief. I’m wondering if it is actually legal?

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  4. House Rules


    I was under the impression the management would have had to have made the journalists aware they would be docked pay BEFORE they attended meeting.

    Afterwards is not legal I think. But don’t take that as Gospel

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  5. former journalist

    It’s just horrible for journalists now. I so enjoyed my work and miss it but could never go back to enduring that feeling of complete worthlessness in the newsroom I left. I just wonder how many are brave enough to walk out. Good luck and wish them all the best against ruthless employers,

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  6. Richard Jones

    Not your first strike, eh, Steve?

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  7. stewart perkins, market drayton

    Sounds like an excellent move by the management to prolong the dispute and entrench the opposition………..

    I’m sure this will just make the NUJ members more determined than ever.


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