21 November 2014

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Johnston Press rethinks plans for cut in mileage rate

Regional publisher Johnston Press has revised its plan to cut mileage rates after fierce opposition from staff.

The company had been in discussions over proposals tor reduce the amount paid to staff for using their own cars from 45p a mile to 25p a mile.

However it has now decided that the reduction will only go ahead in respect of claims exceeding 2,000 miles per year.

The move has been welcomed by the National Union of Journalists which had written to group chief executive Ashley Highfield urging a rethink.

Under the new policy, the private mileage rate will remain at 45p per mile for the first 2,000 miles claimed in a year.

The company says the majority of staff who currently use their own cars claim fewer than 2,000 miles per annum

A JP spokeswoman said: “The proposal to reduce the private mileage rate is intended to encourage better use of the company’s fleet of cars so employees are not incurring costs using their own vehicles.

“Our priority is still to maximise use of our pool and company cars and we believe the new proposal will help us achieve that while still ensuring employees are recompensed appropriately.”

The NUJ group chapel at JP had strongly opposed the original plan, claiming it would make journalists’ jobs impossible.

Commenting on the company’s latest move, general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said:  “I would like to congratulate the group chapel for standing up against this piece of management nonsense.

“I am pleased that Johnston Press has listened and backed down on a proposal that would have had serious consequences for reporters and photographers. This change of heart by the management shows what unions can do when faced with stupid decisions.”

National organiser Laura Davison added: “We are pleased that the management has backtracked, but there are still concerns over the impact on high mileage users, and the failure of the company to consult over these proposals. “

17 Comments

  1. gongoozler

    Poor snappers, if they have any left, stung again i fear, as they are the ones who will exceed the limit, i know i do!

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  2. cynical

    JP also have this clause in their latest freelance agreements for snappers….but that 25p was only claimable after you had covered 50 miles for free….

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  3. corporal clegg

    One up to the good old NUJ, although the 2,000-mile threshold merits further discussion.

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  4. beenthere

    Good news that JP has had a rethink. Bad news that none of the people who proposed the reduced rate saw the unfairness and stupidity of it in the first place.

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  5. cynical

    Previously it was 45p for the first 10,000 miles then dropped to 25p,….nothing like kicking photographers when they are down

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  6. astonishedlady

    Having watched the staff of Johnston’s facing worse and worse employment conditions, I merely await the day when they will ask the staff to work for nothing.

    Watch this space!

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  7. Get real

    Maybe there is someone,after all, in the JP management who has at least a quarter of a brain.

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  8. JP Cost Cut Victim

    Maybe that person with the quarter brain could correct the promo ad for the Tour de France supplement appearing in The Yorkshire Post. Currently it reads ‘DONT miss …’ (no apostrophe) and the new The Yorkshire Post branding hasn’t been used. ‘Tour de France’ is used on the cover, but the ad refers to ‘Tour De France’. What a mess. It’s bad enough that a designer makes these errors, but a manager at some level has signed this off. Shame on them. Too busy using social media to get the print product right. Unfortunately, the result is more readers seeing JP mistakes.

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  9. At The Coalface

    I believe (cynically, maybe?) JP never intended to cut mileage rates to 25p, but planned to do what they have done in their ‘rethink’ and make us all think we’ve won.

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  10. Desker

    to be fair to JP most of the toggys at our place have company cars so they did not get the 45p millage rate anyway

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  11. oldhack

    Not sure this “victory” is really down to the “good old NUJ.”
    Yes, the union wrote a letter to JP management, as you would expect it to do in the circumstances, and members of the chapel stood firm — vocally, at least.
    I prefer At The Coalface’s take on this — that JP never planned to introduce the cuts in the first place and have simply allowed their serfs a rare taste of success.
    Watch out, though, there’s bound to be some more JP skullduggery just around the corner. What an outfit to work for!!

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  12. corporal clegg

    Oldhack – never mind the conspiracy theories. I don’t think JP management are competent enough to organise the proverbial p*** up in a brewery let alone come up with anything that clever!
    Management are already doing their best to pretend this had nothing to do with the good old NUJ. But without the pressure from the pesky chapels they could have got away with their dastardly plan!

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  13. ex snapoer

    Due to photographic staff reductions..amateur photographers are being employed…………………….

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  14. NUJ supporter

    This is still NOT good enough.
    The NUJ needs to fight this to the bitter end.
    Hitting those with high mileage is disgusting and JP think that by allowing a majority to claim the higher rate then the union will be less interested.
    We need to stand together and FIGHT.

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  15. Freelance Snapper

    After making a load of staff photographers redundant they have now issued a new contract for freelance photographers. Guess what? They have reduced the mileage allowance from 30p to 25p, and it only applies after the first 50 miles for an assignment!

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  16. Grumpy, Peterborough

    Things really must be bad at JP. No company looking to attract or keep quality staff would pull such a stunt. So, so, glad I am out.

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  17. Gizmo

    JP have no plan but to cut costs, including staff. I don’t think they have thought about how they are going to produce a product after the mass exodus. Management treat staff with a distinct lack of respect. Those leaving are merely shown the door and those staying are expected to take up the slack. Nice to see the latest edition of The Word (company news letter) turn a blind eye to the hundreds leaving the company- a little thank you would have been nice. The recent JP Awards was a pathetic attempt to gloss over the shambles- we all know you can’t polish a t*rd. I will wish all my colleagues well when I leave tomorrow, moreso the poor s@ds who have got to stay!

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