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Agreement over wages in Bolton

Management and journalists at Newsquest Bolton, publishers of the Bolton Evening News and Bury Times Group, have reached agreement over the 2003 pay review.

Under the agreement journalists and photographers will receive a two per cent increase on basic pay – the percentage they originally walked out over.

Newsquest management offered two per cent in April, but the National Union of Journalists chapel started its negotiating demanding seven per cent.

They made a decision to return to work in the midst of an indefinite strike the day after the May 26 Bank Holiday after agreeing a basis for settlement.

They had been on strike for a total of 31 days, starting with two 48-hour stoppages and then an indefinite walk-out starting on April 22.

A statement from Newsquest confirmed the two per cent increase on basic pay.

It added: “The minimum banding levels will be increased by three per cent and most senior journalists and photographers with more than two years service will receive a one off payment under a performance/long service scheme.

“The agreement also settles the 2004 pay review which will be at the rate of underlying inflation.”

A spokesman for the NUJ said: “This has brought welcome changes for some of our lowest-paid staff because they are the ones on the lowest grades.

“We are also pleased the company has agreed to reward long service.”

Newspapers affected include Bolton Evening News, Bolton Journal, Bury Times, Bury Journal, Leigh Journal, Prestwich & Whitefield Guide and the Radcliffe Times.

  • Journalists at Newsquest Bradford are still on an indefinite strike and management are still in contact with union officials. The dispute escalated in Skipton where there are now nine NUJ members – when at the outset there was just one.

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