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"Best paid weekly journalists" set to strike

Journalists at the Rotherham Advertiser are due to begin strike action on Saturday in a protest over pay.

National Union of Journalists members at the paper will stay away from work from Saturday August 24 to Thursday August 29 as part of a planned six-day strike.

The Rotherham Record and Dearne Valley Weekender will also be affected.

Members have turned down the company’s offer of a 2.3 per cent pay rise and are instead claiming ten per cent.

But editor Doug Melloy said: “Journalists at the Rotherham Advertiser are among the best paid weekly journalists in the country and the offer of 2.3 per cent is not only significantly above the rate of inflation but is also in line with other payments throughout this company.

“If the NUJ has an argument about low pay they should not be seeking to harm companies like ours where both seniors and trainees are paid well above the average.

“The strike will achieve nothing and will not prevent us from getting our papers out on time.”

There are 15 journalists at the paper, of whom 13 are NUJ members.

The chapel has called a solidarity demonstration for noon on Saturday outside the family-owned company’s building on Fitzwilliam Road in Rotherham.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear and Derek Simpson, general secretary of the engineering union AEEU, will both speak at the rally.

NUJ regional organiser Miles Barter said: “As far as we are aware no-one in the chapel earns the national average wage of £23,000. Most earn well below £20,000.

“Trainees start on £13,000 which is a long way short of the average graduate starting salary.”

The Advertiser is run by Garnett-Dickinson, which also owns a contract print works.

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