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New pay deal welcomed 'in principle' by North West journalists

A deal on pay and pensions is close to being reached at the North West Evening Mail, the National Union of Journalists has said.

The chapel at the Barrow-based newspaper has passed a resolution welcoming “in principle” an offer from parent-company CN Group, saying that it is a “reasonable offer to continue negotiations”.

According to the NUJ a three-year deal is on the table together with separate payments to individuals to bring wages for staff with the same skills and experience into line.

NUJ northern organiser Chris Morley told HoldtheFrontPage that an agreement between the two sides was not far away and that it all should be “academic”.

He said that together the proposals would mean that the majority of chapel members would get rises of between £1,400 and £2,700 over the next 15 months.

In 2009 pay would increase by inflation, based on the November 2008 figure, plus 0.5 per cent. In addition, all newsroom staff would receive a payment of £250.

He said: “The rises at the North West Evening Mail put right years of injustice.

“The catalyst was the company’s decision to end the final salary pension scheme which, without a significant uplift in pay, would have left people totally unable to provide for a comfortable retirement.

“I am pleased the company has listened to the feelings of the chapel, expressed most graphically by an all-day disruptive mandatory chapel meeting, and has decided to act in a decent way.”

Negotiations have also been continuing at sister newspapers the Carlisle News & Star, Cumberland News and Whitehaven News, where chapel members have yet to take a vote on the deal offered.

Chris Bisco, managing director of CN Group’s publishing division, said he was hopeful that a deal would soon be reached at all centres.

He said: “We are positive also and feel that a deal is very close that will be satisfactory on all sides.” Do you have a story about the regional press?
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