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Striking journalists set for return to work as pay deal is thrashed out

Editorial staff at South Yorkshire Newspapers are pressing on with the current stoppage despite talks with management yesterday, but further strike action will be suspended while attempts are made to agree a two-year pay deal.

National Union of Journalists representatives met with SYN managing director Terry Johnson yesterday and a new pay deal will be drawn up over the next few weeks.

But union members voted to continue their current ten-day walkout, and will return to work on Thursday.

There was confusion this morning as to whether management would be prepared to continue talks if staff did not return to work immediately. A company statement was expected.

Further action has been suspended, along with a work to rule policy which had been in place since July 10, and members have agreed to scale down picketing outside the Doncaster offices and to call off a planned protest outside the head office of Johnston Press in Edinburgh.

NUJ deputy father of chapel Darren Burke said: “Our members welcomed the talks but they must lead to a better deal for members.

“It is good news that the dialogue is up and running again and we were pleased to be able to get round the table and begin talking again.

“As a result of the two-year deal put on the table, members agreed a series of concessions to SYN as goodwill gestures.

“However, members remain cautious and we will be meeting again on August 10 by which time we want managers to come back to us with full details of an acceptable deal which we can then put to members.”

South Yorkshire Newspapers publishes the Doncaster Free Press, Doncaster Advertiser, South Yorkshire Times, Epworth Bells, Goole Courier, Gainsborough Standard and the Community Newsletter.

SYN managing director Terry Johnson was unavailable for comment.

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