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Talks held in bid to end pay dispute

Further talks between National Union of Journalists members and the management at Coventry Newspapers were today due to be held in a bid to put an end to a dispute over pay.

A series of strikes have been held at the Coventry Evening Telegraph, Coventry Citizen, Nuneaton Tribune, Bedworth Echo and Hinckley Times over the past few weeks, but NUJ regional organiser Miles Barter says he is “hopeful” that an agreement can be reached.

However, if today’s meeting is not successful, members say they plan to stage further walkouts on July 20, 21 and 22.

Coventry Newspapers has previously said that the company has gone as far as it can go.

Miles said: “We’re hoping that we can have a good discussion. We have some ideas to put forward which we are hoping could lead to a settlement.”

NUJ members say they are unhappy with the company’s basic pay offer of 2.75 per cent with some extras on minimum bandings.

Protests have previously been held on June 17, 29 and 30, and July 7 and 8.

The NUJ says that 43 journalists have shown their support by staying away from their desks, but the company says publication of its titles has not been affected.

Miles said: “Having 43 members of staff out of the office must have had some effect, but the papers were published and we expected that.”