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Pay deal secured at Newsquest newspapers

Journalists at Newsquest York have agreed a pay deal with management – bringing to an end a ten-month long dispute.

National Union of Journalists members at daily title The Press and the weekly Gazette and Herald have accepted the 3pc increase they were first offered early this year.

The agreed pay deal, which will be backdated to January, includes a £100 rise for specialist reporters and the scrapping of a three-month probationary rate for trainees.

But the NUJ York branch said it would continue to fight the company which was seeking 29 redundancies, including nine journalists as well as cleaners, engineers and advertising staff.

The starting rate for a new trainee will be just over £16,000 and the new basic senior rate is £20,235.

It takes the basic rate for senior journalists over £20,000 for the first time and includes increases in meal allowances and extra cash for Bank Holidays.

Joint Father of Chapel Sam Southgate said: “These savage cuts demonstrate just what Newsquest employees are up against.

“The chapel still feels we deserve an above-inflation pay rise that recognises our hard work and commitment.

“But we also feel duty bound to secure the best deal possible for those who are forced out.

“We will resist any compulsory redundancies and we will carry on our battle against low pay.

“In the coming weeks chapel members will begin drawing up next year’s claim.”

The agreement ends a long-running campaign by the 33-strong NUJ chapel which staged a five-day strike in May and another day of industrial action last month.

Sam added: “We were overwhelmed by the support our campaign received from fellow journalists and trade unionists across the country.

“From readers, local councillors and MPs the message was loud and clear: the job our members do is highly valued by this community.

“Our hope is that Newsquest bosses have come to recognise this fact and will begin to invest in their skilled and dedicated team of journalists.”

The NUJ said talks for next year’s pay rise were set to begin next month and management had promised to work with union reps in a review to improve recognition and the pay banding structure.

Newsquest management at York was approached for a comment on the pay deal but has yet to respond.