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NUJ demands 7.6pc pay rise for regional publisher’s journalists

Michelle Stanistreet 1Union chiefs have called for a regional publisher to implement a company-wide wage increase of up to 7.6pc for its journalists.

The National Union of Journalists is calling on Newsquest to bring in a new wage and benefits package which would include a basic 1.5pc cost-of-living increase, as well as a 1.2pc productivity increase to account for “repeated redundancies” across the group.

The union further calls for a £17,500 entry salary for trainee reporters, or £19,500 if they already have premilinary qualifications from the National Council for the Training of Journalists, rising to £21,500 after 18 months.

Newly-qualified seniors should start on a salary of £23,000, the NUJ says.

The move came as journalists in South London began a week-long strike over a proposed restructure affecting Newsquest titles in the capital.

In a 12-point proposal, the union urges the company to implement ‘daily publishing pay’ to give apprpriate remuneration to all journalists contributing to daily digital publishing with shift and weekend work, with no distincition to be made between daily and weekly journalists where responsibilities correspond.

It also seeks an agreement for no staff, excluding those exclusively working for Sunday publications, to be appear on a rota more than once in every four weekends.

If all of the proposals are implemented, the NUJ says the deal would be worth more than £1,500 to a journalist on £20,000 a year – a 7.6pc increase.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, submitted the 12-point claim on behalf of the Newsquest NUJ Group Chapel, which will also be submitted individually by local chapels in the next few days.

Michelle, pictured above left, said: “”We expect the management to take this claim seriously. Staff wages have been seriously eroded at the same time as demands and workloads have increased. I am expecting a speedy response from CEO Henry Faure Walker.

“Following recent negotiations over the dispute at Newsquest south London, he can no longer claim that local centres are autonomous as the involvement of head office was very clear.”

Newsquest has declined to comment.


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  • October 13, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    As a member of the union I have to say what planet are they on, 7.6% pay rise!
    I suppose Michelle has to justify her job

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  • October 14, 2016 at 8:53 am

    For Dave S a little more context from the NUJ release that did not make the HtFP cut: “Our members in Newsquest have had to endure the hardest of times since the great media recession first struck in 2008 – with only one confirmed group-wide increase of 2 per cent in 2010. Since then, real inflation has soared and slashed the value of salaries while statutory wage levels, such as the minimum wage and national living wage, have risen, badly eroding skilled Newsquest employees’ position in the country’s workforce as compared to even the most unskilled jobs.
    “At the same time, Newsquest has squeezed more and more out of staff, with jobs going and new work demands imposed. This has included the introduction of intensive social media tasks and the new “Work to Shape” system. The opportunity for promotion has also been severely curtailed because the traditional newsroom hierarchy has been squashed flat. Members on low pay have had enough of subsiding the flow of profits exported to American shareholders. They are ready to make a stand and insist bosses hear their shout to redress the balance between shareholder-boardroom largesse and investing in the company’s hardworking journalists.”

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  • October 14, 2016 at 11:53 am


    Soaraway inflation since 2010 – I don’t think so.

    Revenues falling off cliff due the structural change in the industry – I do think so.

    Ask for 7.5% , expect to settle for 3%, you will end up with 2% and a fudge on minimum starting rates if you are lucky.


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  • October 14, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Isn’t it refreshing, if somewhat alarming, to see a news story about jobs and wages with salary figures actually listed in the story. Newsquest journalists, who produce some fantastic publications in very challenging circumstances throughout the UK, haven’t had a pay rise for years. A pay rise of the size being asked for, 7.6%, would equate to a hefty £28 a week – about £4 a day – before tax for a journalist on £20,000 a year – £20,000 a year!. Far from asking too much the NUJ, of which I have been a member for some 30 years, is campaigning for far too little.

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  • October 14, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    We’ve all been screwed inside out for years, blackmailed by the ‘you’re lucky to still have a job’ attitude from the bosses. Hats off to anyone who makes a stand rather than meekly accept the pittance offered.

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  • October 17, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Nimrod, I talked about ‘real’ inflation – the kind of thing ordinary workers are subjected to such as massive rent rises, gas and electricity and food. Even RPI has been through 5% a year in those years and the government’s preferred measure CPI even includes brokers’ fees and not housing costs so can hardly be a credible measure of Newsquest staff’s living standards.

    And when it comes to affordability, Newsquest has shed half its journalists since 2008 and still makes £50 million+ annually. If no salary rise is paid, as it hasn’t for most of the last eight years, the profits made are coming out of the pockets of staff.

    Unfortunately they can’t luxuriate in the bonuses worth hundreds of thousands to the directors. Even a lowly regional finance director copped a £30k bonus a couple of years ago for goodness knows what when everyone else was going without anything.

    Still think it unreasonable Nimrod?

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