Friday, July 11, 2008

First with the news

The conclusion of our recent pay deal has been covered across the trade press: on the Media Guardian website, Hold The Front Page, and the media industry weekly Press Gazette.

Some of the stories were changed after management refuted the fact that new trainees will get an increase of 17% (going from £13,449 to £16,188) after a three-month probationary period rate was scrapped. This is, in fact, the case and it will make a real difference to new starters who are struggling with student debt and rising living costs in an expensive city like York. We have also set a new baseline in the fight against low pay.

In traditional Newsquest style, the bosses did not issue a statement themselves. Who would have thought we work in the communications industry? Likewise, The Press's own coverage of the pay deal was meagre at best. A small nib on page seven of today's paper reads:
Pay offer accepted
Members of the National Union of Journalists at The Press have accepted the company's three per cent pay offer, ending a ten-month dispute. NUJ members at the newspaper and its sister title, the weekly Gazette & Herald, owned by the Newsquest Media Group, staged a five-day strike in May following a deadlock in talks. Agreement has now been reached following further talks between management, NUJ officials and the arbitration service ACAS.
The chapel had requested for a detailed, fair article covering the conclusion of the dispute, allowing also a comment from an NUJ spokesman. Sadly, in the end this was not permitted.