Journalists in York have today taken pre-Christmas industrial action over their third pay freeze in four years.
Members of the National Union of Journalists chapel at Newsquest York – which publishes The Press and the Gazette and Herald – staged a mandatory meeting at 10am after being refused a pay rise for 2012.
The journalists had been told they faced losing a day’s pay if they went ahead with any industrial action today but proceeded with the meeting, which lasted ten minutes before being suspended.
The chapel subsequently agreed with management that talks will be held in early January over their pay claim for 2013 and have returned to work after being told no pay would be docked.
The York chapel, together with chapels in Bradford and Darlington, recently submitted a joint 2013 pay claim to Newsquest Yorkshire & North East, which runs all three centres, as well as to their individual editors.
Editorial staff in York and Bradford were denied a pay rise for 2012, while Darlington-based journalists received a part-year rise.
Last month, York journalists walked out for a day after being told they would lose a full day’s pay following a ten-minute mandatory meeting unless further planned industrial action was dropped.
“We are proud of our members for their solidarity, fortitude and the way they are standing up to the unacceptable pay levels which are leaving many of them struggling to make ends meet, qualities they have once again demonstrated today,” said Mark Stead and Tony Kelly, Joint Fathers of Chapel at NUJ Newsquest York.
“We sincerely hope talks with management early in the New Year can secure fair play and fair pay for 2013 and this situation can be resolved quickly. However, our chapel has made it crystal clear that it is determined to continue its fight to secure the pay talented, dedicated and award-winning York journalists deserve for as long as is necessary.
“We also hope that if other Newsquest chapels are subjected to pay freezes in 2013, they will unite, stand up and follow our lead to make the company abundantly aware of the sheer frustration and anger among its journalists of the way they are being treated.”