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Johnston Press backs down on halving mileage rate

21 March 2014

The Johnston Press has backed down from plans to halve its mileage rate, after NUJ members protested by refusing to use their own cars on jobs.

The NUJ had written the newspaper group's chief executive protesting that it would make journalists' jobs impossible.

Johnston Press has said that it will not be dropping the mileage rate to 25p. The rate will remain at 45p. The 45p will however apply to the first 2,000 miles instead of 10,000 miles - and people are still being encouraged to use pool cars when they can.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"I would like to congratulate the group chapel for standing up against this ill-thought out move, a measure clearly thought up by bean counters with no idea about how local newsrooms operate. I am pleased that Johnston Press has listened and backed down on a proposal that would have had serious consequences for reporters and photographers. This change of heart by the management shows the strength of collective action by NUJ members and chapel reps will continue to work to get proper rates reinstated for claims beyond 2,000 miles.”

Laura Davison, national organiser, said:

"We are pleased with that the management has backtracked, however, my concern is that high mileage users, such as photographers who incur high mileage will be penalised by the new rate structure and this is unfair.”

The group chapel had argued:

“The reduction in mileage rates will have a heavy impact on our members, particularly photographers, sports reporters and staff who have no longer have an office. It not only wipes out any minimal pay rises staff have received in recent years, but will also prevent them doing their jobs properly.
"Reps have told us there are no pool cars available at their offices or that it costs more to get a bus from their new out-of-town office into the centre than it would to drive and claim 45p per mile. It brings the whole idea that this is a justifiable cost-saving measure into question.”

Tags: , johnston press, cuts, mileage rates, group chapel