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Collective agreement sign of good staff and employer relations at the FT

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31 March 2017

Journalists at Financial Publishing, the magazine arm of the Financial Times, have signed a new house agreement, including sabbaticals and improved starting salaries, for all UK-based staff.

The National Union of Journalists said the improved terms in the contract, which come into effect on 1 April 2017, represented a significant step forward for Finpub journalists and the agreement resulted from open dialogue and a collaborative approach to employer/staff relations.

The union chapel acknowledged the constructive approach of Matt Fottrell, director of Financial Publishing, and his team. It said the deal represented a "benchmark for the industry.

The agreement includes pay bargaining and sabbaticals, plus an increase in starting salaries for experienced and trainee journalists and the inclusion of the NUJ Code of Conduct.

Steve Bird, FT FoC, said:

"At a time when the media industry faces the many challenges of digital disruption, close co-operation between employers and staff is vital both as a business model and to the survival of quality journalism. By moving to union-led pay bargaining, improving terms for new staff and including the NUJ Code of Conduct, the House Agreement between the NUJ and managers in the FT's Financial Publishing section sets a benchmark that other media groups and publishers would do well to emulate."

Fiona Swarbrick, NUJ national organiser, said:

“The new house agreement is the culmination of a very positive and constructive negotiation and reflects well on both management and staff at Financial Publishing.  At Financial Publishing the engagement of staff is taken seriously, and it is no coincidence that the business is successful. If NUJ members at other magazine publishers are interested in developing a similar collective relationship at their workplace, they should just get in touch and we can discuss how to make it happen.”

A statement by the FT chapel committee added:

"Being able to deal transparently and fairly with important questions such as the gender pay gap, trainee pay, as well as annual pay deals also creates the stable environment required to retain, train and motivate staff."

Tags: , national newspapers, financial times, Financial Publishing, house agreement, collective bargaining, code of conduct