Guardian Media agrees pay rises and fewer job cuts
15 April 2009
A deal over redundancies at Guardian Media in Manchester will mean pay rises for weekly-paper journalists moving into the group's city centre office. Eight jobs previously earmarked for the chop have also been saved.
Management still want to make 11 journalists on the Manchester Evening News compulsorily redundant. However, they have agreed to extend the period for volunteers to come forward until the autumn.
Bethan Dorsett, mother of the Greater Manchester Weekly Newspapers South NUJ chapel, said:
"Our members have fought long and hard against the sweeping cuts proposed by MEN Media Ltd.
"While we deplore any job losses particularly as a result of compulsory redundancy, we are pleased that management have finally listened to our concerns.
"By making a stand, we have been able to save eight jobs and have made a significant step towards obtaining equal pay for staff working for weekly titles.
"The onus is now on our managers to enter into meaningful talks with the NUJ over the new house agreement."
A new pay band in the agreement will mean rises of up to £2,000 for some weekly journalists.
Manchester NUJ branch, which represents editorial workers in all media in the city, met last night and agreed to continue with its campaign to support local journalism in towns where Guardian Media has closed offices.
Chris Rea, branch Chair, said:
"The issues surrounding Stand Up for Journalism in Manchester are not just about Guardian Media.
"We had a well-attended and stimulating public meeting a few weeks ago which has inspired a lot of activity and discussion.
"The importance to local democracy of community-rooted local media has come to the fore. Current media ownership models are being challenged.
"In towns like Macclesfield and Accrington where local newspaper offices have closed down, people will continue discussion what they want to do to replace them.
"Our branch will continue to campaign in support of staff and freelance journalists working for Guardian media and to find new means of replacing the local media that has gone."