NUJ members accept improved pay deal at FT
21 March 2012
Journalists at the Financial Times (FT) have agreed an improved pay offer from management and have called off action planned for this week.
In a letter to staff, Lisa MacLeod, managing editor, said the company would pay a further 0.5 per cent in addition to the previous award of 2-2.5 per cent. The overall paybill will still be 3.5 per cent.
The offer had been controversial because a third of the money set aside for the year's increase was to be used as merit pay or for staff retention at the managing editor's discretion. She said the award "recognises the hard work and vital contribution of our editorial team within the context of an extremely challenging commercial environment."
A letter from the NUJ chapel said:
"Following negotiations with the NUJ, management has agreed to raise this year's pay award by 0.5 per cent across the board, starting from July 1. During final negotiations we were also pleased to learn that the profit-related bonus, negotiated with the NUJ three years ago, will be £394 this year, to pay out at the end of this month.
"The FT NUJ chapel voted unanimously to welcome the decision to redistribute this year's pay award more equitably. We welcome management's commitment to discuss with the NUJ the lessons of the pay dispute and to revise and complete the draft house agreement accordingly. We urge management to convince us by its actions that it is serious about avoiding similar disputes in future.
"NUJ members welcome Lionel Barber's offer of talks on improving the transparency and substance of future pay negotiations. In that spirit, we propose to start such a process with a meeting between NUJ officers and the editor, the new managing editor and other senior managers.
"We welcome management's commitment to collective bargaining, and look forward in a spirit of good faith to renewing negotiations over the many issues and challenges facing the FT."
Steve Bird, Father of the FT Group NUJ Chapel, said:
"This dispute has shown that our members are as principled and tenacious as trade unionists as they are as journalists. I am proud of the chapel's response and very pleased that management has listened to the majority of its staff. We hope to rebuild good relations with senior managers and get back to producing a great newspaper."
Fiona Swarbrick, NUJ national organiser, said:
"This dispute has been a long and difficult one for our members at the FT, and we are delighted that it has been brought to a successful conclusion. As well as welcoming the company's decision to improve the pay award, the chapel is particularly encouraged by management's commitment to greater transparency and a more constructive approach to future negotiations. We share that commitment and are keen to move forward positively."
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"The NUJ welcomes the resolution of this dispute. We will be taking up the editor's offer of talks on improving the transparency of future pay negotiations."