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Unhappy Christmas in York as journalists announce more action

13 December 2012

Members of the NUJ chapel at Newsquest York – which includes The Press and the Gazette and Herald – have notified management they plan to hold a mandatory meeting at 10am on Thursday 20 December.

The action is in response to 2012 being the third year out of the last four in which staff have had a pay freeze. NUJ members are also preparing to fight a national campaign for better pay in 2013.

The York chapel walked out for a day at the start of November after being told they would be docked a full day's pay for a ten-minute union meeting.

NUJ members in York, together with other NUJ chapels at Newsquest Yorkshire & North East Ltd, have submitted an unprecedented joint pay claim for next year.

Mark Stead and Tony Kelly, joint Fathers of Chapel in York, said:

"We are nearing the end of yet another year which has seen journalists in York struggle to make ends meet while Newsquest pleads poverty despite making sizeable profits for American shareholders and demands more and more of its employees with no financial reward. 
"It means an unhappy Christmas for York journalists and we are determined not to let it arrive without having demonstrated our frustration and anger at the lack of fair play and fair pay from Newsquest yet again in 2012. We also want to make it clear this dispute is not going away while this morale-sapping pay freeze continues.
"We have fought in 2012 and we will continue to fight in 2013 if necessary. Our pay claim for next year, made in conjunction with our colleagues in Bradford and Darlington – whose continued support and solidarity we welcome - ahead of the January pay review date for all three Newsquest Yorkshire & North East centres, takes into account years of pay freezes, and we are now awaiting our management’s response.
"We sincerely hope this dispute can be resolved quickly and amicably, allowing 2013 to be a year of happy and quality journalism in York and making proud and respected newspapers better than ever."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"A trainee on a Newquest weekly can start on just £7.52 an hour and that’s without taking into account any of the unpaid extra hours put in. The cost of living has increased and our members living standards have been hit hard. Newsquest need to invest in staff and improve pay rates."

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Tags: , York, Newsquest, Bradford, newspapers, regional newspapers