Reach strike: talks end without settlement

  • 29 Aug 2022

Following two days of negotiations over the bank holiday weekend, brokered by ACAS the arbitration service, talks between the NUJ and Reach have broken down with no deal.

NUJ reps unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in the chief executive, added an extra strike day to their planned industrial action and extended the work to rule, as the talks failed to resolve the dispute.

At a packed meeting, reps from across the UK and Ireland this evening spoke of their anger and disappointment that the company has chosen to squander the chance of a settlement to the dispute.

As a consequence, the strike will go ahead on Wednesday, with a work to rule kicking in on the return of journalists on Thursday.  NUJ reps also agreed to issue notice of an additional day of strike action, meaning that a three-day strike will now take place from  Wednesday 14 September to Friday  16 September inclusive – the same week that the TUC Congress takes place in Brighton. 

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary,  said:

 “Despite a settlement being in touching distance following exhaustive talks at ACAS, with significant collective effort on the part of negotiators for both sides, the company’s no-show chief executive kiboshed any chance of a sensible deal that addresses our members’ key priority – their consolidated pay.

“NUJ members are clear where responsibility lies here, and that is shown in a unanimous vote of no confidence in Reach chief executive Jim Mullen. This is a man who’s enjoyed a £4million package from Reach this year, yet is intent on denying journalists a fair pay deal, even though the business has cash in the bank that could easily ensure its staff don’t continue to suffer the damaging impact of this cost of living crisis and a severe real-terms cut in salary. Failure to resolve this dispute represents a monumental failure of leadership on his part.”

Reach had offered a 3 per cent/£750 increase to staff, overwhelmingly rejected by 79 per cent of members in ballot results earlier this month. As the union was poised to go on strike last Friday (August 26), the employer, at the eleventh hour, proposed talks with the NUJ brokered by ACAS.

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