Comprehensive Victory for Journalists On Strike in North of England

Striking journalists at Greater Manchester Weekly Newspapers in the north of England have won a significant victory – recognition of their union and 24 per cent pay rise for the lowest paid.

In a message to journalists’ unions around the world that supported their efforts, the National Union of Journalists of Great Britain and Ireland thanks unions and says letters of protest helped to make the settlement possible.

Under the settlement the new starting rate for trainees is £13,060 -- a rise of 24.5 percent on the previous minimum, and a rise of more than 8 percent on the previous rate for graduates with pre-entry qualifications. Trainees in their second year will receive £14,255 -- a rise of at least 5 percent. Trainees will also receive a one-off payment of £280.

A new senior grade will be introduced taking the maximum wage for people below the rank of deputy editor to over £19,000 -- a rise on the maximum of 7.4 percent. The payments will be backdated to January 1. The company has promised a one-off payment of £200 next year on top of any negotiated pay rise. Finally, the NUJ -- which was de-recognised during the dispute -- has been recognised again.

“The settlement is a wonderful result and shows how much solidarity at national and international level counts when fighting low pay and anti-union behaviour by media managements,” said the NUJ.

The Greater Manchester Weekly Newspaper group is a part of a group of media holdings that includes the prestigious national newspapers The Guardian and The Observer titles.