York & North Yorkshire

The Press staff walk out over docked pay

Journalists at a York newspaper walked out on Wednesday after being told they would lose a day's pay for attending a 10-minute mandatory union meeting.

Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have been in a long-running row over pay with Newsquest, which owns The Press.

The argument began when the Newsquest froze pay for 2012. The NUJ claims it is the third pay freeze in four years.

Newsquest Yorkshire and North East Ltd could not be reached for comment.

The NUJ said editorial staff based in Darlington, whose paper The Northern Echo is run by the same company, were awarded a 2% pay increase earlier this year, but workers at York and Bradford were told there was no money for a pay rise.

'Angry and disappointed'

Newsquest Yorkshire & North East is part of the Newsquest Media Group wich is owned by US firm Gannett Inc.

NUJ members in York agreed to stage industrial action after a ballot earlier this year and voted to stage a series of "mandatory meetings" starting at 10:00 GMT each day this week.

When they returned from their meeting on Wednesday they were informed the meeting constituted "part performance" and a full-day's pay would be docked from each journalist who attended.

Mark Stead and Tony Kelly, NUJ officials at The Press, said: "We are in the midst of legally-balloted industrial action, so to penalise our members for a 10-minute meeting is against all concepts of fairness.

"Our members attended today's meeting in the full knowledge that they faced losing a day's pay, once again demonstrating their commitment to our cause, but remain angry and disappointed at the continuing intransigence of Newsquest management.

"We are not asking for the moon. We are simply asking for a fair pay rise."

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