Wednesday, 21 March 2012

NUJ accepts new FT pay offer and calls off action

NUJ members at the Financial Times have accepted a new pay offer from management and called off industrial action planned for this week.

The NUJ chapel said in a statement: "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, FoC at the FT Group NUJ Chapel, added: "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."

The union says that in a letter to staff, Lisa MacLeod, FT 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 was considered controversial by the NUJ 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.

MacLeod said the award "recognises the hard work and vital contribution of our editorial team within the context of an extremely challenging commercial environment".

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