Bradford pay dispute settled

The journalists’ pay dispute at Newsquest Bradford’s newspapers has been settled with an agreement over new pay scales and minimum wage rates.

In a move to help the lower paid on the group’s papers, it was agreed that journalists should get at least £500 or 2.5 per – whichever was higher.

The £500 rise for those on the lowest salaries represents an increase of more than 2.5 per cent.

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New minimum pay scales for senior journalists will be £17,100 on the evening Telegraph & Argus, Bradford, and £15,000 on the weekly papers, which include the Keithley News, Craven Herald, Wharfedale Observer and Ilkley Gazette.

Specialist journalists on the Telegraph & Argus will get at least £19,000  a year.

It is likely that the new pay structure will be replicated at Newsquest’s newspapers in Bolton. A new banding structure, with a £17,000 senior minimum has already been agreed at the company’s Evening Press in York.  The NUJ had originally asked for a rise of 7.5 per cent and claimed that this would not even bring journalists salaries up to the average wage.

The union claimed a survey of its members at Newsquest Bradford revealed they averaged salaries of £17,900. Mangement argued that the 2.5 per cent pay offer was fair given the rate of inflation and the "fragile nature" of the local economy in Bradford, which had been hit hard by recent race riots and the aftermath of 11 September.

The NUJ chapel at Bradford held one half-day strike, supported by 34 journalists, and was planning two one day strikes before the dispute was settled.

NUJ general secretary John Foster and the NUJ’s northern organiser Miles Barter were involved in the talks.

Newsquest Bradford managing director Tim Blott said : "I am delighted we have found a mutually acceptable solution."

The NUJ chapel has donated £500 from its strike fund to the Bradford Can… Appeal, a cancer charity backed by the Telegraph & Argus, as a thank you to everyone who offered them support.




By Jon Slattery



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