Leicester strike looms following 'below-inflation' salary increase

Journalists at the Leicester Mercury could go on strike before Christmas in a dispute over pay, after ballot papers on industrial action were sent out to NUJ members this week.

The union claims the Northcliffe Media-owned title has rejected the chapel’s pay claim and offered what it says is a below-inflation pay increase of three per cent across the paper.

Editor Nick Carter said he was ‘disappointed’with the union’s actions and was ‘available to talk at any time’to them.

Chris Morley, the NUJ’s northern organiser, said: ‘The company has badly misjudged the mood of the chapel. Members are in no mind to accept second best.

‘They have had years of being pushed around and are sick of secret and shabby individual pay deals which have left the vast majority short-changed.”

A pay award of 2.6 per cent was given last year, but the union points out that the retail price index – the general marker for the rate of inflation – is currently 4.2 per cent.

According to the NUJ, the minimum salary for a newly-qualified journalist on the Mercury is £18,000, which is £3,000 less than journalists receive at the Coventry Telegraph and £3,400 less than the Birmingham Post and Mail.

The Mercury chapel, one of only three in the Northcliffe Group – along with the Western Daily Press and Bristol Evening Post – was formed last December after a recognition ballot, and now has more than 40 members.

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