Mirror journalists belonging to the British Association of Journalists (BAJ) have voted to accept a 4% pay rise for members earning £60,000 a year and below and a flat £1,000 pay rise for those earning more.
The BAJ, the recognised union for Mirror staff, had pushed for a £1,500 pay rise for those earning more than £70,000, but this was rejected by publisher Reach at the beginning of June.
The union subsequently balloted members on whether to accept the £1,000 pay rise for those on higher salaries, to take industrial action short of a strike, or to ballot for a strike.
Some 55% of those who voted opted to accept the offer.
The £1,000 figure is an improvement on Reach’s original March offer, which would have seen staff on £60,000 and below receive a 4% pay rise and staff earning more receive no pay rise.
BAJ chapel leaders said in a note to members that they received legal advice that the offer “amounted to age discrimination”, which the company denied.
Following two further meetings, including one financial modelling session to determine how affordable the union’s counteroffers were, in May the company increased its offer to the £1,000 figure which members have voted to approve.
A final attempt by chapel leadership to increase the payout to £1,500 for those earning above £60,000 was rejected by Reach at the end of June, after BAJ members had already accepted the other offer.
The chapel’s chairs said: “Every meeting and interaction throughout this process involved numerous emails and calls. Therefore, with a heavy heart and great reluctance, our mandate from BAJ members is now to report your acceptance to management.”
A Reach spokesperson declined to comment.
What about Reach staff unionised through the NUJ?
Last year a majority of members at the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), which also represents numerous Reach employees including some Mirror journalists, voted to reject a 3% pay rise, leading to a strike that saw more than 1,000 journalists out on picket lines.
A second strike was averted in September when 55% of NUJ members at the company voted to accept a pay rise “ranging from 14% to 44% across the specified roles and minimum rates”, according to the union.
When this year’s 4% pay terms were first proposed in March, NUJ reps at Reach unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in senior management.
A spokesperson for the NUJ told Press Gazette: “The NUJ is still engaged at this time with the company over pay for 2023.”
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