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July 6, 2023

Mirror journalists narrowly vote to accept 4% pay rise offer for 2023

The BAJ union accused Reach of age discrimination over an earlier proposed deal.

By Bron Maher

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.

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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. 

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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.”

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
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  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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