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June 12, 2024

PA Media forced to recognise NUJ as official union for editorial staff

The CAC said a ballot was unnecessary as most PA editorial staff are already union members.

By Bron Maher

The Central Arbitration Committee has approved an NUJ application to become the recognised union for journalists at PA Media.

The news agency had resisted signing a recognition agreement with the NUJ, telling Press Gazette in January that “union representation is unnecessary” for its staff.

Management at PA had argued the CAC should carry out a ballot of relevant staff at the company. However the CAC determined a ballot was unnecessary as more than half PA editorial employees are already NUJ members.

PA Media will now be required to negotiate with the NUJ over pay, hours and holiday for editorial staff. The decision also empowers the chapel to carry out industrial action.

In May there were 274 workers in PA Media’s bargaining unit, of whom 141 (or 51.46%) were union members.

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The NUJ kicked off the statutory unionisation process, whereby a company is forced to make its case against unionisation to the CAC, in July.

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[Read more: PA Media forced to negotiate with NUJ by arbitration body]

NUJ staff hail ‘historic’ PA Media recognition decision

PA Media said: “We value our people and the contribution they make and respect the outcome of this process and the views that have been shared as part of it. We will now work together with the NUJ and our teams to continue to make PA a great place to work and build a career.”

PA chapel co-chairs Jonathan Brady and Emily Pennink said recognition was “the culmination of a long process which began in 2020, and we are so grateful to everyone who has been involved, and for the support we’ve had along the way.

“We are now looking forward to working hard to get the best we can for our colleagues and this decision ensures they can all have a real say in what happens at PA. We all love working for PA, it is a huge honour and responsibility to bring the news to people, one we all take very seriously.”

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said it was a “historic decision”.

“This campaign, backed by hundreds of journalists across the group, will no doubt inspire editorial workers at other media organisations that achieving union recognition is possible even in the face of opposition.

“We welcome approval by the CAC and reaffirm our unwavering commitment to PA journalists and reps in fighting for a collective voice at work and improved terms and conditions for members. Huge thanks are deserved to all of our members at PA – especially our brilliant reps – and our team of staff, industrial officials and lawyers who together have put so much effort into securing this win.”

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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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  • CFO
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  • 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 Progressive Media Investments 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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