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Financial Times journalists secure £4,200 pay rise for lowest paid

The FT’s is the largest cumulative pay rise recently reported by Press Gazette.

By Bron Maher

Financial Times journalists have secured an above-inflation 2023 pay deal for the lowest-paid in the newsroom.

Those earning £42,000 or below a year will receive a consolidated pay rise of £4,200. Those earning more than £42,000 but less than £50,001 will receive a 10% salary increase.

The agreement comes as news publishers in the UK and US face strikes and walk-outs as employees contend with the highest inflation in decades.

The FT’s is the largest cumulative pay rise recently reported by Press Gazette.

The deal was approved in a vote by National Union of Journalists members at the paper. FT chapel secretary Steve Bird said: “Throughout the negotiations, the NUJ argued strongly that no member of staff should suffer a real-terms pay cut.”

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Pay increases for the best-remunerated employees remained below inflation, however. Staff earning between £50,001 and £60,000 will receive an 8.5% pay increase, those making between £60,001 and £70,000 will get an 8% pay increase, and those earning higher still will receive a flat pay increase – £5,250 for those making between £70,001 and £80,000, and £5,000 for those making above £80,000.

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“This deal delivers above-inflation increases for the lowest-paid while substantially mitigating the impact of inflation for many of those in the middle of the pay distribution,” Bird told Press Gazette.

“However, budgetary constraints are still likely to cause pain, and staff on mid to higher salaries will face real-terms pay cuts. The chapel intends to press management to increase the total size of the pay pot in future years.”

A pay rise of £5,000 for an employee making £80,001 a year represents an approximately 6.25% salary increase.

[Read more: Cost of living crisis forcing some to leave journalism for better paid jobs]

As well as the above inflation pay rises, minimum and starting salaries at the FT are set to increase by 10% from the beginning of January. Bird described union negotiations with FT management as “challenging but constructive”, and said the union meeting last week at which the pay deal was agreed was “very well-attended”.

Bird said: “Although the final figures fall short of the chapel’s initial aims, acceptance of this significantly improved offer sends a strong signal about the value of collective bargaining backed by strong member support and involvement.

“We hope that this agreement will be seen as a benchmark across the media industry highlighting the importance of investing in journalism and of progressive pay deals.”

FT managing editor Tobias Buck said: “I can confirm a pay deal has been agreed. I’m very pleased that our journalists have certainty as we reach the end of the year.”

Press Gazette previously calculated that the mean FT journalist’s pay is £70,000. Last year the company awarded Christmas bonuses of £5,600 to all editorial staff – a figure arrived at because it represented 8% of average FT journalist pay.

As well as that, the Nikkei-owned publisher provided a cost of living payment to staff in September worth £1,800 – the second most generous example Press Gazette found in its recent survey of cost of living assistance. On top was The New York Times, which gave its European employees each a £2,000 sum.

Other recent pay rises at news publishers have included a 6% raise for PA Media employees, a 10% pay rise for staff earning under £25,000 at Future, a minimum 5.5% pay rise for “the majority of staff” at Guardian News and Media, and pay rises between 14% and 44% for 700 Reach journalists after they went on strike to protest an originally proposed 3% pay rise.

[Read more: ‘God bless us, every one!’: UK news publishers helping staff with cost of living revealed]

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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.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • 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 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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