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NUJ slams Trinity Mirror pay-freeze as a "kick in the teeth"

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By The Drum Team, Editorial

December 13, 2011 | 2 min read

Trinity Mirror's decision to freeze staff pay next year has been described as a "kick in the teeth" by the National Union of Journalists.

In a statement the NUJ said Trinity Mirror employees would suffer a real-terms cut in take-home pay as inflation is running at almost five percent.

It highlighted that the publisher's chief executive, Sly Bailey, would continue to earn a basic salary of £740,000 "and a bonus likely to top £600,000" while some senior reporters on regional papers will take home only £21,000.

Michelle Stanistreet, the NUJ's general secretary, said: "Trinity Mirror’s pay freeze is a kick in the teeth for its hard working staff. Journalists are already working overtime to get their paper out, following cuts to newsroom staff. It's time Trinity Mirror sat down with the NUJ for national discussions on the group's future strategy, so all options for 2012 can be discussed."

Trinity Mirror claims it needs to find £70m by June to keep its financial covenants in place.

Chris Morley, the NUJ's Northern & Midlands organiser, said: "The NUJ is really concerned that the company is turning on its staff, at a time of an unparalleled squeeze on living standards, to make sacrifices while simultaneously putting them at risk of losing their job.

“If the situation is as serious as the company makes out, the board needs to engage in serious dialogue with its staff to navigate its way through these difficult circumstances. The NUJ has consistently called for such talks with Trinity Mirror but has had this offer constantly rejected. It is time that Sly and her colleagues realised a new, imaginative and inclusive approach is needed as the old one is clearly not working. Exceptional times need exceptional measures so let’s get talking.”

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