The National Union of Journalists has claimed that Newsquest titles, including the Glasgow Herald & Times and the Northern Echo will impose a pay freeze next year.
According to the NUJ, a freeze on pay rises will begin in January, with a possible ‘review’ taking place later in the year, affecting staff in York, Darlington, Bradford, Bolton and Bury and Glasgow.
The NUJ has said that it will ask Newsquest titled to justify the move, which follows a similar announcement by Trinity Mirror.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “I am very sceptical when newspaper groups get on the bandwagon of pay freezes without any real justification. Newsquest staff have done all they can to support the management in the recent hard times; it’s time that they are recognised for this and that they are paid a fair wage. Is a pay freeze really the best way for Newsquest to kick off 2012?”
Chris Morley, Northern & Midlands Organiser, added: “We now have growing evidence that Newsquest is trying to bring in a pay freeze across the group by stealth for 2012 at a time of unprecedented hardship for our members. If there is no increase in 2012, it will be the third year in four that salaries have failed to rise. This is unsustainable for massively hard-pressed staff who have not only had to contend with a 5 per cent erosion of their pay by inflation, but also had to take heavier workloads due to waves of redundancies.
“We know from past experience that the pain is not necessarily shared by the fat cats in the boardroom and the NUJ challenges the directors to publish their remuneration packages in full for 2012. If they refuse to do this, then there will be few of their loyal staff who will believe that they are truly all in it together when it comes to belt-tightening.”
Tim Blott, Newsquest Herald & Times managing director, commented: "We have deferred our normal salary review in Newspapers from January to April to see how we trade in the first quarter. Our other publishing businesses, Magazines and s1 will receive an increase in January. Printing is not due to be reviewed until July anyway."