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FT makes new pensions offer after strike threat

in a dispute about pensions after the newspaper’s new owner Nikkei made a revised offer. NUJ members had


returned a ballot of 92 per cent in favour of taking action over changes to the pension scheme. A strike was called after managers said there was no more room for manoeuvre. But after further talks at the conciliation service Acas, a revised offer was made. As The Journalist went to press FT staff were voting on the new offer. The proposal will: • Cap the anticipated impact on members of the previous Defined Benefit scheme at a maximum 15 per cent reduction of projected future pensions. • Provide a sum of

between 40-55 per cent of salary to those most affected

inancial Times journalists suspended their first 24- hour strike in 30 years

in brief...

BULLYING STILL AN ISSUE AT THE BBC More than half of the BBC’s staff don’t believe that bullying or harassment would be tackled fairly by management. In the corporation’s annual staff survey 47 per cent said that if they experienced or saw bullying that they would be confident that taking action would result in a “fair outcome”. Only 55 per cent knew about the BBC”s whistleblowing policy.

as a pension contribution over four or five years. • Recognise and reward length of service with additional contributions to those who have been with the FT the longest. The proposal also removes

the lower age band for Defined Contribution members with effect from 1 January 2017. This means that FT employees under age 30 will be able to make a 6 per cent contribution which will be double matched by the FT.

The new offer came

after a delegation from the FT NUJ chapel including Steve Bird, FoC, and Ursula Milton, deputy MoC went to Tokyo to lobby for support for the union’s fight over pensions at the FT. They met representatives from the Japanese press and broadcasting, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) and the International Federation of Journalists.

Viewpoint page 9 “ Guardian aims at 20 per cent cost cuts G

uardian News & Media is to cut costs by 20 per cent, about £50 million – in an effort to break even within three years.

Last year, the group, which publishes the Guardian and the

Observer, lost more than £100 million. It said that a downturn in print advertising had been faster than expected and digital revenues had grown more slowly than anticipated. Over the past five years annual operating costs have reached

£268 million, an increase of 23 per cent compared with a 10 per cent growth in revenues. Chief executive David Pemsel said the new management

team needed to safeguard the Guardian in perpetuity as it bridged the transition from print to digital: “Growing the cost base more than revenue is simply not sustainable.” The group’s development of a goods shed in King’s Cross into an events space has been put on hold.


EXPRESS STAFF WIDEN CAMPAIGN The NUJ chapel at the Express Group want

taff at The Express are petitioning MPs, faith leaders, advertisers and business leaders to highlight their plight over

pay. Journalists at the newspapers owned by Richard Desmond are this year facing their eighth year without a pay rise.

to get the issue raised in parliament to put pressure on Mr Desmond. A recent NUJ survey showed that staff are facing financial hardship because of the pay freeze with 29 per cent having to remortgage or move home.

NUJ members had returned a ballot of 92 per cent in favour of taking action

BROOKS’ LAWYER MOVES TO NEWS UK The lawyer who represented Rebekah Brooks over phone-hacking has been made general counsel for News UK. Angus McBride, a partner at law firm Kingsley Napley, new will oversee all legal activity and compliance for the news organisation.

TODAY PROGRAMME GOES ON SCREEN Radio 4’s Today programme is to expand into video coverage. It is also to produce a TV programme called Meet the Author, hosted by former presenter Jim Naughtie and broadcast during Today on Saturday mornings and then in TV format on the BBC News Channel.

DAILY MAIL RAISES ITS COVER PRICE The Daily Mail’s weekday cover price is increasing from 60p to 65p next week, its first increase in three years. The change was announced as circulation revenues in DMG Media - which comprises the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday - fell four per cent year on year in the three months to 31 December.

NEW BERKSHIRE CHIEF AT NEWSQUEST Former Swindon Advertiser editor Dave King has taken charge of Newsquest’s Berkshire titles. King, who was also formerly deputy editor of the Southern Daily Echo, will oversee weekly titles including the Reading Chronicle, Bracknell News and Slough Observer. These were acquired by Newsquest when it bought Romanes Media Group in May 2015.

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