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Support for action at the Independent and Independent on Sunday

24/07/2002

The dispute is won

The Freelance has discovered that there will be immediate rises of up to 17%, and that some of the lowest-paid journalists on the Independent will get 30% rises from January. Apparently the next pay review talks have been brought forward by a quarter, too, with a promise of talks about pensions, also in the autumn. Other important benefits are alleged to have been won as well, such as maternity, paternity and adoption leave for workers on full-time contracts.

Chapel members are, the Freelance intuits, delighted with the solidarity and support they have experienced among staff, contract workers and freelances too. But under the terms of the settlement they couldn't possibly comment.

Background

Journalists at the Independent held a mandatory meeting of the Chapel - the NUJ's organisation within the office - from 10am on 20 June 2002. Mother of Chapel Kate Simon writes:

The chapel feels the latest offer from management is inadequate, but that it could be the basis of negotiation. We have retained the right to take industrial action following our ballot, but as a gesture of goodwill we will refrain from naming strike days.

The chapel will discuss any further progress in 12 days' time, on Tuesday 2 July.

The chapel thanks everyone for their support. Keep the messages coming and watch this space.


At a packed meeting on Wednesday 12 June, editorial staff on The Independent and Independent on Sunday voted by 109 to 40 to throw out a pay offer and take industrial action. We decided to start our strike campaign with a disruptive mandatory meeting of the chapel from 10am on Thursday (20 June), unless management meet our demands.

The NUJ held a postal ballot in which 60 per cent of members voted for a strike in opposition to a pay freeze. At the meeting, the chapel opted for action by an increased majority.

Our claim hopes to secure a pay rise substantially above inflation for all staff, casuals and freelances. We have also offered an alternative proposal which demands improved rates on shifts and lineage. Under our recognition deal, we have negotiating rights for staff and casuals only. But we feel it is vital that we represent all staff and so continue to insist on the right to represent all freelances. Meanwhile, we have shown our commitment to freelances by appointing a freelance rep on the chapel committee. We also held a special chapel meeting for freelances on the issue of copyright earlier last year, which was well attended.

 
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Last modified: 24 July 2002

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