Journalists angry as press agency closes final salary scheme

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Staff at Associated Press (AP) and Associated Press Television News (APTN) have voted overwhelmingly for strike action following the press agency’s decision to close its final salary scheme.

The company had offered an inadequate defined contribution scheme in its place. The NUJ and Bectu asked for further consultation on a fair and decent pension provision for all at the company. But the failure to reach agreement in talks with the management has led to the strong mandate for action.

Among NUJ members at APTN there was a 100% cent vote for strike action and at AP 87.5%. The turnout was 79.5% at APTN and 80% at AP.

The unions told management that their members in the final salary (defined benefit) schemes stood to suffer significant financial detriment in retirement if the changes are made, while the existing defined contribution scheme does not even meet the recommended level for a decent pension set by the charitable Pensions Policy Institute.

Barry Fitzpatrick NUJ deputy general secretary, said: “The unions were prepared to negotiate a settlement to this dispute. The dedicated staff at AP and APTN do not deserve the poor pension deal on offer. A world class company can and should do better. The NUJ and Bectu will now consult with members on how to proceed. The overwhelming support for action among our members speaks volumes for the anger this dispute has caused. The management needs to take note.”


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