Journalists in York and Bradford angry at £20,000 pay packet while boss earns £600,000


Journalists in York are this week holding mandatory union meetings every day to protest over their pay.

They will be joined on Wednesday by Newsquest colleagues in Bradford, similarly angry that while they earn as little as £20,000, their chief executive paid himself £600,000 and the company last year made £57m profit.

NUJ Northern organiser Chris Morley said: “These figures show that US-owned Gannett’s UK operation, Newsquest, is still in robust health – as are the payments to directors.

“For directors to be given a £268,000 cash payment for ‘performance’ when all they are doing is finding fresh victims to target for redundancy and cost-cutting to keep up profit margins – rather than growing the business – is an insult to staff.”

NUJ rep Mark Stead said: “Outstanding, award-winning journalists in York who give everything for a proud paper are struggling to ends meet and being asked to sympathise with Newsquest’s pleas of poverty, while directors pocket their share of six-figure performance payments and a profitable company makes positive noises about its current health and its prospects for the future.”

General secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “There is no exaggeration that there is a crisis in local and regional news.  But it isn’t the recession or the downturn in advertising revenue to blame. It is the likes of Newsquest which has not been investing in the product and has instead been creaming off profits for shareholders and bloated executive pay. Our members are struggling to pay their bills and are finding it very tough, while at the same time Paul Davidson pocketed almost £600,000.


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