The National Union of Journalists has expressed its dismay following the conclusion of talks requested by Reach, through the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) on 18 July.
The union had hoped Reach would provide a fair package members could accept in the ongoing pay dispute. Despite accepting the approach to meet from the publisher made last week, today’s meeting failed to offer a resolution that adequately addressed member concerns.
A failure from the publisher to increase its pay offer to staff, means the union will proceed with the next steps in its industrial action ballot.
Chris Morley, NUJ Reach national coordinator, said: “We today met with senior management from Reach under the auspices of ACAS and following the company saying they had a proposal to put to the union. The terms of this package are confidential to the company, but we can say that the NUJ is disappointed that it contained nothing to address the substantial pay cut our members are facing from skyrocketing inflation with just the original three per cent, or £750 minimum, still the sum on the table.
“We met in good faith through the good offices of ACAS willing to explore any potential solutions that moved the dial on salaries. Sadly, this was lacking from the company and in some ways, what was put forward only made the task of finding resolution even harder. We think this was a wasted opportunity to make progress as we now head to a ballot for industrial action of all our members in Reach. Voting papers go out in the post from independent scrutineers to members’ homes on Friday 22nd July.
“As always, the union remains committed to sitting down with the company in the coming days and weeks for further talks – if realistic proposals are forthcoming to boost the income of Reach journalists in the face of the worst cost of living crisis in 40 years.”