Financial Times FT

Union will now ballot 150 members at the FT over possible industrial action

Credit: Chris Young/PA

NUJ members at the Financial Times have rejected a 2 per cent pay offer and voted to ballot on industrial action.

The union said in a statement today that the below-inflation pay offer was "unacceptable", especially given that publisher Pearson was in profit.

Pearson is understood to have made a 3.5 per cent pay increase available, but FT management has decided to offer a 2 per cent pay increase across the board and retain the remainder – 43 per cent of the total amount – to be allocated at the managing editor's discretion.

The union called the move an "attack" on collective bargaining.

"The management's proposal to keep back nearly half of a potential award of 3.5 per cent to hand out to select individuals has been seen as deeply divisive and an attack on union collective bargaining, as set out in the FT house agreement."

The union will now ballot 150 members at the FT immediately over possible industrial action. There are no plans in place yet as to when possible action might take place or what form it might take.

Steve Bird, father of chapel for the title, said: "A low pay offer is bad enough, but plundering the pay fund to retain staff or reward select individuals has added insult to injury.

"The majority should not be forced to subsidise opaque bonus payments with yet another real terms pay cut. Industrial action is not something to be taken lightly, but the chapel is united over this."

The chapel said that it was open to any offer of further talks with FT management.

Fiona Swarbrick, NUJ national organiser, said: "We are keen to resolve this dispute, but management must demonstrate that they understand the financial pressures our members are under at the current time. They must channel more of the pay fund into alleviating the impact of high inflation on their staff.

"We are not at all surprised that the FT chapel has become so frustrated. Pay rises in recent years have reflected neither the cost of living nor Pearson’s increasing profitability.”

In October the FT raised the price of its weekday edition by 20 per cent to £2.20.

No one at the FT was available for comment at the time of writing.

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