Financial Times FT

The 0.5 per cent increase for Financial Times editorial staff 'will be consolidated into salaries from July 1 to year-end'

Credit: Chris Young/PA

Journalists at the Financial Times have called off planned industrial action on Thursday after accepting what they described as "an improved and more equitable pay offer" from management.

Members of the National Union of Journalists tweeted late yesterday that at a meeting of the FT chapel they had voted to accept the offer and call off the action, which would have seen them take part in a three-hour walkout.

The journalists had already taken action last week when they carried out a two-hour mandatory chapel meeting, action taken in response to a pay offer by the Financial Times of a 2 to 2.5 per cent rise for all editorial staff and a 1 per cent incentive "for merit".

The NUJ has claimed that a 2 to 2.5 per cent pay rise would equal a cut in pay in real terms and its members voted in favour of strike action earlier this year.

Today the Financial Times' managing editor Lisa MacLeod sent an email to staff to confirm that the company will pay an additional "0.5 per cent to all FT editorial staff from the balance of the overall 3.5 per cent payroll increase", with the total pay awards remaining at 3.5 per cent.

"This 0.5 per cent will be consolidated into salaries from July 1 to year-end and is in addition to the award of between 2 and 2.5 per cent made to all FT editorial staff in January," she added.

"This award recognises the hard work and vital contribution of our editorial team within the context of an extremely challenging commercial environment. We are confident that, based on prudent management of the budget, we should have sufficient room to make this award while meeting our targets.

"However, while this does leave us with some crucial flexibility, we will have to be careful to manage costs prudently through to the end of the year."

She also told staff they will also receive a profit-related bonus of £394 each in this month's pay.

"In addition to the Pearson cash bonus, of £270, permanent full-time staff members will thus receive an additional £664 in their pay this month."

She added: "We would like to thank all of you for your patience, and support, and we hope we can now move forward and all focus on our collective priority of producing outstanding journalism for the FT newspaper and the website and our growing readership around the world."

Update: The NUJ has released a statement to say the FT chapel "voted unanimously to welcome the decision to redistribute this year's pay award more equitably".

"We welcome management's commitment to discuss with the NUJ the lessons of the pay dispute and to revise and complete the draft house agreement accordingly. We urge management to convince us by its actions that it is serious about avoiding similar disputes in future."

The union's general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "We will be taking up the editor’s offer of talks on improving the transparency of future pay negotiations."

Father of the chapel Steve Bird added: "This dispute has shown that our members are as principled and tenacious as trade unionists as they are as journalists. I am proud of the chapel's response and very pleased that management has listened to the majority of its staff. We hope to rebuild good relations with senior managers and get back to producing a great newspaper."

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