Financial Times FT

The NUJ claims that the offered 2 to 2.5 per cent pay rise for all editorial staff would equal a cut in pay in real terms

Credit: Chris Young/PA

The National Union of Journalists says strike action will go ahead as planned later today at the Financial Times after talks over pay with FT management allegedly broke down.

The Financial Times has previously stated that its offer to staff was an increase in salaries of 3.5 per cent, which is based on a 2 to 2.5 per cent rise for all editorial staff and a 1 per cent incentive "for merit".

But the NUJ claimed that a 2 to 2.5 per cent pay rise would equal a cut in pay in real terms and in February its members voted in favour of strike action.

In March the union called on the chief executive of parent company Pearson "to help avert a strike at the newspaper" and for management to join them for talks at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

In a statement today the union said it took part in talks with FT management at ACAS on yesterday (12 March) but that FT management "rejected the union's proposals".

With no resolution found the union has said its planned industrial action will go ahead at 3pm today (Tuesday, 13 March) in the form of a two hour mandatory chapel meeting, and says this "is likely to involve 250 NUJ members at the FT".

"Further action will also be considered", the union added.

"The union is fully behind our members at the FT taking action on pay and management should seriously consider our alternative proposals that would go some way to address the current unfair offer", NUJ deputy general secretary Barry Fitzpatrick said in the release.

Steve Bird, father of the FT Group chapel, added that "the cost of settling this dispute is well within the FT's reach".

The Financial Times had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.

Update: The Financial Times has released the following statement: "There will be two hours of mandatory industrial action as the NUJ meets this afternoon and we view this and any future action as unwarranted and unreasonable, placing an unnecessary burden on colleagues committed to publishing the newspaper and the website.
"The proposed salary increase of 3.5 per cent - with  2-2.5 per cent for all editorial staff and 1 per cent for merit, plus a bonus, is a good offer that compares favourably with the rest of the industry. The Financial Times has continued to invest in its editorial operations and has avoided any compulsory redundancies at a time when news organisations around the world are facing exceptional challenges.

"We have strong contingency plans in place to ensure business as usual at the FT."

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