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Update: 1,100-plus Reach journalists to vote on agreement

August 30, 2022

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

Striking Reach PLC journalists in London’s Canary Wharf. (credit: holdthefrontpage.co.uk)

Editorial staff at Reach PLC in the U.K. have called off their strike as a vote commences Wednesday on a new contract offer.

The National Union of Journalists says an estimated 1,150 members working for Reach plc titles had moved to strike but a new vote that commences today and runs through Sept. 23 will determine what happens next.

The Union added that it will “use the intervening period to consult members on proposals put forward by the company.”

As of the start of the month, the union claimed the company had made “no fresh offer on the 3% pay rise (or £750 minimum) that was rejected a month ago by staff.” The union wants a 8.5% pay hike to help staff with the rising cost of living.

The average salary for a journalist at Reach is £21,934 a year, 19% below the national average, according to the salary guide by the jobs site Indeed and posted in Left Foot Forward.

With pay issues front and center, the union has made an issue of the enormous salary paid to Reach chief executive Jim Mullen, who was awarded a £4 million pay package last year. Reach officials contend the actual amount is much less due to a collapse in its stock price.

Reach has seen a drop in profits so far in 2022 as first-half revenue fell 1.6% year-on-year to £297.4 million, accordinto to the Press Gazzette. Mullen is one of the UK’s best-paid media executives, according to a recent Press Gazette ranking. 

One year of Mullen’s salary, if evenly split between all strikers, would result in additional stipends of about £3500 each.

Reach includes the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Manchester Evening News and the Live brand. You can read Left Foot Forward’s update here.

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