Journalists win right to ballot over union recognition

Journalists
on casual and fixed term contracts at the Telegraph Group have won the right to
take part in a ballot on union recognition, following a ruling by the Central
Arbitration Committee (CAC).

The
CAC ruled in favour of the National Union of Journalists that all journalists,
whether casual, fixed term or permanent, should be part of the same bargaining
unit and therefore have their pay rates set by the same negotiation process.

As
a result of the CAC ruling, casual and fixed term journalists will take part in
an NUJ ballot for recognition at the Telegraph in the next few weeks.

The
decision is a boost to the employment rights of fixed term and casual
journalists in the publishing industry.

The
company had claimed there were significant differences between casual and fixed
term journalists and those on permanent contracts.

Jeremy
Dear, NUJ general secretary said: “This is a significant victory for the
employment rights of journalists employed on casual and fixed-term contracts.

“Publishers
are increasingly using such contracts to employ journalists and it is making
the lives and careers of our members extremely insecure. It is bad enough that
an employer can use fixed-term contracts to avoid certain legal commitments,
such as redundancy payments. Why should it also allow them to treat such staff
differently when it comes to setting their rates of pay? We hope that this
decision will make publishers value and treat all their journalists equally.”

By Ben Willmott

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