'Examiner' staff facing 10pc pay cut as circulation slides
STAFF at the 'Irish Examiner' are facing further wage cuts after meeting with management yesterday.
The paper, which is owned by Thomas Crosbie Holdings (TCH), is proposing to cut wages by 10pc across the board.
TCH is also thought to be looking for concessions on the company pension, which is believed to have a significant shortfall.
There will also be an information meeting on September 18 to discuss benefits and to update staff on the "trading position" of the company.
This is the second round of pay negotiations to be proposed at the 'Examiner' in less than two years. In February 2009, staff were given a pay freeze and offered a series of voluntary alternative working structures.
Last month, the 'Sunday Business Post', also owned by owned by TCH, proposed a series of pay cuts to staff. The 'Post' is not believed to be affected by the 'Examiner' proposals.
The general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, Seamus Dooley, said he expected staff to resist the move.
"Staff at all of Thomas Crosbie Holdings' publications have made significant sacrifices already, and, while we await details of TCH's proposals, we would expect strong resistance," he said.
The 'Examiner's' circulation fell by more than 7pc in the first half of the year to 46,687, according to the most recent figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation.
The 'Sunday Business Post' saw its circulation fall by 14pc over the same period.
Meanwhile, TCH has sold the 'Newry Democrat' to Alpha newspapers only two days after Alpha said it was closing three regional newspapers in the south. Last night, the owner of Alpha newspapers, John Taylor, said he had received interest in all three titles.
"There has been a lot of interest in the titles, both from other newspaper groups and individuals.
"My accountant will be talking to all interested parties on Monday."
He said he was delighted with the acquisition of the 'Newry Democrat' which currently has a weekly circulation of 8,000 copies.