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Thursday, 30 December 2010

Vote of no confidence

Back when the cutbacks were first announced, we unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in the senior management of Newsquest and its parent company, Gannett. We feel we should share the wording of that vote with you:

We hold no confidence in Craig Dubow, chief executive of Gannett, for permitting a pay time bomb to grow and grow to the point where members of staff have now gone 1,045 days without a pay rise, a wage freeze that has not been shared at the executive level.

We hold no confidence in Paul Davidson, chief executive of Newsquest, who accepted a pay rise of £106,000 while maintaining a pay freeze on staff. Were he to forego that pay rise, most of the redundancies now being made would not have to be made.
If things are as bad as they are made out to be, why does he not receive a pay cut? In addition he has seen his pension contributions rise by £59,500, at a time when members are facing the closure of the company pension scheme.

We hold no confidence in David Coates, managing director of Newsquest North-East. Members note his cowardice in failing to be present when fundamental changes to the production of the flagship titles in Darlington were announced.
We would ask that if he cannot be there during one of the most important moments in the modern history of the Darlington centre, why does he need to be there at all?

At the time we held that vote, there was no prospect of a pay rise. Following concerted action at a number of Newsquest centres (check out our colleagues in Brighton:, including a two-month work-to-rule in Darlington, a pay offer of 2% is appearing at centre after centre in almost identical fasion - despite Newsquest's claim that pay is negotiated locally. It shouldn't take industrial action to encourage management to end a pay freeze lasting more than 1,000 days, but that's the case here.

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