Al Jazeera English awards two-year pay deal to London staff

pay rise

International news and current affairs television channel Al Jazeera English has offered its London-based employees a two-year pay deal, including a pay rise of up to 9%.

Al Jazeera English employees have not received a pay increase in four years, according to trade unions.

The deal will see employees receive a pay increase of 6%, backdated to 1 January 2018, for 2018-2019, followed by a further 3% pay rise for 2019-2020.

The pay deal was brokered by arbitration organisation The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) and was agreed by trade unions Bectu and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) after consultative ballots with members.

A total of 84% of NUJ members and 92% of Bectu members voted in favour of the new pay deal.

The pay deal was offered to counteract a planned 24-hour strike, which was due to be followed by an indefinite withdrawal of goodwill. This industrial action, which was voted for by NUJ and Bectu members, was suspended when talks between all parties resumed.

Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary at the NUJ, said: “This is an important shift in relations with Al Jazeera and one we hope means that the collective bargaining process will run more smoothly in future. Members have voted overwhelmingly to accept the pay deal on offer, and we are pleased to have resolved the dispute.”

Gerry Carr, assistant national secretary at Bectu, added: “Bectu members voted overwhelmingly to accept an inflation-busting pay offer with some 92% voting in favour. This is an historic breakthrough at Al Jazeera for its London-based staff, and the significance of the agreement must be underlined.

“[While] the [organisation] signed a voluntary recognition agreement with Bectu and the NUJ in April 2014, it refused to engage constructively in collective pay bargaining. That resistance was shattered by the unity of the membership of both unions when they voted strongly in favour of industrial action in April.

“It’s unfortunate that the industrial action route was the only one left open to us, but now is the time to move forward together. Our hope is that a new and more positive chapter in industrial relations will result at Al Jazeera English.”

Al Jazeera English is unavailable for comment at time of publication.