22 December 2017
BECTU and the NUJ are continuing to press management at Al Jazeera English for a consolidated pay increase. If this is achieved it will be the first such rise in four years.
The union side met with the company's management at ACAS on 13 December and whilst the company's formal written response is awaited, the signs are not encouraging.
Reporting back to members after ACAS, the unions stated:
"We were told that whilst London had requested funding for a consolidated across the board pay increase that this had not been approved by Doha. It was explained that there would be no company-wide pay increases nor would any bonuses be payable."
The Al Jazeera news service is owned by the Qatari government.
Commenting on the situation, BECTU's assistant national secretary, Gerry Carr, said:
"Management's continued failure to recognise the erosion of their employees' living standards as a result of no consolidated pay increase since 2013 lies at the root of this dispute. Prices are rising but our members' salaries have been frozen for over four years. Al Jazeera needs to act and act fast if it wants to reach a resolution to this dispute.”
Members' long established frustration at management's failure to embrace collective bargaining is threatening to boil over; in October both unions voted by over 90% in favour of an industrial action ballot if the current dispute is not resolved.
A joint unions' members meeting will be held in the New Year to take stock of the current situation and to decide on next steps.
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