Sport at centre of Telegraph concerns

Sport is at the centre of a possible dispute at Telegraph Media Group over the scrapping of all casual work, the hiring of 40 new staff, weekend shifts and a switch to 10-day fortnight working.

According to a report in the Press Gazette, the NUJ is concerned that not all current casual workers will be offered new full- or part-time jobs and those who have been regular freelances for a year or more are not expected to be offered redundancy pay-offs. A letter from management to existing regular casuals said it would be “advisable for those applying for jobs with us to take steps to seek work at other establishments”.

The NUJ chapel has also questioned plans to scrap the nine-day fortnight – and make it 10 days – for 65 production journalists in exchange for a one-off payment of £2,000.

Increased weekend working is expected to be increasingly prevalent in sport where – according to the NUJ – journalists have been asked to work one weekend in two (for both days).

A chapel spokesman said: “Sports production staff are absolutely adamant that that is unacceptable.”

The ending of casuals in non-production roles is due to end on September 8, while production casuals will stop from October 13. The 40 new jobs are being advertised internally.

“No other media organisation has responded to the current economic conditions by creating permanent jobs,” a Telegraph spokeswoman told the Press Gazette.

“Most have been cutting jobs. We are increasing our staff numbers by a significant percentage. This strengthens the Telegraph titles and our website, further professionalises our editorial operation and invests in the future. It puts us in position to continue our successful multimedia strategy, even in the midst of a severe economic slowdown.

“These changes will increase, not reduce, flexibility. Staff working towards a weekend publication will have contracts that reflect the days of the week they work.”

For more news about changes at the Telegraph sports desk:
Two more departures
More changes

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