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TRINITY MIRROR faced criticism today for its “huge” 18 per cent pay gap between male and female employees.
The newspaper publisher also announced that chief executive Simon Fox was given a 19 per cent pay rise, taking his annual pay to £893,000.
National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Trinity Mirror co-ordinator Chris Morley said it was “deeply ironic” that Trinity Mirror had announced a “near 20 per cent income boost for its male chief executive” on the same day as it published its gender pay gap information.
He said “many journalists will not be impressed with the £144,000 annual increase in the pay package of Simon Fox,” despite the fact that boardroom pay had not reached the “obscene levels of former boss Sly Bailey.”
Ms Bailey was forced out as chief executive in 2012 after a shareholder revolt over her £1.7 million annual salary. The company’s share price fell by more than 90 per cent in her decade in charge.
The NUJ also criticised Trinity Mirror’s method of publishing its gender pay-gap data, saying it featured “graphics obviously meant to confuse rather than enlighten.”
But Mr Morley welcomed the decision to publish the data, adding: “An overall 18 per cent difference between the mean hourly pay of men and women is a huge gap to bridge.
“But bringing the issue out into the open and engaging fully with the trade unions to create fully transparent pay structures is the surest way to put it right.”
Trinity Mirror said that it was “committed to addressing diversity” and was reviewing its hiring processes to achieve “better balanced candidate pools.”
The group also announced that it was proposing to change its name to Reach following its purchase of Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell, publisher of the Daily Express, Daily Star and OK! magazine, in a £126.7m deal last month.
Mr Fox said the new name, which will be voted on in May, “better reflects what we do and what our ambitions are.”
Mr Morley said: “I think our members will be happiest when the company can ‘Reach’ equality in their ranks and women are not demeaned by lower pay rather than a cosmetic name change.”
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