Congratulations to the Adver journalists on having the courage to take industrial action. For the younger ones amongst them this will be the first time they have taken strike action. They would not have done so without having genuine grievances. Sometimes you have to act against over-mighty management or they will continue to take advantage of you. You have to act together and stick together to improve your wages and your working conditions.
This situation tells us some interesting things about the town. Some time ago I had a conversation with Chris Humphreys about the housing situation. I was surprised to find that the younger journalists tended to live in shared accommodation. They couldn’t afford the rent for a flat. Private rents are outstripping wage increases year after year.
According to the Valuation Agency Office the average rent for a room in a shared house in Swindon for the year ending September 2017 was £444 a month as compared to a one bedroom property with an average rent of £595. That’s a big difference. Even a lower quartile room in a shared house costs £395 whilst the average for a one bedroom flat was £550. Annual rent of £6,600 is a lot of money given the pay that these journalists are receiving. Read the rest of this entry »