Online only

Guardian signs House Agreement

THE GUARDIAN has signed a renewed House Agreement with the National Union of Journalists. It includes a five per cent rise in the rate per 1000 words for writers contributing to the paper, effective from 1 October. This matches a basic rise in staff salaries of two per cent for 2020 and three per cent for 2021, which was agreed just before a ballot for strike action closed.

This increase - to £326.21 per 1000 words - is the first since 2012. According to the Bank of England, the 2012 rate of £310.68 per 1000 is equivalent to £375.56 in 2020 (the last year for which it has data).

The rates in the House Agreement are minima. We have reports of freelances achieving up to £700 per 1000 for "long read" pieces. Please do tell us what you have been paid by the Guardian or Observer.

This year's agreement does not include any increase in the rates for illustrations or photographs. Nor does it change the derisory rate of £90 for "commissioned blog posts" - which it seems some editors try to apply to many online-only pieces. London Freelance Branch is trying to contact the staff chapel about this. The revised terms are currently dated 17 October 2017, but we think that's a typo.

Technically, the new rate is probably £307.75 plus a six per cent (£18.46) uplift for licensing a range of secondary rights such as photocopying. But it's quoted only as a "rolled up" rate.