Around 300 staff at the Irish Examiner and Evening Echo newspapers have been asked by management to accept a pay freeze.

Management is also seeking voluntary work restructuring such as career breaks, job sharing and reduced working week arrangements.

Irish Examiner Chief Executive Tom Murphy blamed a fall in advertising revenues for the measures. However, he said redundancies were not being contemplated.

The National Union of Journalists claims the proposals amount to an effective pay cut for its members, because of a drop in profit share payments for 2008 and 2009.

Staff are expected to make a decision on their attitude to the proposals later.