15 May 2024

STV industrial dispute ends with staff accepting improved pay offer

15 May 2024

An industrial dispute at a Scottish television station that saw some programmes taken off air has ended after staff accepted an improved pay offer, a union has announced.

Journalists at the broadcaster STV, who had twice walked out this year over demands for a 6% pay rise, voted overwhelmingly in favour of a pay deal that amounts to an increase of up to 6.7%, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has confirmed.

The deal includes backdated pay increases, guaranteed bonuses, enhanced family policies and an agreement to undertake a joint exercise to review working practices and pay anomalies.

This has been a slow and difficult dispute, but we have finally reached a pay offer that has been accepted by our members

The union says the deal came after striking union members attended the company’s annual general meeting on May 1 and secured commitments from chief executive Simon Pitts to engage in further talks.

Nick McGowan-Lowe, NUJ national organiser for Scotland, said: “This has been a slow and difficult dispute, but we have finally reached a pay offer that has been accepted by our members.

“Our members at STV have secured an improved settlement not just for the newsroom, but also for their other 400 colleagues across STV, who now have a guaranteed bonus in July and a further, increased potential bonus payable next year, as well as significant improvements to the maternity and adoption leave terms.

“None of this would have been achieved without the solidarity, determination and professionalism of STV’s journalists, who deserve fair pay and respect within the company as the public face of STV’s brand, and the leadership of our workplace reps.

“We look forward to working with STV in addressing issues over workload and the commitment to the company to revert to a flat percentage award applied on an across-the-board basis in 2025.”

Newsroom staff around Scotland walked out for 24 hours on March 28 and again on May 1 when the company held its AGM in Glasgow.

On both dates STV pulled live news bulletins from the schedule and replaced them with alternative programming.

An STV spokesperson said: “We’re pleased that this matter is resolved and that our colleagues represented by the NUJ have accepted the salary award that colleagues across STV have received since January 1 2024.

“We are also pleased the NUJ has accepted that an increase of 6% is unrealistic and unaffordable for all staff.

“The structure of this award was always designed to deliver a higher increase to colleagues on lower salaries who are benefitting from an above inflation increase.”

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