Industrial action looms at Scottish Media Group

By Hamish Mackay

Industrial action could be looming at Scottish Media Group as it is believed that not enough staff have volunteered for redundancy as the company seeks 59 job cuts across Scottish Television and Grampian Television.

The job cuts will involve 14 journalistic posts in news and current affairs at Scottish Television.

Fifty-five posts are scheduled to be axed at Scottish and four at Grampian. Paul Holleran, Scottish organiser of the NUJ, said he knew of only 34 staff who had expressed an interest in leaving by the end of the 30-day consultation period at the weekend.

Holleran said: "Two things can happen – SMG can accept that the figures are what they are getting, or they can try to enforce redundancies, in which case we ballot for industrial action."

An SMG spokeswoman told Press Gazette: "The consultation period, which we announced in December, closed at the end of last week. There has been interest from some members of staff but we are not going to quantify that publicly at present. The first people we will talk to is our staff themselves.

"As we have said previously, where we can – we plan to achieve the reductions we need through voluntary means. We will communicate fully with our staff and the unions – as we have from the beginning of this process." SMG’s proposed jobs cuts represents 13 per cent of the combined workforce of the two television stations. The SMG spokeswoman pointed out that the company is reorganising its business due to the reduction in its licence requirements and the impact of new technology resulting from its forthcoming move to  new studios at Pacific Quay, Glasgow –  therefore reducing its staff requirement.

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