ITV journalists to strike for 24 hours in protest at 2 per cent pay deal 'insult'

Journalists working for ITV are to go on on strike for 24 hours next Thursday in protest at a 2 per cent pay offer.

The action, being taken by the National Union of Journalists and broadcasting union BECTU, could disrupt news coverage and Good Morning Britain.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "My members are not going to accept this cheap-as-chips pay offer when we know ITV is able to give Adam Crozier, its chief executive, a bonus of £8.4m and it has been on a £1.4bn spending spree on company buy-ups while its staff face hardship because of their paltry pay.
 
"It is, frankly, an insult to offer 2 per cent to our members who were prepared make sacrifices when times were tough at ITV. Now, with fortunes on the turn and an increase of 6 per cent in advertising revenue last year, why is ITV being so mean?
 
"Our members have made their message clear. Unless ITV can come back with a better offer, they will be taking strike action next week."

An ITV spokesman said:  "We are fully prepared to maintain an open dialogue with union representatives following the ballot result today, which has seen 232 union members voting to strike out of a UK workforce of 3,000 employees.  We have contingency plans in place to ensure that our programmes will continue to be broadcast and are confident that viewers will be unaffected by the proposed industrial action on 14 May.

"We have made an above inflation one-year pay increase of 2 per cent, effective from 1 January, which is on top of the 11.5 per cent of pay rises over the last four years, some way ahead of other media sector pay awards.  We are also the only UK broadcaster to pay the living wage.  Eligible colleagues also received the maximum £1,200 bonus in their pay packets in March and we have increased the 2015 bonus opportunity to its maximum £1,500 which would be paid next year.

"ITV continues to make good progress but our focus on costs remains incredibly important across the business as we balance the need to continue to invest in growing the business, our people and the programmes that we create and broadcast."

According to ITV some 98 of its journalists are members of the NUJ and of these 52 voted in favour of the strike. Most of the journalists working for ITV are on the regional news programmes (ITV's national news is produced by ITN).

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