NUJ strike balloting in ITV chapels

NUJ chapels are balloting for industrial action in newsrooms across ITV over increased responsibilities being taken on by journalists without reward.

NUJ members at ITV claim that new technology for news production has resulted in journalists taking on additional responsibilities, without being properly rewarded.

The NUJ said local chapels have been seeking talks for the last 18 months in order to address the issues, yet ITV has refused to engage in any meaningful dialogue and members have been given no choice but to make their feelings known though the ballot box.

A survey at the end of last year demonstrated that 97.5% backed the campaign and that 83.3% would support industrial action.

The NUJ’s Broadcasting Organiser Paul McLaughlin said: “We believe news should be properly funded and that journalists should be properly rewarded for the outstanding work that they do for ITV.

"ITV is proudly stating that it is spending upwards of £30m on new technology however, they have indicated that not one single penny of that is earmarked for the staff who will make the technology work.

“Given that increasing burdens are being placed on members it is not surprising that they want to take action. Management should sit down with the NUJ and work out a decent settlement for members, however at the moment they refusing even to talk.”

ITV today published results showing an increase in pre-tax profits for 2005 – up 36% to £452m, despite a fall in advertising at ITV1.

The ballot will close at the end of the month and representatives will meet to discuss the next steps.

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