STV dispute ends as improved pay offer accepted

  • 15 May 2024

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.” 

Journalists at STV News have voted to accept an improved pay offer, ending the industrial dispute at the broadcaster which resulted in Scottish news programmes being taken off air and almost all digital website news stopped. 

Members of the NUJ voted 82 per cent in favour of a deal which will see a consolidated increase backdated to January, a guaranteed bonus of between £300 and £500 to all staff across the business in July, and potential for a further, non-consolidated bonus if the company hits 2024 profit targets. The deal represents increases of up to 6.7 per cent. 

Following negotiations with the NUJ the company will also increase the salary structure of journalists on five mid-range salary grades in line with market rates.

Across the business, STV has agreed to introduce an enhanced family friendly policy, increasing maternity, adoption and shared parental leave pay. 

STV has also agreed to undertake a joint exercise with the union over concerns over workloads and to provide an inclusive, safe and mentally healthy working environment, as well as a commitment to look at potential pay anomalies. 

The breakthrough came after a second day of strike action on the day of STV’s shareholder meeting on Wednesday 1 May which was attended by representatives of the NUJ and STUC, which secured a commitment by the chair of the board and chief executive Simon Pitts to have further talks as soon as possible. 

Nick McGowan-Lowe, the NUJ’s 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 not just a guaranteed bonus in July, but also 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.” 

The first one-day strike saw newsroom staff on picket lines in Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow, with a separate demonstration at the Scottish Parliament attracting cross-party support for better pay for the striking journalists.  At Holyrood First Minister Humza Yousaf called on STV to return to talks with the union to reach a fair settlement for their journalists at First Ministers’ Questions. 

The management was forced to pull all on-air news programmes from the schedule with the flagship 6’o’clock news programme replaced by a repeat of a Scottish travel programme. Morning bulletins for Scottish viewers were replaced with the news from ITV Border, which is headquartered in Carlisle.  

A second scheduled strike day, scheduled for April 16, was postponed after last-minute talks between the NUJ and management, although that deal was rejected by members. Strike action followed on May 1 and NUJ representatives asked questions of the board at the STV shareholder meeting, while the walkout again took all news programmes off air. 

Return to listing