STV journalists vote for strike action as pay talks break down

  • 11 Mar 2024

Journalists at STV are set to go on strike after an industrial ballot showed overwhelming support in favour of industrial action at the Scottish broadcaster.

Members of the NUJ have voted 89 per cent in favour of strike action after last minute talks at ACAS resulted in the management refusing to improve its offer to resolve a pay dispute.

STV News faces a summer of disruption to its flagship news programming as journalists are expected to walk out of newsrooms and onto picket lines. NUJ members at the broadcaster will be meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss the form and timescale of industrial action.

Nick McGowan-Lowe, the NUJ’s national organiser for Scotland said:

“This is an overwhelming result which should make the STV board wake up and listen to its staff. Our members are dedicated and talented professionals who have made STV Scotland’s most-watched peak-time TV channel for the fifth consecutive year – but they have had enough of being told they should accept below inflation pay rises at a time when the company boasts of record revenues.

“This situation is quickly resolvable as soon as the company comes back to the table with a fair offer, but the longer they refuse to do so, the angrier advertisers and audiences will get as their favourite programmes are affected.”

Last week the company announced it made record-breaking revenues of £168.4m as its studios division smashed its profit targets. Despite a difficult advertising market, it still recorded an adjusted operating profit of £20.1m, in line with expectations.

Between 2019 and 2023 STV made a total of £97.3 million adjusted operating profit on total revenues of £681.6 million. In the last seven months it has gone on a spending spree, purchasing Greenbird Media for £21.4m in July 2023 and in January 2024 doubling its stake in Two Cities television to become a majority shareholder.

Despite this the company has told its staff it cannot afford a pay rise which matches inflation for all employees, citing difficult market conditions in 2023. It has, however, paid the same dividend to shareholders in 2023 as it did in 2022. The NUJ had asked for 6 per cent.

STV holds the channel 3 licence to cover central and north Scotland, and is the only part of channel 3 which is independent from ITV.

Report of STV voting

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