31 January 2015

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Johnston Press staff hit by pay freeze extension

Regional publisher Johnston Press is to continue its pay freeze for a further six months after deferring all salary reviews until July at the earliest.

Last July the company announced it was deferring pay reviews until this January, holding out the prospect of 2pc increases if it hit its profitability targets.

However chief executive Ashley Highfield has now announced that the reviews will now be deferred for a further six-month period.

The move came to light in an email sent by Ashley to all JP staff on Friday, seen by HTFP, which blamed the “underlying weakness of the economy” for the move.


The company has since issued a statement saying:  “Johnston Press have announced that due to the underlying weakness of the economy continuing to create challenging conditions and trading being very difficult in the second half of the year, all 2013 salary reviews are being deferred for a further six months.

“All publishing units and departments have done incredibly well in terms of overall performance taking steps to mitigate the potential shortfalls and whilst the economy remains unpredictable, continued cost control will be vital in 2013.

“The pay deferral applies to all Johnston Press Companies and Group Employees in the UK, and the Isle of Man.

“Provided business performance is robust for the first six months of 2013, there will be pay reviews starting in July 2013.  The company remains confident that the ambitious initiatives introduced in 2012 will bear fruit in 2013.”

The company said last July that, provided 2012 profit forecasts were achieved, there would be a pay review in 2013 of 2pc in the UK and Isle of Man.

It also announced that staff would receive an additonal day’s holiday in 2012 and subsequent years in recognition of “hard work and commitment on newspaper re-launches and other initiatives.”


  1. Smallfry

    Hope this won’t affect departing CEO Danny Cammiade’s pay-off. He appears to be due at least £800,000 when he leaves in March, according to previous HTFP reports. Happy days!

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  2. Digimon

    This doesn’t sound very good for JP. It is completely at odds with all the noise about how well the relaunches have done, how digital activity is progressing so well etc. It might be time for a strategy reality check.

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  3. Me, myself and I

    Don’t worry, it will increase to a capped 1% when, of course, you get made redundant.

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  4. Journo

    Expect other newspaper groups to follow this example, followed by outrage by the NUJ and then a complete lack of meaningful action.
    C’est la vie.

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  5. JustMe

    At least they’re told what’s happening. Many places make no such announcement and staff are left in limbo wondering if a salary rise may one day be on the cards :-(

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  6. Snappy snapper

    Pay rise freeze makes the news ????? I can’t remember the last time either myself or my colleagues had a pay rise. Definitely very many years ago

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  7. Number cruncher

    Does this mean that profits for 2012 fell below forecast?
    If so, surely JP should have told the stock market.

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  8. Realunch, relaunch, relaunch!

    Has anyone seen any proper relaunch figures?
    We’ve only heard stuff on the grapevine about what a disaster they’ve been saleswise, along with Steve Dyson’s assassination of the design – can someone, somewhere tell us some real figures?

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  9. ex-JP

    This should not really affect reporting staff because JP does not employ journalists.

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  10. Billy Rae

    It’s a bit mean – JP is the only company where offshore / outsourcing company staff actually have higher salaries than the people they’re replacing in the UK!

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  11. ticktock

    all managers still getting a 10% bonus as they do every year…its the people who are doing the work that are being forgot about.AGAIN!!!

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  12. notsonaive

    What really peeed me off was that we were sent emails to this effect and a long missive from Ashley, explaining why we were not getting any increase and then they send letters to our homes!!! Why not forego the damn letters (as we already knew) and give us the money that was wasted sending them!!!!!!

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