Johnston Press journalists in Scotland could be set to receive a pay rise of around £500 after the company lifted its pay freeze, according to union representatives.
Talks with the National Union of Journalists have been taking place across the regional publishing group after it was revealed in July that the 18-month pay freeze was being lifted and performance-related salary increases were being introduced.
NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran said talks with Scottish management had made good progress and it was expected to be the first area in the country where a deal was reached.
But he said there would not be performance-related pay rises for editorial staff this year because there were not the structures or resources in place to implement it, although the measure will be brought in for sales staff.
Paul claimed the pay increase was expected to be around £500 per journalist, although the details of the deal have not yet been finalised.
He said that following the talks, some lower-paid members were expected to have increases of around 4pc, while others on salaries of about £20,000 would see a rise of around 2.5pc. The union had initially submitted a pay claim of 5pc.
Said Paul: “We haven’t got a final offer on the table. We have got further meetings next week.
“We are happy with the progress. There’s a gap between the aspirations of our members and the budget that has been set for the offer. We are trying to improve it.
“Our claim was for 5pc so we are just doing our best to bridge the gap. Some people were asking for it to be backdated for two years but we have what we have – they have got a budget for this year so we are trying to maximise it.”
In July, an email from JP chief executive Ashley Highfield to all staff said that pay reviews would be reinstated “in recognition of your efforts”.
He also said the company intended to move towards linking salary increases to performance, so some staff could receive larger increases, while others may receive no pay award.
Johnston Press had not responded to requests for a comment at the time of publication.