A mass union meeting of Johnston Press journalists in Scotland has been held as talks on a pay rise continue.
Around 50 members of the National Union of Journalists took part in the chapel meeting from across the central belt of Scotland, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Lanarkshire, Falkirk and Fife.
Talks have been taking place across Johnston Press after the regional publisher lifted its 18-month pay freeze in July and the union says journalists in Scotland are set to receive rises of around £500, with some additional payments for people who have taken on extra responsibilities.
But NUJ members who attended last Friday’s meeting voiced concerns about possible ‘strings’ attached to the deal such as an increase in video work.
Scottish NUJ organiser Paul Holleran said that following the mass meeting, he needed further discussions with Johnston Press to clarify some issues before the pay deal was reached.
He said that at the meeting, there were concerns raised about the demands for digital work, such as videos, by the publisher and the pressures this was placing on journalists.
“They are not happy about strings being attached to the pay rise, such as the demands to do the video work, impractical demands.”
Paul also said this was an issue across JP and would be discussed at a further group chapel meeting in Manchester this Saturday.
He said: “The demands for the digital work are going a step too far and people are saying they don’t mind taking it on but where there are staffing level problems, people have to concentrate on getting the papers out so there are difficulties.
“I get the impression that it’s across the whole group.”
At the group chapel meeting, journalists from across the UK and Ireland will meet to discuss issues such as the pay rise and working conditions.
A Johnston Press spokeswoman said: “Our negotiations are still ongoing and whilst no final deal is in place we do hope to reach an agreement in the near future.”