Pay increases totalling £500,000 are to be given out to Johnston Press journalists who have taken on “significant extra responsibility” during the company’s “newsroom of the future” restructure.
JP chief executive Ashley Highfield, pictured left, has announced the investment, which will affect more than 300 editorial staff at the company’s titles across the country.
The initiative, which is being introduced across the country, has seen reporters, management staff and editors reorganised and working on multiple newspapers within certain regions.
The salary increases will take place alongside the company’s local annual pay awards, to be received by all editorial staff.
The remuneration is set to take place over the coming weeks and months, as deployment of the restructure continues across the country.
The move was announced in an internal memo to staff by Ashley, which has been seen by HTFP.
He said: “This will impact to varying degrees across our publishing units, however we do expect more than 300 of our editorial team members to benefit from this over and above the annual pay award.
“Our plan is to implement these salary increases in the coming weeks and months as our deployment plans continue and we will be engaging at a local level to confirm the details.
“Not everyone, of course, will benefit directly from this investment. We are focussing it where we have identified a clear disparity between a journalist’s current pay and what we are expecting of them in the new structure.
“If you don’t receive an additional increase in this instance it doesn’t mean we don’t value your enormous hard work, the great job you are doing or the change you have taken on board.”
Ashley also used the announcement to thank staff taking part in the reorganisation, adding: “I have seen – first hand through visiting your offices in many cases – just how hard everyone in the new teams is working to make a huge success of this.
“Fundamentally it is about delivering the very best local journalism – and getting us back to the passionate, investigative, campaigning and entertaining content that makes us so valued in the local communities we serve.
“At the same time, it is designed to give our readers and local groups the best possible opportunity to share their news through our papers and websites.
“But change on this scale is never easy. While I am convinced it will make every journalist’s job more fulfilling and fun, in the short-term it’s extremely hard work – and I don’t underestimate it or take it for granted.”