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Johnston Press journalists ‘offered pay rises of up to 5pc’

Paul Holleran

Journalists at a series of Johnston Press titles in Scotland have been offered pay increases of up to 5pc, according to the National Union of Journalists.

The union says that a pay offer of between 2pc and 5pc was made to journalists working at weekly titles in the central belt of Scotland following talks with management.

Under the offer, the NUJ said the basic salary paid to trainees goes up by 5pc, those people who have taken on extra responsibilities, for example with digital initiatives, will be given a 4pc rise and the remaining journalists will be given a 2pc increase.

Johnston Press told staff last month that salary increases totalling £500,000 would be given to journalists who had taken on “significant extra responsibilities” during its “newsroom of the future” restructure.

The publisher has confirmed that staff at its Scottish weeklies will be awarded minimum pay rises of 2pc, with some receiving extra salary increases, although it would give no further details about the additional rises.

The company is also set to take on six new members of staff in Scotland to fill some long-standing vacancies, which are expected to be predominantly reporting roles, as part of the rollout its newsroom of the future initiative.

Titles included in the central Scotland area include the Falrkirk Herald, Fife Free Press, Motherwell Times, Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra and the Carluke Gazette.

The offer from Johnston Press was voted on by chapels across the area earlier this month ahead of the newsroom of future restructure being rolled out.

It is understood this includes the setting up of centralised hubs in Glasgow and Grangemouth to serve multiple titles.

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran, pictured above, said: “I think it is a positive outcome. Obviously people are always looking for a better deal but I think, given the scale of it and the new staff, I think it is a good deal.”

HTFP reported last month that there would be no compulsory redundancies under the restructure at the Scottish weeklies, although there were a handful of voluntary redundancies.

The union’s discussions with management have also seen an improved “house agreement” offered on matters such as working hours and the pay structure.

The newsroom of the future initiative is being rolled out by Johnston Press across the UK and has seen journalists working for multiple titles and centralised hubs created in areas such as community news.

Paul said talks would soon start over the rollout of the project to the Borders area, which includes the Berwickshire News and Southern Reporter.

A spokeswoman for Johnston Press said: “Journalists on our Scottish weekly titles have recently had or are due to receive a 2pc pay rise.

“In some cases there will be an additional salary increase where significant extra responsibility has been taken on in a new role or where we have identified pay structure anomalies.”

She confirmed that six vacancies would also be filled.


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  • July 1, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Maybe JP have got the message. Most of the real talent and experience has pushed off.
    The percentage is pretty hilarious really when you think journos have probably doubled their output taking on the roles of subs, photographers, video makers, web uploaders, facebook writers, twits, and oh! I nearly forgot newshounds.
    The last five years or more has been the biggest employment pay scam I can recall.
    But while the JP share price remains comatose someone might be grateful for a very small mercy.

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  • July 1, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    To add to the above, the share price is equivalent to 3p if you remember they consolidated the shares 50-1

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