ITV staff are to ballot for strike action over pay.
BECTU said: ‘Union officials at ITV have rejected the company’s latest pay offer for 2015 and will be recommending a ‘yes’ vote to their members in an upcoming ballot for strike action.
‘The development follows discussions over weeks in which the company first tabled an insulting 1.25% offer, which although now improved to 2%, still stands below inflation. The latest reported RPI figure is 2.3%.
‘The joint unions – BECTU, the NUJ and Unite – submitted a claim for October’s RPI plus 4% in September. The claim was designed to address the company’s acceptance 12 months ago that pay rates at ITV had fallen 4% below inflation in the preceding decade, but yet senior management are doing nothing to make good that deficit.
‘ITV’s recovery has been sustained in recent years and that turnaround has been largely achieved through job losses and increased workloads for the remaining staff. The company’s half-yearly results, to June 2014, forecast an 11% growth in profits boosted by an upturn in the advertising market; the forecast for 2015 is another year of double-digit growth.
‘In addition the company has committed to a 20% increase in the shareholder dividend, each year for the next three years.
‘ITV is also achieving planned savings more quickly than forecast. Last year, to the anger and disbelief of staff, it was revealed that chief executive Adam Crozier’s bonus was £8.4 million, more than double the amount paid to all staff who are in the company’s all staff bonus scheme.
‘A quarter of the company’s shareholders voted against the bonus at the annual general meeting and yet the Board agreed to proposals which could see that bonus substantially increased in future.
‘In contrast, staff have voiced their concerns over falling pay in the company’s internal survey and yet that feedback has been ignored.’
Keith Stokes, a senior BECTU representative, commented: ‘It cannot be right that a tiny handful reaps the rewards whilst the vast majority see their real earnings fall.’
Spencer MacDonald, assistant general secretary of BECTU, said: ‘ITV’s turnaround plan continues to succeed but this growth is not matched by an increase in senior management’s respect for their staff. Quite the opposite.
‘ITV’s workforce, up and down the country, has worked to secure the company’s future. It’s time to reward staff properly for their contribution. The company’s current stance isn’t about affordability, rather it’s a cynical approach by senior execs designed to see what they can get away with. Our members can see through that.’
ITV has decided to implement the 2% pay award from 1 January.
BECTU’s strike ballot, along with ballots of the NUJ and Unite memberships, will get underway in the New Year.