ITV chief Adam Crozier

ITV chief Adam Crozier

Journalists working for ITV will be balloted for strike action following the offer of a below-inflation pay award of two per cent.

The joint unions representing them say the offer comes despite revenues at the company increasing by eight per cent year-on-year to £1.8bn in the nine months ending September.

The company had originally offered 1.25 per cent. Its revised offer of two per cent, described as ‘unacceptable’, was also turned down because it was below the October Retail Price Index figure of 2.4 per cent and therefore represented a pay cut. They would be prepared to consider accepting 2.75 per cent.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) national broadcasting organiser, Sue Harris laid out the argument:

“ITV’s fortunes are on the up and the chief executive and other top brass at the company are able to pay themselves generous increases. But their loyal staff, who have worked through the lean years, are offered a miserly two per cent. It is thanks to them working harder, because of staff cuts and accepting poor pay deals, that ITV find itself in such a strong position; they even admit they are ahead in their savings programme.

“The management just doesn’t get it. Our members are struggling to pay their bills and transport costs on their present wages. One said to me, ‘Can you please tell management that reporters are facing genuine hardship. Just running a car to do the company’s work means I’m out of pocket because of the costs involved. This is causing stress and I’m seriously worried how I’m going to meet the bills.’

“ITV needs to come back with a better offer. What do they hope to achieve by making such an insulting award?”

Advertising revenues increased six per cent in the first nine months of 2014 to £1.16bn and Adam Crozier, ITV’s chief executive, said he expected to deliver double-figure profit growth next year. In May, ITV experienced an investor revolt over pay when his total pay package nearly tripled to £8.4m last year.