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09/12/2005

Unions debate ITV pay offer

ITV representatives from BECTU, NUJ, and Amicus will meet in London today to decide their reply to this year's pay offer.
The UK's leading commercial terrestrial broadcaster has offered its staff a 2.5% consolidated offer in line with the current rate of inflation described in some quarters as ‘derisory’.
ITV's unions submitted a joint pay claim in September seeking a substantial rise above inflation for 2006 and underlined their opposition to the company's emphasis on one-off bonuses to reward staff for their continued commitment to the business. "Our view is that all available funds should be directed towards an above inflation consolidated pay increase for your staff," the joint unions wrote.
In responding to the unions' pay claim, just last week, the company also announced its intention to pay staff a taxable bonus of £600 for 2005 payable in April. The company also plans to pay a bonus for 2006 - in 2007 - but details of the scheme remain sketchy.
In September the company announced its half yearly financial report emphasising the success of the company in improving efficiency and in cutting costs. The full merger savings of £120 million have been exceeded, licence fees payable to the treasury have been slashed by £135 million (these are due to reduce to £4m by the time digital switchover is complete) and profits before tax for the 6 month period were up by 60% at £205 million.
Joint union representatives have decided that should the company's inflation offer remain unchanged this week that disputes will be registered at all sites from Border to Meridian leading to a ballot for industrial action in January if no improvements are secured meanwhile.
In April this year Bectu and Amicus members at key sites across ITV plc took strike action in protest at the company's offer for 2005.
(GB)
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