JOURNALISTS at STV are to go on strike in their campaign for a 6% pay rise.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said members at STV in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness will walk out for 24 hours on Thursday, with another strike planned on April 16.

The NUJ is seeking a 6% pay rise for members to “keep pace with inflation” during the cost-of-living crisis, and it claimed their salaries are less than equivalent roles at the BBC or ITV.

The union said STV, which is independent from ITV, offered the 6% increase for the bottom 3% of earners and claimed it cannot afford to pay more.

However STV said a proposal that would see all staff receive a bonus was rejected by the union, and the broadcaster described its offer as “fair”.

The union said experienced reporters earn less than the starting salary for a teacher, which is £38,655 in Scotland, while around 80% of the newsroom earn less than a teacher with five years’ experience.

Nick McGowan-Lowe, NUJ national organiser, said: “Journalists at STV have not just been reporting on the cost-of-living crisis – they’ve been experiencing it too.

“Our members across Scotland produce the award-winning journalism that is the flagship of the STV brand and are only asking for their pay to keep track with inflation.

“Simon Pitts, STV chief executive, was paid over £900,000 from the company last year – and only a small fraction of that would settle this dispute.

“He and the STV board needs to listen to members and come back to the table with a fair offer.”

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A spokesperson for STV said: “We’ve continued to engage with the NUJ with the aim of finding resolution and we remain open to further dialogue, but their claim for an above-inflation pay increase of 6% is unrealistic and unaffordable.

“In this current economic climate, the offer made is both fair and financially responsible and is already being paid to over 85% of our colleagues across the rest of the business, including news colleagues in the [Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union] who voted to accept the award.

“Our enhanced offer of this week, which included confirmation of a bonus for all STV employees – as we won’t agree a separate deal for NUJ members – was rejected by the NUJ.

“Contingency plans are in place.”