Granada Group franchises ballot on strike action

Union
members at Granada Group are to ballot on strike action after consultation
across the group rejected the company’s pay offer.

Ballot
papers will be sent out on 11 November to members of broadcast union Bectu and
Amicus, with the ballot closing on 25 November.

If
strike action is approved, ITV franchises affected will be Granada Manchester
and Liverpool, LWT, Yorkshire TV, Tyne Tees TV, Border and Meridian.

Members
rejected Granada’s package as they felt that what was being offered would leave
some members of staff actually worse off. The pay offer amounted to 2 per cent
over 21 months.

Bectu
assistant general secretary Gerry Morrissey added: "The company refused to
introduce a minimum annual salary of just £13,000, while at the same time
finding it acceptable to pay one member of staff more than a million pounds a
year."

Bectu
claims Granada intends to make maternity rights discretionary and to reduce
sick pay entitlement for staff with less than eight years’ service.

The
union is also unhappy that the company has decided to close its final salary
pension scheme to new members – despite confirming that it intended to honour
the pension commitment to future senior executives were they to be taken on.

The
ITV unions have written to Granada and Carlton in response to the announced
merger demanding assurances on jobs, regional programming and regional news.

"Without
these assurances we will be opposing the consolidation," said Morrissey.
He has requested an urgent meeting to discuss this.

"The
ballot for strike action is as much about the frustration of Granada staff
across the company that they are not being listened to, as it is about pay and
conditions of service,” he said

By Ben Willmott

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