Granada pay offer rejected

All three unions involved in pay talks with Granada have condemned the company's 2% pay offer.

Representatives of BECTU, NUJ, and Amicus have told Granada's management that the offer is unacceptable because it falls short of this month's inflation figure.

However, a shares package, linked to the pay offer and worth up to £300 to each member of staff has been accepted by union representatives.

In a letter from the unions, Granada has been given a deadline of November 14th to table an improved offer which, negotiators say, must include a "substantial increase to basic pay over the rate of inflation". The unions say they are willing to drop a demand for improvements in conditions of service, if an acceptable revised offer is made.

Read letter to management

Negotiators are though standing by a call for Granada to introduce a £13,500 minimum wage across the company, arguing that director's pay packages have soared, while lower paid employees have seen no significant improvement in their standard of living.

Unions are also challenging the company's view that any agreed increase should be withheld from staff with less than 6 months' service.

Representatives of the three unions are planning to meet after the November 14 deadline to discuss their next move. Negotiators have warned that unless an improved offer is made by then, the birth of a new ITV company from the merger of Granada and Carlton could be clouded by bitterness and unrest among staff.

Letter to Granada management

17 October 2003

Sue Slee
Director of Personnel North
Yorkshire Television
TV Centre

Dear Sue

Pay & Conditions 2003

Following the meeting of ITV Unions on the 14th October, the recognised unions across Granada agreed the following after receiving reports from each site. (Border were not able to attend and submitted a written report).

1. Negotiation and Consultation

Each of our agreements allows for meaningful consultation and negotiation. Last year our disagreements were as much about the lack of negotiation as about the content of the offer. This year, in order to ensure that the company had plenty of time to consider our offer and to consult and negotiate locally, we submitted our claim in July. I became concerned about the lack of any meetings to discuss the offer and therefore wrote to Rob Meakin in early September and his reply confirmed that there would indeed be time for due process to occur. What we now have is imposition and this is unacceptable. You cannot expect the joint unions to respect the difficulties the company may be facing if you treat us with such contempt.

During the Communications Bill debate and the Competition Commission investigation we have attempted to be helpful both politically and industrially; we are not asking or expecting any thanks for this. However we do expect our pay claims to be treated properly. You have again breached the procedures and we therefore see no useful purpose being served by continuing with meaningless local level meetings on the central issues, when it has already been decided what the pay award will be. If we are not to spend the early days of ITV plc in dispute and arguing our positions in the Press, then we need a clear agreement that procedures will be followed and that until procedures have been exhausted, meaningful negotiations will take place and no fait accompli decisions will be communicated to our areas of recognition.

2. Conditions of Service

Our entire claim for improvements to core conditions of service has been ignored; the claim did not even receive the courtesy of a response from the company.


We genuinely welcome the company's offer on shares and we would wish to accept the offer.

4. Pay

It is totally unacceptable that the basic pay award is below the rate of inflation for the third year in succession. Inflation on the 1st October was 2.9%, our claim of 5% was justified. We will not accept an offer on basic pay which is below the rate of inflation and which excludes all staff who have been employed for less than 6 months (I presume this means these staff could wait for up to 18 months before they receive a pay increase). Excluding them from the share offer is one thing but exclusion from the basic award is unacceptable.

We are also aware, contrary to the company's statement that eligibility for the pay and shares award is six months service, that other means are being deployed to deny the award to staff with more than six months' service. For example, staff in receipt of merit awards this year are being told they do not qualify as are staff who are paid on a weekly basis.

Equally unacceptable is your failure to address the basic pay of the lower paid; it displays the worst elements of boardroom greed to pay executives £1 million per year, while refusing to guarantee a minimum salary of £13,500 to staff, many of whom work long and unsociable hours. It may have missed the Directors of Granada but each of the party conferences emphasised the necessity for a fair deal overall, and placed particular emphasis on the need for a fair deal at work. There is a clear message here for all employers.

5. Counter-Proposal

In a final attempt to reach agreement the joint unions would like Granada to consider the following:

  1. the joint unions accept the share offer;
  2. the joint unions withdraw their claim for improvements to conditions of service;
  3. Granada makes a substantial increase to basic pay above the rate of inflation with such an award being paid to all staff employed as of 1st October;
  4. Granada agrees to a minimum salary of £13,500 (excluding London Weighting and pro-rata for part time staff);
  5. Granada and the joint unions agree that the procedure agreements will be followed as outlined earlier in this letter.

The joint unions request a response from the company no later than 14th November; the company's failure to take this counter-proposal seriously will lead the next meeting of representatives with few options on the way forward.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely
Gerry Morrissey
Assistant General Secretary

on behalf of BECTU, NUJ, Amicus

21 October 2003