Five editorial posts at risk of redundancy in Scotsman Publications

FIVE editorial posts have been earmarked for redundancy at Scotsman Publications, three of them sub-editors.

Staff were briefed at 12.30pm by John McLellan, editor-in-chief at the group’s three titles: The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News.

As well as the three sub-editor posts at risk of redundancy, a Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday writer has been identified plus a post on the picture desk.

Owners, Johnston Press, has invited applications for voluntary redundancy.

The move follows agreement last week by the group’s National Union of Journalists chapel to accept a two per cent pay offer by the company, plus three freelancers being offered permanent roles and three members of staff having their pay substantially increased after it was recognised they were being underpaid.

Says a memo to staff from Andrew Richardson, managing director of The Scotsman Publications Limited: “TSPL’s financial performance in 2011 has been very disappointing largely due to declining advertising revenues from agencies. Therefore, a series of initiatives have been put in place to improve performance in 2012, including activities to stimulate revenues as well as cost reduction programs.

“In editorial the cost reduction program is envisaged to lead to a reduction in staff numbers of five full-time equivalents within the specific areas of general writing (one role), the picture desk (one role) and down table subs (three roles). No other changes are currently planned.

“Discussions have commenced with the NUJ regarding these changes and the company has agreed to consider requests for voluntary redundancy and/or changes in existing working arrangements from those staff working in these areas.

“Relevant staff who wish to consider voluntary redundancy or alternative working arrangements should contact either their line manager or the Human Resources Department. It should be noted that indicating an interest in applying for voluntary redundancy will not at this stage be regarded as a formal commitment and the company reserves the right to refuse voluntary redundancy applications in order to retain key skills within the business.”