Jobs at risk at ITV Westcountry as channel seeks to 'deliver financial savings'
More jobs could be lost at ITV Westcountry after the broadcaster invited applications for voluntary redundancy, it has emerged.
Staff were informed of the move on Friday but ITV has not disclosed how many jobs could go or how much money it is looking to save.
It is also unclear whether further redundancies could be threatened if not enough volunteers come forward over the next two weeks.
One member of the team in the Westcountry, who asked not be named, said it was "no surprise" that ITV News was looking to cut costs again.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
But they said the timing, just a few weeks after staff had accepted working an additional 10 hours per month for no extra pay, had taken some people aback.
"At the moment the company is keeping its cards very close to its chest as to how many people it wants to see leave," the staff member said.
"There is no clear picture as to how badly we might be affected. We may be less affected than some of the big players, such as Granada, who largely escaped the last round of redundancies."
The last major job cuts at ITV Westcountry were made four years ago when regional news programmes were merged with ITV West with bulletins being broadcast from Bristol.
About 80 jobs were axed as part of a nationwide scheme to reduce the broadcaster's costs by some £40 million.
"Staff understood that everyone has been affected by the state of the economy and that we are no different," the staff member added. "We are not just reporting it but living it is as well.
"But there is still a sense of annoyance at the timing considering what we have been through in terms of our hours and workload.
"I think there will be people who come forward and the worry for us is that we might lose some very experienced members of staff, which is good for the company and its bottom line, but which will adversely affect the quality of programmes."
In an internal e-mail to staff on Friday, Rachel Gledhill, head of human resources for ITV News, said it was "required to operate efficiently and operate in a commercial way, which includes the delivery of some financial savings before the end of this year".
She added: "As you know we are moving forward with some proposals for change including changes to our terms and conditions and within the next couple of months we will be announcing proposals to change some of the roles within our newsrooms.
"We appreciate that some colleagues will seek an alternative option to these changes and to assist with that we have decided to open a voluntary redundancy window in advance of any formal consultation process.
"We are doing this now so that individuals can think clearly and carefully about whether or not they wish to be part of the future at ITV."
A spokesman for ITV said: "Our priority is to continue to invest in regional news on an economically sustainable basis. The communication we have shared with staff is about a continuing future for news, and ensuring that our newsrooms are reflective of changing ways of working and improvements in technology and workflows across broadcasting.
"Providing colleagues with options is we believe the best way forward and is why at this stage we have to decided to open a voluntary redundancy process."