Tuesday 25 October 2011

Unions to ballot over BBC cuts and job losses

The NUJ and the other broadcasting unions are to ballot their members at the BBC after claiming that the Corporation is determined to press ahead with redundancies and cuts to services after rejecting proposals put to them by the unions.

The union proposals included:
  • Withdrawal of the 1st April imposition date on changes to terms and conditions for new joiners.
  • No formal consultation with the unions to commence before the BBC Trust concludes its public consultation in areas covered by the public consultation.
  • Full public examination of the plan to move factual programmes from Birmingham to Bristol.
  • Co-ordinated voluntary redundancy trawls in BBC divisions prior to formal consultation in all areas - rather than all divisions acting differently and arbitrarily from one another.
  • No new pay and grading structure to be implemented prior to the end of this licence fee settlement.
The unions say the BBC has accepted that it will await the outcome of public consultation in two areas – local radio and Asian Network – before starting formal consultation, but it has said that if the outcome of the consultation is delayed beyond March 2012 it reserves the right to begin formal consultation.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “It is vital that any consultation process that takes place over such major cuts across the BBC is genuine and meaningful – the NUJ is not prepared to accept a fait accompli.

“These misguided cuts put the BBC’s very future as a world class public service broadcaster at stake. BBC executives and the Coalition government might not care about quality journalism and programming, but staff and members of the public care passionately about the Corporation’s future. It will be up to all NUJ members and the wider public to fight for our BBC and I urge everyone to do all they can to support our campaign.”

BBC reps will meet next week to discuss the next steps.

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