BBC broadcasting

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has voted to begin balloting all members at the BBC for industrial action in opposition to any compulsory redundancies. Presently, NUJ members are facing the prospect of compulsory redundancy at the World Service, BBC News and across England at BBC Local.

The NUJ believes that compulsory redundancy could be avoided through redeployment and flexibility. According to the NUJ, morale of staff at the BBC is at an ‘all time low’.

The BBC is currently undergoing a major restructure of its local broadcasting, with much of it being replaced by regional outputs. The plans would lead to local radio content being cut by almost half.

NUJ representatives across England say the restructure has been ‘chaotic’ and suggest inadequate technology has been in place with reports of long delays, unfilled vacancies of critical roles, and no information on rotas.

The NUJ says that one of those decision makers in the dispute, the BBC Director of Nations Rhodri Talfan Davies, said at a staff meeting this week journalists should “live in the real world” and  blamed the union for problems during the restructuring that is taking place.

Paul Siegert, NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said: “So far the Director of Nations has been the invisible man. Declining to meet with angry MPs or to sit down with NUJ negotiators.  Yet he has found time to blame the NUJ for all the current issues, problems and delays in the roll-out of his own flawed plan. While our members deal with the fall-out of that, his only contribution is to attack the union and the collective bargaining process from the sidelines.

“This dispute is resolvable and requires serious engagement, not petty provocations. If the BBC refuse to engage properly, as befits a public body, NUJ members across the BBC stand prepared to widen this dispute including taking strike action if necessary.”

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Image credit: Igbofur – Creative Commons