Creative Futures - BBC Scotland

BBC Scotland is unlikely to pursue compulsory redundancies after a strong response from staff to the recent call for volunteers.

BBC Scotland had declared that it would be forced to cut 100 jobs as its contribution to the BBC’s Creative Futures programme. The ironically titled strategy put at risk 2500 jobs across the BBC last October.

More than 100 staff at BBC Scotland have since expressed an interest in leaving on a voluntary basis; between 20-30 of these staff are not employed in areas directly targetted for cuts. That said, management has agreed to look to release the maximum number of people in order to create redeployment opportunities for staff in at-risk departments. Management will report to BECTU, the NUJ and Unite next month on how many redeployment opportunities have been identified.

“The joint union side are less concerned now about the threat of compulsory redundancies at BBC Scotland in response to Creative Futures. Whilst the talks since October have been difficult, the interest amongst staff in voluntary redundancy, within the context of the new agreement, makes the current situation more palatable” explained Scottish Officer Paul McManus.

Strike action across the BBC was averted last month when union officials and senior management agreed on a range of measures designed to lessen the impact of the job cuts and to protect terms and conditions for continuing and future staff. An agreement in principle, which will be the subject of a ballot in March, was reached after 19 hours of talks.

“BECTU will continue to support its members until these discussions are concluded.” pledged Paul McManus. Staff who are planning to transfer to the freelance market will be encouraged to make use of the networks available through BECTU and of the advice on Self-Marketing and Business Skills which the union can provide. Members at BBC Scotland interested in accessing these services should contact one of their local representatives: Alistair Hendrie, Yana Thandrayan, Katrina Miller, Stewart Aitken or Fearchar Macillfhinnein, to register their interest and to raise any additional queries.

The union continues to work on finding redeployment for assistant producer members whose posts were put at risk by the earlier Value for Money exercise.

Thursday 7 February 2008