BBC Radio OBs agree to keep talking

Officials involved in the dispute with the BBC over the pay and grading of radio OB engineers have agreed to hold further talks at local level.

The dispute, which had threatened to affect the BBC’s coverage of the Olympics, led to a senior level meeting this week which decided that more talks at local level could hold the key to reaching agreement.

“We believe the answer to resolving this dispute lies with further local talks”

It has been agreed that such further discussions should be completed, ideally, by the end October and that the aim of these additional efforts should be to produce an agreement that is sustainable for the long term.

After protracted negotiations on the union’s claim, BECTU representatives are committed to ensuring that radio OB engineers, at all levels of experience, are properly rewarded for the expertise they bring to the BBC’s output.

In the event that more local discussions are not successful, either party has the right to refer the matter to ACAS for binding arbitration. Such arbitration would produce a binding decision, for or against the union’s claim.

Commenting on this week’s developments BECTU Supervisory Official Helen Ryan said, “We believe that the answer to resolving this dispute lies with further local talks and that everyone’s interests would be best served if the dispute can be resolved directly between those who know and care most about this aspect of the BBC’s service.”

Friday 15 August 2008