News archives 1998

News headlines in chronological order

January 1998 to December 1998

December 1998

The BBC's unions have agreed to a one month delay in the introduction of the Working Time Directive, originally scheduled for January 1 1999.

An eleventh hour deal has been struck between the broadcasting unions NUJ, BECTU and AEEU and Scottish Media Group to head off TV strikes over Christmas and New Year.

BECTU members have voted to take industrial action over pay and job cuts at two ITV companies, Scottish and Grampian.

New UK legislation introduces a statutory right for businesses to claim interest on the late payment of commercial debts.

BECTU is to mount a legal challenge to the UK government's interpretation of the European Working Time Directive annual leave provisions.

Four ITV stations owned by Granada could face industrial action in February, after a breakdown in talks over this year's pay claim.

The national agreement covering members working in theatres around the country now incorporates the Working Time Regulations and a 3.3% pay increase.

The way forward for freelance BECTU members is not to sign opt-outs from the Working Time Regulations.

November 1998

Granada Media Group (GMG) have failed to improve their pay offer against the background of increased profits and reduced franchise payments.

Royal Opera House BECTU members have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a deal following negotiations concerning the future of the House.

Members of BECTU, NUJ and AEEU have issued strike notices to Scottish Media Group, owner of Scottish Television and Grampian Television.

In it's evidence to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) the union argues against the proposed merger of BSkyB and Manchester United.

BECTU has held the first in a series of meetings to discuss how the union can help those working in new media.

The union has written to the BBC's Board of Governors "to ensure that in 1999 no member of senior management receives a higher pay rise than the staff".

The BBC has agreed to a 4% increase in radio freelance Talk rates following discussions.

October 1998

BECTU welcomes the statement issued by the board of directors of the Royal Opera House following their meeting on 28 October.

An open meeting for those working in new media sectors is due to be held in mid-November at the union's Head Office.

Thousands of BBC union members today (20 October) took industrial action for three hours, and their unions hailed the stoppage as a success.

Working Time Regulations negotiations between BECTU and employers reveal a varied picture across the UK media industry.

Advice on the newly introduced Working Time Regulations for BECTU members in the BBC has been issued.

Members of all three BBC unions will be taking strike action on 20 October following a ballot over this year's 4% pay increase.

Projectionists at Virgin cinemas have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in a pay claim dispute.

September 1998

Voting is now taking place amongst all three BBC staff unions in the industrial action ballot over this year's 4% pay offer.

Bournemouth will be the venue for BECTU's 1999 Annual and Rules Revision Conference.

BECTU has condemned the ultimatum from management to negotiate redundancies and worsen conditions of service or face the sacking of all staff.

The BBC is to be told by unions that an industrial action ballot will be held in the campaign to improve this year's 4% pay offer.

Stewart Till, Chair of the Government Film Policy Review and President of Polygram Filmed Entertainment, will be speaking at an open meeting on 10 September.

The union's lawyers have won more than £0.5million for members in just four months.

August 1998

Hundreds of job cuts have been announced in BBC Resources Limited only weeks after 4500 staff were transferred to the new company's books.

BECTU is urging all radio freelances to attend a meeting to discuss recent worrying developments for freelance radio producers and sole traders.

Members of all three staff unions at the BBC have voted to reject this year's 4% pay offer.

The campaign to win copyright rewards for Directors continues with a major meeting planned for 26 October in Central London.

Avril Barker, the union backed BBC Pension Scheme Trustee candidate, has been successful in the recent election.

The consultative pay ballot, covering all BECTU, NUJ and AEEU members in the BBC, closes on Monday 17 August.

BECTU's News/Factual Network has been established for freelance members in London and the South East.

Industrial action continues at LWT, while union members wait to see if management are going to come up with a proposal to settle the long-running pay dispute.

The 1998 BECTU and NUJ pay and conditions claim at ITN includes a 10 per cent increase in basic salary rates.

Advice for BBC staff appealing against decisions arising from this year's salary management decisions.

July 1998

BBC union members are being balloted about this year's pay offer, and are urged to reject the 'unacceptable' offer.

Industrial action at London Weekend Television (LWT) is continuing following the successful 13 July strike.

Conditions for BBC Resources staff have been agreed after the recent ballot - however BECTU remains opposed to the principle of establishing a limited company.

A major survey of training needs in London theatre and production companies has been agreed between the union and management representatives.

A half day conference focusing on career development for writers has been organised for September in Central London.

BECTU and its fellow BBC unions are demanding the same pay increases for staff as those enjoyed by top management over the last year.

Strike action at London Weekend Television (LWT) has been carried out in protest at the imposition of an effective pay cut.

The BBC's joint unions have flatly rejected a 4% pay offer, and BECTU plans to run a consultative postal ballot.

BECTU's BBC members have voted to accept a package tabled at ACAS after the June 4 stoppage.

June 1998

Negotiations on this year's 9% pay claim for BBC members are due to begin on July 13.

The latest stage in the Free for All museum admission charges campaign was marked by a demonstration at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

BECTU's solicitors, Thompsons, recovered over £1million pounds for union members in 1997 according to recently released figures.

The seminar British Cinema Futures will include a keynote speech by Films Minister Tom Clarke.

BECTU is collating details of driving accidents and near misses which could be due to excessive working hours.

Members of the Broadcasting union, BECTU, employed in the BBC will be commencing a twenty-four hour stoppage at midnight tonight.

May 1998

BECTU has issued an urgent notice to it's freelance members about the current major disputes with the BBC.

Two dates have been annnounced for 24-hour strikes at the BBC.

BECTU is centrally involved in a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) working party looking at how to improve safety standards in film production.

Roger Bolton, BECTU's current General Secretary, has been re-elected for a second five year term by a ballot of members.

BECTU members who have been campaigning for free public access to museums have reacted with delight to a £9 million boost from the Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

BECTU's 1998 Annual Conference in Manchester is fast approaching in mid-May.

April 1998

BECTU members voting in two important elections are reminded that the closing dates for voting are within the next few weeks.

BECTU's Producers' and Directors' committee is holding an evening's discussion on the future of Lottery funded film.

Granada union members have voted by a huge majority to take industrial action in protest against their below inflation pay increase of three per cent.

Dates have now been set for two industrial action ballots for members throughout the BBC.

Staff employed in the stores area at NTL's central repair and stores facility based at Britannia Park, Lichfield, have fought off derecognition.

Campaigning by BECTU and PIRC before this year's Granada Group AGM resulted in an unprecedented vote against boardroom greed.

Talks about BBC Resources Limited end without agreement. Industrial action likely after members' ballot.

March 1998

BBC Resource members vote overwhelmingly against Limited Company status, and union warns that industrial action may follow.

Talks on the establishment of BBC Resources Limited, an incorporated company comprising 4500 existing Resources staff, broke down on Monday March 23.

While the public are being encouraged to look ahead with hope to the new Radio 4 schedules, programme staff will be worrying about their futures.

This year's BBC pay claim is a straight demand for a 9% increase with a minimum rise of £900.

BECTU members at the English National Opera and the Royal Opera House have called a rally in defence of both houses.

Ballots are to be held in the BECTU London Production and Regional Production Divisions following the closing date for nominations of candidates for the union's NEC election.

February 1998

BECTU is planning a referendum of its Resources members after the first meeting with BBC management to discuss the transfer of 4,500 staff to a new company.

BECTU has launched a campaign against plans to hive off 4,500 BBC staff into new subsidiary company.

At the closing date for the BECTU General Secretary election, two candidates were nominated by branches: Roger Bolton and Vincent Feiner.

The BBC Board of Governors are again considering proposals to turn the BBC Resources Directorate into a limited company.

The UK Inland Revenue has outlined potentially damaging changes in expenses rules due to take effect in April.

Norwich is the venue for the BECTU-organised new technology event and trade show to be held on 24 February.

January 1998

BECTU is recruiting for a National Official working with the union's head office team of broadcasting officials.

Negotiations have concluded with BBC London TV Studios management about proposed cuts with ten staff members leaving on voluntary redundancy terms.

The BBC Board of Governors are considering revised proposals to incorporate the BBC Resources Directorate.

The election of the BECTU NEC for 1998-2000 will take place from early March until late April.

Granada Media Group are proposing up to 140 post cuts affecting staff at Granada TV, Yorkshire/Tynes Tees TV and London Weekend TV.

BECTU is pressing for improvements to the redundancy package for those being made redundant from ABC cinemas.

BECTU is participating in a major joint campaign pressing for the rights of film and television directors.

Last updated 4 April 2000