21 October 2010
BECTU has insisted that it will help its members to resist compulsory redundancies after Ofcom announced (21 October) that it wants to close 170 posts.
The industry regulator is tasked with making budget cuts of 30 per cent by 2015 in response to government decisions taken in the Comprehensive Spending Review.
After briefing staff today, management opened a 90-day consultation period with an invitation to staff in the affected pools to declare an interest in voluntary redundancy. Most BECTU members work in Content and Standards, one of the areas deemed to be in scope.
Commenting on the developments, supervisory official, David Beevers, said:
"We believe that the call for these substantial post closures from Content and Standards is ill-judged. These staff help to generate income for the Exchequer through their work on broadcast licences. Other roles, such as HR and legal, are deemed to be out of scope so we'll be questionning this rationale."
"It is hoped that all post closures will be achieved via volunteers; however we will assist our members to resist any compulsory redundancies.
Management also announced the closure of the defined benefit pension scheme to future accruals from March 2011. David Beevers commented:
" As far as the closure of the defined benefit pension scheme is concerned, we will oppose this move, not least because it is no more than a gesture. There are now only a handful of people still active in the scheme therefore savings will be minimal."
Union officials from BECTU and Prospect will be meeting management again in the next few days.