the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

6 October 2011

BECTU insists that the BBC's plan to axe 2000 jobs at the same time as promising to deliver quality will not succeed. The union issued the following press release today, 6 October, in reply to the BBC's announcement on Delivering Quality First (DQF).

BBC’s proposals will destroy quality, says BECTU

BECTU, the media and entertainment union and the BBC’s biggest union is warning today that DQF will fail to deliver on its promise unless the proposals are overhauled.

The union has reacted angrily to the BBC’s decision to axe 2000 jobs and to make significant changes to staff terms and conditions including redundancy rights and payments for unsociable working.

The union believes that rather than delivering quality, the policy as it stands will destroy quality at the BBC through its combination of attacks on jobs, attacks on pay and conditions and cutbacks across a broad sweep of programming areas.

Commenting on today’s announcements, Gerry Morrissey, BECTU general secretary said:

“Whilst it was inevitable in the current climate that the BBC would be asked to continue to reduce costs, responsibility for the current huge challenges which the BBC faces rests with the government and with the BBC’s senior management. The shocking 11th hour deal on the licence fee which Mark Thompson agreed with the Treasury last October without any consultation at all, was hasty and will be the cause of regret for years to come unless the BBC agrees to revise DQF.

“The proposed salami-slicing cuts to services will destroy quality, destroy jobs and ultimately destroy the BBC.

BBC staff already working harder

“BBC staff have been working harder for several years to maintain the BBC’s reputation against a background of a minimum of 3 per cent efficiency savings every year. BECTU does not believe that today’s level of output can be maintained, at the same quality and to the satisfaction of the audience with the level of proposed cuts.”

“The planned attack on staff jobs and staff terms and conditions is a further slap in the face for BBC staff who are now working towards retirement on reduced pensions and on salaries which have not kept pace with inflation for any of the last three years.

The BBC’s proposals are not a fait accompli

“The BBC’s approach to negotiating change is to include in today’s announcement dates for implementation. BECTU does not accept that these proposals are a fait accompli and unless the BBC changes its stance, I believe we will see strike action at the BBC before Christmas.”


For further information contact Sharon Elliott, communications officer. on 020 7346 0900