the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

17 October 2011

BECTU General Secretary Gerry Morrissey takes issue with remarks made to BBC Belfast staff by BBC Director General Mark Thompson.

Speaking at a meeting of BBC staff in Belfast on Friday, Mark Thompson told staff facing possible redundancy:

"If you're really that unhappy, if you think that you can't do your best work here then leave – no one is forcing you to stay."

BECTU General Secretary, Gerry Morrissey said;

"This is a contemptuous remark, and it shows how out of touch the DG is with the real concerns of BECTU members. The Director General needs to understand that BBC staff are committed to preserving the quality and integrity of BBC output and see his proposals as putting all of that at risk.

Staff are unhappy about these proposal but union members have no intention of leaving and we will take strike action to protect the BBC from management vandalism."

BECTU will campaign for a real consultation around the Delivering Quality First proposals. The Union have already reacted to the way that the BBC's protestations that it is willing to listen to staff concerns about quality are being undermined by the presentation of many cuts as a fait accompli, and this outburst from Thompson is the latest piece of evidence of this happening.