12 March 2009
BECTU and the NUJ have accused the BBC and ITV of bad faith following their confirmation of plans to share regional news resources.
Today (Thursday) the broadcasters announced their agreement on a “memorandum of understanding” which outlines proposals for a long term Service Level Agreement which involves the sharing of infrastructure and facilities at BBC premises.
These conversations have been cloaked in secrecy and their progression hidden from staff and unions alike.
Since the possibility was first broached several months ago, the recognised unions have been seeking meetings about what has been dubbed, effectively, a takeover of regional news by the BBC.
To date there has been no formal consultation with the joint unions about the proposals by either broadcaster. What is worse, both broadcasters have denied that talks have been on-going.
“These conversations have been cloaked in secrecy and their progression hidden from staff and unions alike. This, despite repeated calls for clarification and serious concerns being raised by members in both organisations.” said a statement issued by BECTU and the NUJ.
Both unions have expressed major doubts about the impact of the plans on their members, on programming, on editorial independence and on the service available to local audiences.