the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

24 July 2009

Union members at Ofcom have condemned the Board's decision to impose a wage freeze on staff until July 2010.

The Board's decision to cut the licence fees paid by companies such as BT and ITV plc and, in some instances, to return remitted funds to ease the recessionary pressures on the sector, has had a direct impact on the fortunes of Ofcom staff.

Political grandstanding

In effect, half of the £1.9m bonus pot was returned to licensees. BECTU has criticised the move as political grandstanding by the Ofcom board.

The pay freeze was imposed last month irrespective of the outcome of performance reviews; the majority of members will not receive any increase in pay. However, colleagues who rated 'exceptional' have received something.

Commenting on Ofcom's pay system, BECTU representative, Martin Stubbs, said: "Ofcom's assessment and reward culture is difficult to understand and could be described as opaque, at best."

News of the freeze was delivered to staff ahead of a formal briefing to recognised unions BECTU and Prospect. 

Local union reps, along with head office officials, have pushed Ofcom to explain how this decision was reached. Management has insisted that the decision is not open to negotiation. Local reps will press for talks to continue.