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Unions seek fair reward system at BBC

23 February 2010

BECTU, the NUJ and Unite have submitted their joint pay claim to BBC management ahead of the review due on 1 August 2010.

 The BBC's Pacific Quay building in GlasgowBBC Scotland's HQ at Pacific Quay, Glasgow: BBC staff across the UK are covered by the joint union pay claim.

The claim, delivered on Monday 22 February, seeks agreement on an RPI plus 2 per cent increase in basic pay underpinned by a minimum increase of £1000 to assist the lowest paid.

The latest inflation figure reported last week stands at 3.7 per cent.

Read the full claim

In preparing the claim officials have considered the 2000 jobs lost to the Corporation since the Creative Futures' project was launched in 2007. These job losses have led to a huge rise in productivity for remaining staff against a background where programme output and services have remained constant.

Senior management pay restraint

The unions' drive for fair reward for staff is reinforced by the call for effective restraint on senior management pay to 'regain public and staff confidence.'

The unions are together in pressing the BBC to work towards a system  to deliver a future where 'no one should earn more than five times the mean average salary of a BBC employee.'

 'One BBC' must include contracted staff as well

The unions are also keen to see the BBC demand minimum pay standards from its contractors, several of whom employ staff on low incomes. The unions want the BBC to insist on a minimum hourly rate of £7.60, a figure widely recognised as the minimum recommended London living wage.

Writing to Rachel Currie, BBC HR director, Helen Ryan, BECTU's BBC supervisory official said:

 "Notwithstanding the fact that it is up to the contractors to negotiate their contracts with yourself, we do believe that there is a moral obligation on the BBC to ensure that nobody working on a BBC contract, be it for a contractor/outsourced company [should] be paid less than £7.60 per hour."

In 2009 BBC staff accepted a modest flat rate increase of £450 and were also subject to an increase in pension contributions of 0.75 per cent. A further increase in employee pension contributions, also at 0.75 per cent, is due in April 2010.

The unions' claim is focussed on addressing what in effect was a pay cut for BBC staff in 2009 when inflation rises are factored in. 

The unions have requested an early meeting with BBC management and expect talks to be well underway before the end of March.

The joint unions are recognised by the Corporation for the negotiation of BBC staff terms and conditions across the UK. In broad terms BECTU is recognised to represent staff in all BBC grades, the NUJ is specifically recognised for journalists and Unite represents staff working in production lighting and electrical maintenance.  Join BECTU

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