Red Bee ups pay offer to 3%

Playout company opts for peace with improved pay offer

Playout company opts for peace with improved pay offer

Playout company Red Bee Media, previously BBC Broadcast, has improved its 2006 pay offer.

A new offer of 3.0% and a performance bonus for most staff has been tabled by Red Bee for its entire staff effective on August 1 2006, and a postal ballot is being conducted on the new offer with no recommendation from the union on whether to accept or reject.

This follows the recent rejection of a 2.5% Pay Offer after a consultative ballot voted 4 to 1 to reject, again on a neutral recommendation.

BECTU representatives from Red Bee Media met with the Company to discuss a revised offer on June 30th and to outline the package in greater detail.

The company's proposed offer of 2.6% was rejected by negotiators as it still fell short of inflation and was effectively a pay cut. However the Company issued a new offer on Monday July 3rd and after consultation with the negotiators a postal ballot is now being run.

A minimum increase of £600 for lower paid staff is included in the offer, and the 3% rise applies to all flat and T-rated payments, unpredictability allowances, overtime, night payments, WOODs payments, Christmas and holiday payments.

In addition the Company has given a commitment to freeze staff contributions to the Red Bee Media Pension Plan at 6.0% of salary until August 2007.

Given that the initial pay claim of 5.0% was met by the Company offering 2.0% the current offer is a significant improvement. This was achieved simply through the rejection of the initial offer and the threat of industrial action looming in their first year under new owners Macquarie Bank of Australia.

One of the main sticking points was the principle of a performance-related bonus. Since incorporation in 2002 Staff had received between £500 and £750 as a one off bonus in May.

When BECTU asked if this was to be the case the company stated that due to the year-end moving to June 2006, (to fit Australian Stock Exchange rules) any company performance bonus would be rolled into a payment in August and a minimum of £1000 would be paid to between 85%-90% of staff.

Those who would not receive a bonus are staff involved in the formal disciplinary process or on a performance review.

During the pay talks the company stressed that it would prefer to use the bonus to incentivise the staff but admitted that in bad years there may be no bonus. BECTU argued that it would be setting an extremely bad precedent if in its first year of separate pay bargaining Red Bee could not even offer an inflation-matching pay award.

Red Bee will be awarding staff the following pro rata breakdown of bonus to 85%-90% of staff.

  • If employed between 3-6 months = £500
  • If between 6-9 months = £750
  • If 10 months-1 year = £1,000

BECTU's consultative ballot of members closes on July 21, leaving time for the rise to be paid in August pay packets if members accept the offer.

10 July 2006