BBC journalists start corporation-wide work-to-rule over compulsory job cuts

BBC journalists have agreed to corporation-wide industrial action over compulsory redundancies, according to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

At an NUJ meeting of Mothers and Fathers of BBC Chapels it was agreed to extend the work to rule by Scottish members nationwide.

The NUJ has also announced there will be national strike action unless BBC management redeploys staff under the “agreed scheme”.

NUJ members in Glasgow, Edinburgh, including the Scottish parliament, and Selkirk in the Borders have been on  a work to rule since Friday over nine compulsory redundancies at BBC Scotland.
 
The job losses across the corporation, – also expected at Newsbeat, Five Live, Big Screens, Asian Network and the World Service – are part of the BBC’s Delivering Quality First cuts programme, with more than 2,000 jobs expected to be lost.

NUJ broadcasting organiser Sue Harris said it was "madness" that the corporation is advertising job vacancies while also laying off "qualified staff". She added: "It is a waste of money and talent."
 
NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “Our members are being forced to escalate action against these compulsory redundancies because of the lack of movement from management to properly use the redeployment system – this lack of engagement is particularly entrenched in BBC Scotland where nine members face losing their job at the end of March.
 
“Just last week a former NUJ rep Russell Maddicks won his case against the BBC for unfair dismissal – the industrial tribunal found fault with key elements of the BBC’s processes and procedures.

"Russell lost his job despite there being suitable available redeployment opportunities – NUJ members at the BBC are determined to ensure that no one else loses their job because of such pointless bureaucracy and managerial intransigence.
 
“If the BBC wants to resolve this dispute, they need to engage meaningfully with the NUJ and find opportunities for these talented experienced journalists at risk – rather than waste public money on needless compulsory redundancies.”

NUJ Scotland organiser Paul Holleran said: “A major concern among members in Scotland is the loss of specialist reporters and correspondents.

"This will result in a serious dumbing down of output.

"In the lead up to the independence referendum we need experts in education, business and politics – three areas where cuts are being made.

"Scotland needs skilled, experienced reporters asking searching questions on the economic, cultural and political implications of independence or retaining the status quo."
 
He added: “It will also have a knock-on effect on the quality coverage of the Commonwealth Games, which while not as grand in scale as the Olympics, nevertheless should be offering a wonderful chance for BBC Scotland to showcase the range of skills and creativity which exists among broadcasting staff north of the border.  

“We expect the work to rule to have an immediate impact as staff levels are already too low.”

A spokesperson from the BBC said: “We’re continuing to work closely with our staff and the unions to seek redeployment wherever possible and those talks are on-going.”

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