BBC strikes deal with NUJ over job cuts

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The BBC and staff unions have reached a comprimise over
controversial plans to cut 4,000 jobs after four hours of talks
yesterday.
 
The corporation has agreed to work with
unions on the implementation of the cuts and the NUJ has halted further
plans for industrial action.
 
At yesterday’s meeting between BBC director
general Mark Thompson, the NUJ, Bectu and Amicus received a letter from
the BBC setting out a framework that involves them in negotiations over
job cuts, something the BBC had previously ruled out.
 
The NUJ has said it is still committed to
avoiding compulsory redundancies at the BBC but has compromised on its
previous demand that the corporation guarantee no forced redundancies.
 
The BBC has proposed that:
 
*divisional meetings with unions and trawls for voluntary redundancies will take place simultaneously,
 
*failure to agree on issues at divisional level will mean the issue can be referred to the national level,
 
*a further meeting be held with the unions before the end of the year to review developments.
 
The proposal is offered on the grounds that the
unions accept the offer the BBC made to the unions at industrial
arbitration body ACAS to freeze compulsory redundancies until 2006 and
to withhold the sale of BBC Resources until 2007 which the unions first
rejected.
 
NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear said: “We made
it very clear that we retain the right to take further industrial
action should the BBC fail to engage in meaningful negotiations and
adequately address our concerns on the impact of any job cuts on
working conditions and the quality of programmes.”
 
All three unions are now expected to put the BBC proposals to their members.
 

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