'Don't treat freelances as second class, BBC'

The NUJ has condemned the BBC for offering full-time staff a 3.5 per
cent pay rise but saying freelances can get a maximum of just two per
cent.

The union said the BBC must stop treating freelances as “second class citizens” and
offer them the same rights as permanent workers. Full-timers have
accepted the 3.5 per cent offer, but freelances have been told they can
have discussions which will lead to a two per cent increase at most.

The corporation refused to comment as Press Gazette went to press, except to confirm that it was aware of the NUJ’s statement.

NUJ
broadcasting officer Paul McLaughlin said: “At a time when the BBC
seems to be bending over backwards to line the pockets of the big
independent players, they seem to be denying basic increases to our
hardworking freelance members. This is a scandal and a clear example of
double standards. It’s time we put a stop to this injustice. Freelances
at the BBC must come together and take action.”

He said the BBC
had not given the NUJ collective negotiating rights on behalf of
freelances, and recently brought in new unfair practices, including
ending late night and early morning transport for freelances and
denying them paid release to work through online training modules, set
up in response to criticisms levelled in the Hutton Report.

“This
all comes at a time when ‘Building Public Value’, the BBC’s mission
statement for Charter Renewal, talks about recognising the special
relationship that the BBC has with the freelance community,” he added.

The NUJ is asking freelances to contact it with examples of BBC unequal treatment: johnt@nuj.org

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