The three main unions representing BBC staff have been meeting today to discuss their response to an offer tabled by the BBC after all-night talks four days ago in a bid to end strike action over planned cuts and privatisation.
The unions say that although the offer contained concessions sufficient to justify consultative ballots in BBC Broadcast and BBC Resources, both threatened with sell-offs, they believe that the BBC has not gone far enough to avoid compulsory redudancies elsewhere. They have called for a meeting with Mark Thompson to discuss a framework in which divisional level negotiations on compulsory job cuts could go ahead, without denying unions the right to take further industrial action if the outcome of those talks is unsatisfactory.
In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the unions warned that the dispute, over roughly 4,000 job cuts at the BBC, which has already led to a one-day strike on May 23, was not over.
BECTU’s Assistant General Secretary, Gerry Morrissey, said: “We welcome the proposals in relation to the privatisation of BBC Resources, and the guarantees that are expected on behalf of members in BBC Broadcast if it is sold off. However, on the issue of compulsory redundancies there is still a significant gap between the unions and the BBC, which we hope will be bridged by divisional-level talks on the details of the cuts. If not there will be renewed industrial action.”