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29/11/2010

BBC Meets Unions At ACAS Over Pensions

Broadcast union BECTU is to take part in a crucial meeting with BBC representatives at ACAS tomorrow.
They have agreed to meet joint union officials at ACAS on Tuesday 30 November in a bid to clarify a final point in its pension reform proposals.
The one issue outstanding after talks this month relates to the BBC's discretion when it comes to the revaluation of pension benefits for staff who join the new career average scheme, CAB 2011.
The new scheme is part of the package negotiated with the joint unions (BECTU, the NUJ and Unite) to secure pensions reform. The changes also affect members of Equity and the Musicians' Union.
Commenting on the agreement to hold talks at ACAS, Gerry Morrissey, BECTU General Secretary, said: "I am hopeful that we can expect to find a form of words which will mean that the BBC only ever has to exercise its discretion on this issue in exceptional circumstances.
"We have met regularly with the joint unions over the last two weeks and we are pleased that we have reached agreement and understanding with them on almost all the points on which they had asked for clarity.
"We are continuing to talk and have agreed with the joint unions to use the support of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) to help resolve the final point of clarification.
"We have confirmed with the joint unions that we will be using ACAS services to find a form of words to help clarify a specific issue and we are not going to be re-opening negotiations on any of our final proposals," he said, promising that "we will keep members updated over the next few days".
In October, BECTU, Unite, Equity and the Musicians' Union confirmed their members' acceptance of the pensions proposals negotiated with the BBC. Members of the NUJ voted to reject the proposals and took strike action on 5 and 6 November.
(BMcC/GK)
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