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06/07/2001

APPRAISAL ACTION STARTS AT BBC

BBC MEMBERS have been instructed to boycott annual appraisals from July 9.
The action, aimed at the BBC's performance pay system, won support in a postal ballot of BECTU members working for the BBC and BBC Technology.
NUJ members also supported the boycott in a postal ballot, and began their appraisal boycott in late June.
Both unions had hoped that changes to the performance pay system would emerge from a joint management/union working party which began discussions behind closed doors late in 2000.
The initiative was proposed by the BBC after the unions called for the performance pay system to be scrapped during the 2000 annual pay talks.
By April 2001 however, the unions were expressing frustration at the lack of progress in the joint working party, and discussions terminated later that month.
A key issue leading to the breakdown was the BBC's insistence that annual appraisals would always be linked to individual performance increases.
Unions believed that this ruled out any possibility of reaching agreement on a pay system that was felt to be fair by staff, and pulled out of the talks.
Since 1995, when the current performance pay system began, staff have regularly complained to the unions that individual awards are inconsistent and often unfair. BECTU has officially denounced the performance pay scheme as ‘opaque, unfair, and discriminatory’.
From Monday July 9, members are advised to refuse invitations from managers to attend appraisal interviews. In most areas, these annual interviews are used to set individual and group targets which form the basis of the performance pay system.
Although many members will already have been through their appraisal interviews for 2001, the unions intend to keep the boycott going until the next interview season begins in early 2002, when the action is hoped to bring the BBC's performance pay scheme to a halt.
Members in BBC Worldwide are not affected by the instruction, nor are members in BBC Resources Ltd, where separate talks on a new pay structure will begin if members accept this year's 3 per cent pay offer. (CD)
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