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31/01/2005

Bectu open 2005 pay negations with BBC Resources

Bectu, opening negotiations with BBC Resouces, the Corporation's commercial television facilities subsidiary, have turned down a two-year pay deal.
Bectu said that at the first negotiating meeting in this year's round of pay talks, BBC Resources Ltd had tabled an increase of 3.5% - the latest figure for inflation.
Management said that almost all the cash available for the 2005 pay rise had been put into the tabled basic increase. BBC Resources emphasised that trading conditions remained tough due to fierce competition, but union negotiators are seeking 4.5%, coupled with a £750 minimum increase to improve rates for the lower-paid.
At the recent meeting a management proposal for a two-year deal, with a second RPI increase in 2006 was also turned down by the union who are seeking an improved percentage increase, and better conditions for trainees in Resources.
Union representatives have argued that the company is expecting another "profitable year." But BBC Resources maintains that there is no scope to raise prices at the same rate as inflation was increasing. Funding to support such a pay rise would entail higher prices levied on BBC and external customers or mean further internal savings would have to be made.
Bectu said that management had agreed to study the union's 4.5% claim. Both sides are expected to meet again in February.
(SP)
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