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30/03/2001

BECTU STEP UP ACTION IN BBC DISPUTE

BECTU have announced that the on-going work-to-rule campaign by BBC members, over changes in expenses rules, is being stepped up.
Members have been told that they can refuse duties away from base if management fail to arrange full payments for accommodation. The union expects that hotel bills will either be paid directly by the BBC, or by individuals being given cash advances.
Additionally, members can also decline location duties if management refuse to authorise in advance full reimbursement for meals that are expected to exceed the new limits of £6 and £10.
Letters have been sent to all BBC members outlining the extension of a work-to-rule that has been running for more than a month, since changes in expenses payments were imposed without agreement.
The new sanctions, which will add to the list of five restrictions that have been in place since the work-to-rule began, were approved after complaints that staff were running out of cash.
Members observing part of the work-to-rule, under which all accommodation should be booked by management, were routinely being put into high-cost hotels, and were also having difficulty winning authorisation for expensive meals.
As a result, many of them were experiencing cash-flow problems, exacerbated by lengthy delays in the processing of expenses claims.
Members were expected to impose the new restrictions immediately, after the BBC was given written notice as a courtesy. (GB)
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