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26/02/2001

STRIKE THREAT AT CARLTON TV

BECTU members at Carlton are expected to be balloted regarding possible industrial action after ACAS pay talks collapsed.
Negotiators representing members at the company's Nottingham, Birmingham, and Abingdon sites, turned down a 2.5 per cent pay offer on February 23 and announced that they would hold an industrial action ballot. Plans for an earlier ballot were postponed when Carlton agreed to attend the peace talks at ACAS following an overwhelming rejection of the 2.5 per cent offer by members in January.
Although BECTU, and the NUJ whose members are also covered by the offer, had hoped that significant improvements might be tabled by the company at ACAS, there was no change in the basic 2.5 per cent pay increase, which was first proposed last September.
The company was, however, willing to offer a guarantee that contract staff in Carlton Broadcast and Carlton Studios would be given permanent contracts after two years employment. An increase of 15 per cent was also proposed in the ‘high mileage’ car allowance paid to staff covering more than 5,000 miles a year on company business.
Representatives believed that without an improvement in the basic 2.5 per cent offer, and some degree of ‘bottom-loading’ for low-paid staff, there could be no settlement to the pay dispute, which has been running since the scheduled anniversary date of October 1, 2000.
Carlton management had promised at ACAS to present the unions with details of their revised offer in writing early in week beginning February 26, and BECTU expects to begin balloting for industrial action shortly after the documentation is received. (CD)
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