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27/09/2006

Further BBC job cuts announced

According to BECTU, BBC News has announced 108 job cuts with BECTU members making up around half of the total.
The cuts will be implemented by the end of March next year.
BECTU has stated that it will be prepared to take industrial action if any member faces compulsory redundancy as a result of the third year of Director General Mark Thompson's cuts in BBC News.
The cuts - justified by the BBC claiming this will save around £11 million, come on a day when the BBC has announced new channel idents for BBC ONE which have cost £1.2 million.
A BBC News spokeswoman commented: "We aren't ruling out the possibility of compulsory redundancies, but we have managed so far to make most of our savings through volunteers, natural turnover and maximising redeployment opportunities, and will continue to take that approach."
BECTU supervisory official Luke Crawley said: "This shows a failure of the BBC to set its spending priorities.
"Cutting more than 100 jobs in News, in addition to the 320 jobs which have gone in the last 18 months, means there will be less staff to make programmes.
"The money spent on the new idents could have paid for at least 30 staff to help maintain BBC programmes standards. It is the quality of the programmes that keeps the licence fee payers watching not new channel idents."
These job losses are part of the phased, 15% across-the-board 'Value for Money' cuts to programme budgets for all BBC departments ordered by Mark Thompson.
(DS/SP)
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