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05/03/2012

Unions Say BBC Pay Offer 'Unacceptable'

Negotiators representing thousands of BBC staff have reacted angrily to an offer of a 1% pay rise in August this year.
Responding to a claim from BECTU, NUJ, and Unite, for an increase of inflation plus 2% at the first negotiating meeting in this year's pay round, BBC management described the 1% offer as "final", abruptly bringing negotiations to an end.
Union officials now intend to consult branches and chapels throughout the BBC, and expect strong opposition to the offer. By August this year, the pay anniversary date, the BBC's median pay rate will have fallen 8% behind inflation in the last five years.
Gerry Morrissey, BECTU General Secretary and lead negotiator, said: "This is a clear attempt by the BBC to make staff pay for last year's bungled negotiations over the future level of the Licence Fee.
"We can't accept a further cut in living standards for members, when the BBC has already taken tens of millions of pounds out of staffing costs by cutting 4,000 jobs, and watering down pension rights."
BBC unions have also agreed to cooperate with the Corporation on a major overhaul of terms and conditions for staff which could yield significant savings to offset the cash squeeze imposed by the new Licence fee formula.
Officials are angry that BBC management appear to have taken no account of this major concession when budgeting for this year's pay increase.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ General Secretary, said: "Given all the sacrifices that BBC staff have made in the last year it is insulting to be offered a rise that falls three percent short of the current inflation figure."
(LB/GK)
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