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FOLLOWING meetings with management and a special meeting of the BECTU’s BBC Divisional Committee, BECTU members who are likely to be involved in the proposal to launch of the BBC's wholly owned subsidiary Technology Ltd are to be balloted.
The proposed company is intended to include BBC staff currently employed in a number of IT areas along with those in the Resources Technology in BBC Resources Ltd.
However, the formation of the proposed company needs the approval of the department of Culture, Media and Sport, and BECTU has stated that while the Union has no objections to setting up Technology as a separate department, they do not believe there is currently a case for forming a separate limited company.
The BBC Committee, consisting of Union representatives from across the Corporation, agreed to a ballot asking if members wish to transfer to the proposed Technology Ltd, following a number of improvements to the proposals obtained from management during negotiations. These changes include staff to be covered by BBC-wide pay negotiations in the first year, and will not receive less than the Corporation standard pay award in the second year. Existing staff are to remain in the BBC Pension Scheme and new staff will be able to join on the same basis as the rest of the corporation. Two years from the date of transfer of staff into Technology Ltd they will continue to be covered by the BBC Agreed Statements.
BECTU are strongly opposed to Technology becoming a limited company.
In a letter from BECTU to their members being balloted, the Union said: “We believe that the BBC could put all these functions together in a single department and keep all the staff in the BBC. The argument that the need to pursue commercial work forces does not stand up. The work that BBC Technology hopes to get is a very small part of the total market in each area and that means they would not fall under current EC competition regulations if they stayed in house. However, the BBC rejects this and is insisting on setting up the limited company.”
The closing date for the ballot is October 12 at 12 noon.

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