NUJ members in Scotland take action over loss of specialist reporters and correspondents

Tim Lezard

BBC-Scotland-strikersBBC Scotland journalists have started a work to rule over compulsory redundancies.

(Pictured: NUJ members on pensions strike at BBC Scotland, 2010)

The offices affected will be Glasgow, Edinburgh including the Scottish parliament and Selkirk in the Borders. The job losses are part of the BBC’s Delivering Quality First cuts programme which plans more than 2,000 job losses across the corporation.

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran said: “A major concern is the loss of specialist reporters and correspondents. This will result in a serious dumbing down of output. In the lead up to the independence referendum we need experts in education, business and politics — three areas where cuts are being made.  Scotland needs skilled, experienced reporters asking searching questions on the economic, cultural and political implications of independence or retaining the status quo.

“It will also have a knock-on effect on the quality coverage of the Commonwealth Games, which while not as grand in scale as the Olympics, nevertheless should be offering a wonderful chance for BBC Scotland to showcase the range of skills and creativity which exists among broadcasting staff north of the border.

“We expect the work to rule to have an immediate impact as staff levels are already too low.”

The NUJ is taking BBC Scotland to task for its failure to redeploy the staff under risk, despite an agreement with management.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “The BBC should withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies in Scotland and take steps to redeploy staff at risk. Journalists will stand in solidarity with colleagues who risk losing their jobs and members have a clear mandate to take action to stop compulsory redundancies. Management must get round the table and explain why they are not using an agreed redeployment system – there is no excuse for not finding roles for the numbers involved.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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