Warning of possible industrial action amid concern that BBC will not have sufficient journalists in Scotland to cover 2014 independence referendum


The NUJ has warned of possible industrial action at the BBC over further job cuts, amid concern that the broadcaster will not have sufficient journalists in Scotland to cover the 2014 independence referendum and Commonwealth Games.

(Pictured: NUJ pickets outside BBC Scotland studios, Glasgow, 2010)

Officials say the corporation is looking for a possible 15 compulsory redundancies and staff say individuals are being targeted and intimidated in the selection process.

They say in one case, a pregnant woman who had been diagnosed with high blood pressure was asked to make a 500-mile round trip to attend an interview.

NUJ Scottish secretary, Paul Holleran, said: “There is an overwhelming belief that the process is flawed and there has been insufficient consultation to allow agreement to be reached, we therefore seek suspension of the selection process.

“There is also no reason to plough ahead so soon with these job losses as part of the so-called Delivering Quality First programme which seeks to cut the BBC’s budget by 20%.

“That is why we have called for a change in direction by BBC Scotland management to avoid the inevitable conflict.

“Management has a great opportunity to demand, from the paymasters in London, substantial additional funds to cover two massive projects coming up in Scotland over the next two years.

“The Commonwealth Games, while not as grand in scale as the Olympics, nevertheless offers a wonderful chance for BBC Scotland to showcase the range of skills and creativity which exists among broadcasting staff north of the border. This must be funded properly.

“There is also the matter of the issue of the independence referendum.

“This is not a ‘one-off event’, as suggested by local BBC management. It is no less than about the future of the United Kingdom as we know it.

“On behalf of NUJ and Bectu members across BBC Scotland, we have called on Ken MacQuarrie, BBC Scotland controller to put a funding bid together which will do justice to the scale and importance of the independence referendum and Commonwealth Games to the people of Scotland.

“Until this deal is brokered, all calls for job losses must be halted.”

The NUJ national conference last weekend called  for an immediate moratorium on any further cuts to staff at BBC Scotland until after the Commonwealth Games and the completion of the Scottish independence referendum.

The motion also called for an immediate ballot for industrial action across the BBC in the event that any NUJ member there is threatened with compulsory redundancy.

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