NUJ disputes Scotland job cut plan

Pacific Quay Thirty five posts to go by the end of March

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The National Union of Journalists has called on BBC Scotland to suspend its redundancy programme, claiming that the process is 'flawed' and premature.

The union has entered into dispute proceedings with the BBC over its procedure for selecting which staff stay and which go.

Paul Holleran, NUJ Scottish organiser, says the union believes its members are being 'intimidated and targeted' in the process.

He points to 'unreasonable' demands being put on some people, and says that others are being asked to apply for unsuitable jobs.

'We expect all interviews related to this to be put on hold until a fair and equitable system is agreed and put in place,' Holleran says.

In this next phase of DQF savings, BBC Scotland plans to cut 35 posts by the end of the financial year. News and Current Affairs takes the biggest hit, losing 17 posts. Eight posts will close at Radio Scotland, two in Gaelic, six in Marketing, Communications and Audiences and two in New Media, Learning and Outreach.

The BBC, which is trawling for volunteers, says it is committed to keeping compulsory redundancies to a minimum.

In a statement, it adds: 'We've had a number of constructive meetings with unions and we believe that our process is fair and reasonable. We have offered to meet union representatives again this week to discuss their concerns.'

Cuts too soon

Holleran claims that there is 'no reason to plough ahead so soon with these job losses', believing they should wait until after the Commonwealth Games and the Scottish independence referendum.

And he calls on Ken MacQuarrie, BBC Scotland controller, to bid for additional funds so that BBC Scotland can 'do justice to the scale and importance' of these upcoming major events.

On this point, the BBC adds: 'The Commonwealth Games and the Referendum are clearly significant events and are priorities for BBC Scotland. We will continue with our plans to give them the appropriate level of coverage for our audiences.'

BBC Scotland needs to find 16% of savings under DQF by 2016-17. This equates to £16.1m.

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