BBC Scotland NUJ members to "work to rule"

BBC base in Glasgow's Pacific Quay BBC Scotland is looking to reduce 100-120 posts from a workforce of 1250

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BBC Scotland members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have decided to "work to rule" in protest against what they see as a "lack of progress" on redeploying staff at risk of redundancy.

The decision was made unanimously at an NUJ chapel meeting on Friday morning.

BBC management have been given a week's notice of the industrial action, which is due to start at the beginning of February.

BBC Scotland is looking to reduce 100-120 posts from a workforce of 1250, following the licence fee freeze agreed with the UK government in 2010.

By 2016/17, BBC Scotland is expected to reduce their baseline budget of £102 million by 16%.

The savings are expected to be composed of 10% from productivity and efficiency savings, and 6% from content cuts.

Job cuts

Around 39 posts were closed last year, with another 35 due to be cut by this March including 17 in News & Current Affairs, mainly at the BBC Scotland headquarters in Glasgow.

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran said the unions were concerned at what he described as "the lack of progress" on redeploying nine workers at risk of redundancy into permanent posts.

The industrial action follows a ballot of NUJ members across the BBC on compulsory job losses at Asian Network, BBC Scotland, BBC News and the World Service.

BBC in Scotland

Case Histories

• DQF savings: £16.1m

• Post closures: 100-120

• BBC network tv spend in 2011/12: 9%

• Network shows include: Mrs Brown's Boys, Waterloo Road, Case Histories (above) and Bob Servant Independent

• 2010/11 budgets: £56m for English-language opt-out content; Radio Scotland - £23.8m; Interactive - £4m; Gaelic tv service BBC Alba - £5m; Gaelic radio service Radio nan Gaidheal - £3.8m

Around 70% of those who participated in the UK-wide vote, which took place in late 2012, opted for strike action and 84% for action short of a strike.

Speaking to a Scottish parliament committee on Tuesday, BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie said appeals had been lodged concerning some job cuts, "but we envisage no more post closures in News & Current Affairs [in Scotland] under the Delivering Quality First process".

John Boothman, head of BBC Scotland NCA, said there were plans to change staffing levels at Newsnight Scotland. But he could not confirm if that involved cuts, adding "We'll discuss that with the unions and the staff."

DQF plans mean that the BBC in Scotland will prioritise peak-time content, with off-peak output facing the bulk of reductions.

The cuts also come ahead of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Scottish independence referendum in 2014, however Boothman told the Education and Culture Committee that he was "very, very, very optimistic" about the corporation's coverage plans for next year's events.

A BBC spokesman said: "We're continuing to work closely with our staff and the unions to seek re-deployment wherever possible and those talks are ongoing."

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