Working party set up at BBC Religion & Ethics

Staff at lunchtime outside BBC North The Religion & Ethics department is based at MediaCityUK

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The BBC and broadcasting union Bectu have set up a joint working party to improve workplace relations at the Religion and Ethics department in Salford.

It follows concerns about the "culture and style" of some managers, which arose in both a union survey and the BBC North staff survey last year.

Staff feedback also highlighted issues regarding career development.

Helen Ryan, Bectu official for BBC members, told Ariel that there was some staff criticism about siloes within the department, which oversees TV and radio output.

"They feel that they're trapped a bit and that it's quite difficult to move around as much as they would like."

Independent mediator

The BBC and Bectu met for their first working group meeting last month, in a discussion described by the union as "open and constructive".

Both parties hope to develop a plan that will include more career opportunities for staff.

A third-party mediator will also be commissioned to provide recommendations, with support from the BBC's corporate centre.

In a statement, Ryan added: "We welcome management's willingness to accept independent mediation and we'll be working hard to encourage our members to take part in the process too."

BBC Religion & Ethics makes programmes including Songs of Praise, Thought for the Day and The Great North Passion.

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