Joint agreed statement between the BBC and BECTU, NUJ & UNITE

Date: 22.05.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.02
Category: Corporate
Both unions and management recognise that the BBC faces some very tough financial challenges for the remainder of the current licence fee period.

Whilst it is accepted that, as in many organisations, cuts in funding will have an impact on staff, it is believed by both the joint unions and management that a continuous pattern of annual settlements which represent a real cut in pay are neither desirable nor sustainable.  A great deal is expected from people in the BBC and whilst no one is immune from the impact of the reduced funding, employees must be paid fairly.

Ensuring that our people are rewarded fairly for the remainder of the licence fee period will be dependent on a variety of factors - some of which are unknown at this time - the impact of the economy on household (and Licence Fee) growth, inflation levels, commercial income, the achievement of identified savings, potential risks around the pension deficits, etc.  Both management and unions will endeavour to ensure that a fair level of remuneration is integral to the BBC's future plans.

Both sides have accepted that there will be no movement from the current offer of 1% this year, but the BBC is committed to ensuring that pay settlements during this licence fee period go some way to reflect the cost of living, as far as these factors allow.

In addition to this joint undertaking, management and the joint unions have agreed to the following key principles, for the duration of the Licence Fee period as a minimum, in a joint effort to work through the challenges together:

Approach to pay negotiations

  • Both management and unions remain committed to constructive national pay bargaining
  • The annual pay settlement will continue to be a standard pan-BBC adjustment determined by collective bargaining with the joint unions
  • We will not move to regional/divisional pay bargaining 
  • The annual pay increase will remain a collectively negotiated across the board increase - this standard increase will not be performance related for graded staff

The pay & grading review

  • We have a joint commitment to work co-operatively and constructively in developing our new pay and grading framework and proposed changes to terms & conditions 
  • Following last years' consultation, work continues in an effort to find the best way of recognising unpredictable and unsociable working patterns. Whatever the end result, there will be no imposed reduction in current UPA and Flexibility allowance rates for existing recipients

Performance Ratings

  • Both management and unions believe in helping staff develop through an effective appraisal system
  • Whilst many staff are comfortable with the way in which the performance rating system works, some are not and therefore, performance ratings will continue to be voluntary (both verbal and written) for the next two years after which time the position will be reviewed
  • Individuals will continue to have the opportunity to see finalised appraisal forms prior to adding comments and to receive a copy

Redeployment

  • Both management and unions remain committed to retaining as many of our great people as we can during this difficult period. The BBC’s position is that some compulsory redundancies may be unavoidable. Whilst progress has been made in the way the BBC re-deploys staff at risk and the new approach is meeting with some success, both sides believe that we can continue to improve and have therefore agreed to tighten up the processes still further
  • The BBC policy of 'Looking inside the BBC first' will be amended so that managers must look in the redeployment database first for suitably qualified candidates prior to posting an ad internally (excluding posts on the agreed exceptions list).  If there are no suitable candidates, the unions will be notified of all vacancies then advertised internally which will run for a minimum of 7 days.  In the event there are no suitable internal candidates following this process, managers can then advertise externally which will run for a minimum of 7 days prior to any employment offers being made
  • The maximum continuous engagement for casual staff should be 3 months; the joint unions to raise examples where they believe this is not the case which will be investigated centrally

BBC Press Office