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BBC strike action averted with new unions agreement on further talks

By Hamish Mackay

November 28, 2011 | 2 min read

The BBC and the broadcasting unions have reached an agreement over the handling of talks to implement planned cuts.

The Guardian reports that the agreement means that the BBC has headed off strike action that could have threatened the Strictly Come Dancing final and Christmas programming.

The BBC has agreed with unions to terminate the deadline for the withdrawal of unpredictable working allowances and changes to redundancy terms with the implementation of new starter terms and conditions postponed until December 2012.

Michelle Stanistreet, the general secretary of the NUJ, said that the unions would now begin "genuine negotiations" over terms and conditions from next year, which will see proposed changes to staff working conditions become part of a single review.

A BBC spokesperson is quoted by The Guardian as saying: "The BBC and joint unions have reached an agreement in principle to resolve the current dispute about implementation dates for proposed changes to terms and conditions of employment.

“This has been on the basis that the BBC extends the proposed implementation dates for changes to new starter terms and conditions from 1 April to 31 December 2012. This is in recognition of the fact that reform of UPA/flexibility allowances is a complex issue and will require more time to resolve.

“All parties recognise these allowances need reform but want to ensure they have sufficient time to consider all the options."

The changes were proposed as the BBC announced the Delivering Quality First initiative, outlined by director general Mark Thompson, in October.


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