Unions dismiss BBC’s 1% pay offer as ‘completely unacceptable’

By Hamish Mackay

March 2, 2012 | 2 min read

The NUJ and broadcasting unions Bectu and Unite say that a 1% pay offer from the BBC is “completely unacceptable”.

The Press Association reports that the journalists and technical and administration staff will now be consulted, with unions expecting "strong opposition" - pointing out that median pay at the corporation will soon have fallen 8% behind inflation in the last five years.

PA quotes NUJ general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet, as saying: "Given all the sacrifices that BBC staff has made in the last year, it is insulting to be offered a rise that falls 3% short of the current inflation figure."

Gerry Morrissey, general secretary of the technicians' union Bectu, is also quoted - commenting: "This is a clear attempt by the BBC to make staff pay for last year's bungled negotiations over the future level of the licence fee.

"We can't accept a further cut in living standards for an offer of a 1 per cent pay rise by the BBC has been rejected by the NUJ, Bectu and Unite unions.

The claim put in by the three unions had been for an increase of inflation plus 2 per cent at the first negotiating meeting in this year's pay round.

In a letter to staff, Lucy Adams, the BBC's director of business operations, said: "We are putting forward an increase of 1% with a minimum increase of £400 which would be applied to everyone who is eligible, except for members of the executive board and the BBC direction group who will not receive any pay rise."

She called the unions' claim unrealistic in the current economic climate, saying "we won't be able to change this through negotiation".

PA quotes a BBC spokesman as saying: "We have put forward a 1% pay offer, which we believe is realistic in the tough economic climate. It ensures both a minimum increase of £400 for the lowest-paid staff and is fair to those who have previously had their pay frozen for three years.

"We felt that the joint unions' demand, which was equivalent to a 5.9% pay rise, was unrealistic."


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