NUJ calls on new BBC director general Tony Hall to prevent job cuts

The NUJ has called upon the BBC’s new director general Lord Tony Hall to stop job cuts with moral ‘at an all time low’ as he began his first day at the corporation.

Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary for the NUJ called up Lord Hall, who took up his new position yesterday, to ‘sweep away’ management complacency.

“He has many urgent matters in his in-tray,” stated Stanistreet. “The morale of his staff is at an all-time low because of the cuts, excessive workloads and the BBC management's failure, in some parts of the corporation, to redeploy staff.

"The work carried out as part of the Dinah Rose inquiry has also lifted the lid on shocking levels of bullying and harassment happening under the noses of senior managers - yet still some BBC executives persist in playing down the extent of the problem.

"That is why having a six-month moratorium on the cuts is a priority, so that the new management can work with the staff unions to take a long, hard look at the way the so-called Delivering Quality First cuts programme is being carried out and the effect it is having - not just on the wellbeing of staff, working conditions and staffing levels but on the very quality of the BBC's journalism and programming.

"We all have a stake in ensuring our public service broadcaster remains fit for purpose, but the scale and the implementation of these cuts threaten to sacrifice the corporation's ability to deliver the top notch output it is famed for."

Last week BBC journalists staged their second walk-out in a month, with a 12-hour strike taking place.

Hall spent his first day conducting media interviews, and in an email to staff claimed that the corporation was winning back trust from the general public following the Jimmy Savile and Newsnight scandals of the last year.

Asked by Sky News whether the corporation needed more funding, which inevitably would mean an increase in the licence fee, he responded: “"I think it would be a mistake to reopen any negotiations about money at the moment because the economy and people are going through some very hard times.”

Lord Hall also said that he would set out his plans for the BBC moving towards it centenary year in 2022 in the coming weeks.

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