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BBC Breakfast staff 'treated with contempt'

14 July 2010

BBC management has been accused of treated staff on BBC Breakfast with total contempt over plans to move the programme from London to the new BBC centre in Salford.

Managers failed to consult in advance with staff, or the recognised trades unions, about the move. It was only when rumours began to circulate in the newsroom that senior managers finally briefed the on air team on Tuesday morning that the move was being considered.

No attempt was made to contact people who were not on shift that day. As a result, many Breakfast staff found out about the proposed move after seeing it in the press. Management was then rushed into making a final decision that the move would definitely go ahead.

It was not until 1pm on Wednesday that an official confirmation was emailed to staff by Helen Boaden, Director of News. It contained not one word of apology for the distress and anxiety engendered by management's failure to handle the matter properly.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said:

"The BBC has completely failed in its duty of care to its staff. This move will mean a major upheaval for the staff affected. To find out about it from the media, rather than their own managers, is completely unacceptable."

Gerry Morrissey, BECTU General Secretary, said:

"Consultation over huge changes such as this has been a cornerstone of employment relations with the BBC for many years. Their preparedness now to ride roughshod over those long-establish principles is an extremely worrying development.
"The joint unions will be seeking an urgent meeting with BBC management to seek clarity on the proposals and ensure that this proposal is subject to extensive consultation with staff and their union representatives."

Tags: , salford, BBC Breakfast, management, consultation, bectu