BBC Scotland boss challenged to face staff over cuts
3 December 2008
Angry journalists at the BBC in Scotland have called on their boss to face a staff meeting to explain how more cuts can be implemented without damaging the quality of programmes. The NUJ chapel set the challenge in a letter sent yesterday to Ken MacQuarrie, controller of BBC Scotland.
They want the boss to stand in the atrium of the new BBC building in Glasgow and take questions from the entire 1,200 strong workforce. The BBC have announced 70 job cuts in Scotland, on top of 96 already implemented with those negotations only ending in September.
Twenty posts in news and current affairs are among those targeted for the axe. The NUJ also represents members in factual programming and sport.
The letter from Stephen Low, father of NUJ chapel, points out that MacQuarrie told a meeting of the Scottish Parliament's enterprise and culture committee:
"I would not implement a single cut if I believed that the quality of our output or services would be at risk."
Stephen Low's letter says BBC workers:
"…are very desirous to hear, directly from you, about how quality is to be maintained by a smaller workforce – many of whom are already under considerable pressure (and stress)."
The Scottish parliament is to debate the future of ITV in Scotland tomorrow.
The BBC chapel is urging people to contact their MSP to ask them to raise the BBC cuts at the same time.
Paul Holleran, NUJ Scottish organiser, said:
"We have already presented BBC management with the result of a stress survey that shows how people are suffering."