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BBC urged to reconsider news and current affairs cuts

7 May 2009

The BBC has announced plans to axe up to 90 further jobs in BBC News during talks with the representatives of the NUJ and BECTU. The NUJ has urged the BBC to find other ways of making savings rather than resorting to more job cuts amid fears quality may suffer and workloads soar.

Responding to the announcement, the unions reiterated their opposition to compulsory redundancies and expressed concern that 80% of savings were coming from axing jobs in areas such as newsgathering, news online and key news and current affairs programmes.

Arguing that the cuts would impact on quality and workload, the unions called on the BBC to make health and safety a priority in considering how any reduction in staffing could be managed.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said:

"We understand the BBC has savings targets to reach but we are concerned the burden is falling so heavily on staff. We will be pressing the BBC to maximise redeployment and retraining opportunities to avoid compulsory redundancies and prioritising addressing workload and stress issues for staff who stay."

Further, more detailed, talks will begin in the coming weeks before a further national level meeting will take place in mid-June.

Tags: , broadcasting, cuts, bbc, bectu, current affairs, news, online, new media, health and safety, workload, redundancies, newsgathering, bbc online, stress, redeployment