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NUJ response to 1,000 BBC job cuts

BBC New Broadcasting House, London

BBC New Broadcasting House, London  -  © NUJ

2 July 2015

NUJ response to the BBC's announcement that 1,000 jobs, mainly management and support, will be cut following a £150m short-fall in licence fee revenue.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:  "The NUJ has been pressing for a restructuring of the BBC that prioritises journalism and programming for some time, one that tackles the fleshy layers of management that have been preserved in the face of waves of cuts that have badly hit grassroots content. So a hard look at how to best deploy resources on the services that really matter and make sure the BBC’s structures are efficient and fit for purpose is overdue.

“To date, Delivering Quality First, the cost cutting programme which has reduced the news budget by a quarter, has hit journalist jobs and programming. It's taken this deficit for the BBC to move to tackling the management layers that have made many staff feel like it's one BBC for them, and a very different BBC for those running the corporation.

"The NUJ will ensure in the forthcoming consultation process that already over-stretched editorial areas are not further compromised in the reviews and further cuts to come. It is concerning that the details revealed today will only account for around a third of the cost savings needed.

"We will work with our sister unions to ensure that the redeployment process is made to work properly and that compulsory redundancies are avoided.

"News of the significant budget deficit should be a wake-up call for all those who care about public service broadcasting in the UK. The looming negotiations on charter renewal will be a critical juncture for the BBC - without a new deal that modernises the licence fee and provides for a real-terms increase the BBC as we know it, a world-respected broadcaster and a key driver of the entire British creative industry, will be unable to function.

"This is why the NUJ, together with the Federation of Entertainment Unions, has launched the Love it or Lose it campaign."

In an announcement to BBC staff, Tony Hall, director general, said the BBC would have to be leaner and simpler. He said the licence fee income in 2016/17 is now forecast to be £150m less than it was expected to be in 2011, because as more people use iPlayer, mobiles and online catch-up, the number of households owning televisions is falling.

He said he proposed:

  • To reduce the number of divisions, first by joining up technology teams across Digital, Engineering and Worldwide.
  • To reduce the number of layers from the top to the bottom of the organisation from 10 to a maximum of seven
  • To reduce management roles in all areas of the BBC.
  • To simplify and standardise procedures in professional areas including legal, marketing and finance

BBC announcement

Tags: , broadcasting, bbc, tony hall, cuts, bbc worldwide, love it or lose it