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What happened at the branch meeting? 17 May 2007

Posted by nujbbclondon in Meetings.
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Here’s what happened at BBC London branch meeting on Tuesday 8 May.

General secretary Jeremy Dear gave a report from annual conference, including the Israel motion passed by delegates.

 The following motion was proposed by branch members. It was discussed, voted on and agreed.

“As broadcasters and NUJ members we are dismayed at the passing of a motion at ADM calling for a boycott of Israeli goods. As members of organisations which take pride in providing impartial news coverage, we cannot associate ourselves with a move which involves taking sides in any conflict. We call on the union to hold a ballot of all members to see whether they support the view taken at ADM on an issue which could have a profound effect on the way all British journalists are viewed at home and abroad.”

The vote was as follows: 42 – yes; 2 – abstained; 0 – no

The branch motion, along with the signatures gathered by email prior to the meeting, will be submitted to the union’s National Executive Committee for consideration at its next meeting on 6 July.   

Other business:

Branch secretary Jon Holden was nominated for the BBC National Radio seat on the union’s Broadcasting Industrial Council. Nomination seconded by Lesley Taylor. Nomination accepted.

PD proposed Branch buying 100 copies of the NUJ’s centenary book, at a cost of £1,000, to give away to BBC London members or sell at a discount. Proposal rejected.

NUJ Broadcasting organiser Paul McLaughlin gave a brief report on the upcoming post-licence fee settlement cuts at the BBC.  Details are yet to be finalised, but figures of 25-30% cuts in News over 5 years are being discussed.  


Branch meeting – 8 May, Jeremy Dear speaking 2 May 2007

Posted by nujbbclondon in Events.
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The next meeting of BBC London branch is at 1330 on Tuesday 8 May.

Venue – B551 at TVC (basement of the main TVC donut)

NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear will be coming along to report back on events at this year’s annual conference, at which about 200 motions were voted on by members.

Don’t worry, we won’t be talking about all 200 of them. There were some key ones worth mentioning though, and even a few controversial ones. One in particular has received a lot of attention – calling for the support of a boycott of Israeli goods.

Come and have your say. Your union branch is the only way to tap into the union’s democratic structures.

‘Educate, agitate, integrate’! 2 May 2007

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There are still places for the above integration conference on Saturday 5 May in London. 

Sounds baffling…that’s because it is a bit. What’s it all about?

It’s about the current “media revolution” – also known as convergence – which is seeing the integration of traditional and new media formats. It’s happening everywhere, and the BBC is no exception.

The purpose of this half-day conference is for members to help put together the NUJ’s response to the changes – some of the change will be positive, some won’t. But the union needs to be there having its say; sharing good practice and exposing bad, and making sure working conditions and quality are not undermined in the process.

Please come along if you can.

To reserve a place email campaigns@nuj.org.uk

Venue: NUJ, Headland House, 308 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X

Time: 1200 – 1630, Saturday 5 May

STRIKE SUSPENDED! 23 February 2007

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Great news for all concerned.  

The NUJ has suspended next Monday’s strike action following assurance from management that they will delay the issue of compulsory redundancy notices to our members giving us more time to negotiate redeployment opportunities for them. Here’s the joint statement from the NUJ and Bectu:

 As a result of discussions this week the number of potential redundancies has been reduced and the BBC has agreed a further period of time in the expectation that negotiations will be concluded successfully with no compulsory redundancies of members.

We have therefore agreed to suspend the action planned for the 26th February 2007. This means that there will be no strike on Monday at the BBC.

The Joint Unions have indicated that, if necessary, they would consider industrial action at a later date over this matter, however we are hopeful that this will not now prove necessary.

The readiness of both Unions to take strike action to defend our members’ position has again shown this can produce positive results. Management have also worked hard, to reduce the outstanding job losses.

Thank you to all our members for their strength in recent weeks, particularly in the face of unprecendented management pressure.

And as News24 FoC Nick Serpell says: “Mark Thompson has already made it clear he will be back in the autumn with more job cuts.

“In the meantime you can be comfortable in knowing that your resolve has protected fellow members. We will need that resolve again in the not too distant future.” 

STRIKE – all out on 26 February 19 February 2007

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Preparations for the NUJ’s national BBC strike day, from 0001 on 26 Feb, are in full swing,  and lots of chapel meetings are being held this week. 

We are striking because we opposed compulsory redundancies from day one of the three year so-called Value-for-Money cuts programme.  They are not necessary and can be avoided, provided managers make the effort.

Everyone should have received a Q&A email reiterating the issues at hand. What we have to concentrate on now is building as much support for the strike as possible

Mark Thompson has already admitted this month that more cuts are on the way – let’s make sure we continue to have a say over how the running of the BBC affects our working lives and the output we create. If you have any questions or concerns speak to your union rep or contact BBC London branch joint-chairs Paula Dear or Ian Pollock (see ‘contacts’ above).

Here are the answers to some of the questions you might have…


Next branch meeting – Friday 9 Feb 5 February 2007

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The next meeting of the branch will be held on Friday 9 Feb, from 1400-1500. The venue is rm 3351, TVC (west periphery).

We’ll be discussing the latest vote by chapels to take strike action if the BBC refuses to negotiate over the latest threat of compulsory redundancies (see post below).

We’ll also be taking 8 delegates to the union’s annual conference. This is the chance for all members to get involved in deciding how our union is run. Any volunteers should come along and speak up, or email Paula Dear if they can’t get along to the meeting but would like to be considered.

Anyone interested in being branch co-chair should also come along, as it’s time to elect the position filled by Paula over the last 12 months.


Job cuts – strike vote 5 February 2007

Posted by nujbbclondon in General.
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BBC M/FoCs met to consider the BBC’s threat of compulsory redundancies on 30 January, after consulting their chapel members on what we should do. The cuts are part of the ongoing so-called ‘Value for Money’ process.

Here’s the resolution that was passed unanimously.

This M/FoCs meeting condemns BBC plans for compulsory redundancies.

It is BBC managers’ failings and intransigence in negotiations which is preventing a solution to this dispute. The NUJ calls for the BBC to abandon plans for compulsory redundancies.

In the event of a failure to do so M/FoCs instruct our strike committee to name appropriate dates for strike action in discussion with Bectu.

General secretary Jeremy Dear and National Broadcasting Organiser Paul McLaughlin said: “After almost two years of successful negotiations to deliver value for money proposals whilst avoiding compulsory redundancies BBC managers are now pressing ahead with making 8 people compulsorily redundant. This despite the fact there are sufficient volunteers and vacancies to do away with the need for any compulsory redundancies and effectively resolve the outstanding dispute.

“The NUJ will continue to seek a negotiated settlement to this dispute but M/FoCs also voted unanimously for strike action in the event that the BBC refuse to negotiate.

“The BBC have been informed this afternoon of our position. In the coming days we will meet with our colleagues in BECTU to discuss the dispute and name the strike dates.

We will keep you informed both of those discussions and our ongoing attempts to resolve the dispute.

Branch meeting on 9 Nov @ TVC 5 November 2006

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There will be a meeting of the NUJ’s BBC London Branch on Thursday 9 November. 1400 – 1500 B200, TVC.

Among the items on the agenda will be:

1. Motions for the Annual Delegates Meeting 2007 – every member’s chance to raise issues to be debated at the annual conference, and to influence union policy. The branch will also be putting forward nominations for a number of bodies that are elected at ADM,  and for the union’s National Executive Council. Fancy standing? Email Paula Dear for more details. paula.dear@bbc.co.uk

 2. Election of branch co-chair / secretary, following the departure of Becky Branford on a career break.

3. Pensions update – the campaigning against the changes being implemented this year got going again on 1 Nov.

4. Chapel updates

Journalism does matter 29 October 2006

Posted by nujbbclondon in Campaigns.
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The London Journalism Matters event this month (see earlier post) was a huge success. The topic clearly grabbed journalists from all over the region, and beyond, with many having to be turned away because the venue was full to capacity.

Prof Roy Greenslade spoke at the event:

It’s obvious that, unless we raise a hue and cry about what’s happening, or could happen soon, to journalism, we will come to regret it. And by “we” I mean our society.

Check out the rest of his blog here

Ballots at the BBC 29 October 2006

Posted by nujbbclondon in action.
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Two areas at the BBC are currently balloting for industrial action.

NUJ members at BBC Worldwide are balloting to reject the BBC’s below inflation pay offer this year. Because Worldwide is a separate company, members took their own decision to ballot.

Bectu members in NPF (News Production Facilities) are balloting after management tore up the conditions of service they have been working to for years and replaced their long standing rota with one that will have them working shifts of varying length and subject to drastic changes. This follows job cuts in several areas.

Why should you care?

Worldwide are balloting on the salary cut that most of were forced to accept this year. A successful action from Worldwide opposing pay cuts by the backdoor will help us all next year when the BBC is expected to propose another below-inflation pay settlement.

NPF are the people who keep news on air. They service our radio and TV studios, bring our news in through SCAR, attempt to keep Jupiter functioning and may take over News Interactive CTA. If these areas are eroded, all our jobs will become more difficult and our news will start falling off air.

If management succeed in tearing up their conditions of service and bringing in a shocking rota then how you can be sure managers in your area will not try something similar?

What happens next?

We’ll hear the results of these two ballots next month and will let you know what members decide and will get in touch about how you can support their action.