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Our drive to recruit casual staff and freelancers 10 September 2006

Posted by nujbbclondon in Freelance.

The BBC London branches are committed to providing casuals and freelances with all the services currently available to people on continuing and fixed term contracts.

Unfortunately, the BBC is resisting this and so far has refused to allow the NUJ to have formal collective bargaining rights for non-staff journalists.

We have responded by automatically including all casuals and freelancers in the chapel where they do most of their work and we make sure that their issues are taken up in all formal meetings with management.

The fruits of this policy are now becoming clearer, following the introduction of the new Employment Act. This has further blurred the artificial differences between employees and freelance/casuals with its definition of the rights of “workers”.

We want to get as many freelances signed-up and active in the union for several reasons:

1. There are many new rights and entitlements available about which many members are unaware – for example: at the BBC you are entitled to join the Group Personal Pension Scheme, which in addition to the obvious pension benefits, also brings employer contributions and tax advantages.

2. Other perks casuals now have include: Holiday pay. Club membership, sports facilities are now available to freelances. We want to ask for sick pay, and similar rights to permanent staff as regards Jury duty and the like.

3. Staff representatives have a far stronger hand when negotiating when they can demonstrate high membership levels.

Please join up and help negotiate a separate and guaranteed pay increase for casuals, instead of the piecemeal increments at the discretion of departmental managers.

So please sign up and get your casual colleagues to join too! Send your details to: Bruce Whitehead, Freelance Rep., BBC TVC



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