2003 BBC proposals issued

Proposals for the BBC Divisional Conference 2003 have been issued.

BECTU Branches in the BBC have submitted proposals, detailed below, for this year's Conference to be held on 18 May 2003.

Beforehand BBC Branches have until 1200 on 24 March 2003 to put forward amendments to the proposed changes.

Both these amendments and the original proposals will be subject to debate and voting at Conference by BECTU Branch delegates from across the BBC.

BECTU Branches are reminded they must notify Head Office of their Conference delegates by Friday 4 April 2003.

BECTU Branches can submit amendments to these proposals using the forms enclosed with BBC Divisional letter dated 14 February 2003.

Nominations by Branches for the BBC Divisional Committee 2003-2004, and for the Standing Orders Committee (SOC) for the 2004 BBC Divisional Conference, can also be made using forms attached to this letter.

The BBC Divisional Conference SOC have issued the below relating to propositions submitted by Branches.

BBC Divisional Conference propositions accepted by SOC

Proposition 1: Strengthening Equal Opportunities and Fair Selection Policies at the BBC

That this BBC Divisional Conference ensures that the BBC is committed to fully open and transparent procedures and fulfils all its obligations to members as stated in BBC policies, particularly in the area of appointments procedure. This Conference notes that the BBC has no specific policy on the membership and activities of Freemasonry and therefore the BBC may not be fulfilling all its obligations to ensure members are treated fairly, and without fear or favour.

Therefore we ask that this Divisional Conference take this matter up with corporate level BBC to ensure a policy is developed to protect members. This review is carried out in full consultation with BECTU with the aim of including a new policy in the Agreed Statements. The BBC divisional committee should report back before the next annual conference meeting in 2004 on developments.

Central London Programmes Branch

Proposition 2: Improvements in the Annual Leave Entitlement of all BBC Members

That this BBC Divisional Conference conducts a review of annual leave policy at the BBC. There has not been an increase in annual leave for many years, (10+ years). In light of union campaigning on work/life balance issues and also a current TUC campaign to increase the number of bank holidays by 3 per year the divisional committee should make a determined effort to negotiate an increase in the number of annual leave days by at least 3 days to 28 per year. This should become a corporate condition of service. There should be a full report back to branches before annual conference 2004.

Central London Programmes Branch

Proposition 3: Improvement in the Benefits and Work/Life Balance of Night Workers

That this BBC Divisional Conference asks BECTU officials to request a review of shift and night working in the BBC and the effects that this can have on people. Night working is particularly onerous and many members suffer many health problems due to such working. The BBC states that a life/work balance is important and in keeping with this we ask that the negotiators seek to secure from the BBC an undertaking for an additional clear 24 hour period of undisturbed rest added to any turn of duty at the end of any night duty cycle. This should become a corporate condition of service. There should be a full report back to branches before annual conference 2004

Central London Programmes Branch

Proposition 4: To Protect Educational Programmes for Children Against the Continued Erosion of their Air Time

That this BBC Divisional Conference requests that BECTU seek assurances from the BBC that they will protect and sustain the provision of educational broadcasts for children on terrestrial TV and radio in view of the present steady erosion of air time.

BBC Childrens TV Branch

Proposition 5: Land Securities Trillium Property Partnership

The BBC's proposal to extend the property partnership agreement with Land Securities Trillium into the English and National Regions is alien to the One BBC proposed by the DG. It is also unpopular with members.

This branch does not believe that there is any economic justification why individuals have to be transferred out of the BBC.

The Branch proposes to this BBC Divisional Conference that it adopts the policy of opposing the transfer of staff to LST and supports the ongoing campaign against such transfers taking place.

Birmingham Branch

Proposition 6: Making It Happen

That this BBC Divisional Conference believes that the much-vaunted "Just Imagine" and "Making it Happen" initiatives distract people from the fundamental issues of pay and conditions and Health and Safety. The BBC Division should focus its efforts on maximising publicity for BECTU's activities in the BBC and regain the upper hand in promoting its struggle to gain real improvements for workers.

Bush Branch

Proposition 7: BBC Resources Ltd Pay Negotiations

That this BBC Divisional Conference does not believe that BBC Resources Ltd should be put in a position to effectively subsidise the rest of the Corporation from the pockets of members in Resources Ltd by a pay and conditions package for 2003-2004 that is less favourable than the rest of the BBC.

ESPG Branch

SOC note: The SOC felt that this proposition was obscurely worded, but were prepared to allow it onto the order paper and when it was moved the branch would need to explain exactly what was meant.

Divisional conference propositions rejected by SOC

Freelance Recognition in the BBC and Other Employers

Many freelance members who work on BBC productions alongside staff who are members and whose Branch is recognised by the BBC, have no recognition in the BBC. In areas where there is a large proportion of freelance effort BECTU is seeking voluntary recognition agreements for these members so that they may benefit from representation and a common aim.

Improved Freelance representation will also act as a powerful recruiting tool.

Thus, we ask this conference to endorse the policy that BECTU should develop a strategy for targeting other appropriate employers in all the Divisions.

Birmingham Branch

SOC note: The reason for rejection is that it requires BECTU to develop a policy for all divisions and therefore is inappropriate for the BBC Divisional Conference and should have been submitted to Annual Conference.

Propositions received after the deadline

Annual Pay Claim

That when annual pay demands are submitted to the BBC that a statement is added to the effect that the rise should only be paid to union members. This could potentially save the BBC money and exemplify the advantages of union membership and collective bargaining.

IT Branch

BBC Informer

The monthly "BBC Informer" should include a section where branch and committee meetings could be listed for that month.

IT Branch

No summary provided on submitted proposition

This Divisional Conference recognises that the composition of the Divisional Committee in recent years has not effectively reflected the broad range of membership within the Division. In particular, it is concerned at the small number of women and members of ethnic minorities who have served on the committee. At the same time, it recognises the on-going contribution of present committee members and established union activists.

As a way of moving forward, however, this Divisional Conference would instruct the Divisional Committee to add, where appropriate, the following paragraphs to the Divisional By Laws:

That once the Divisional Committee has been elected each year, note should be made of the number of women delegates and the number of delegates from an ethnic minority.

Should the number of women delegates be 40% or less of the total number of delegates, then nominations should be sought from Branches and Sub-divisions with the aim of electing three additional women to the Divisional Committee.

Should the number of ethnic minority delegates be 20% or less than the total number of delegates, then nominations should be sought from Branches and Sub-divisions with the aim of electing two additional members from an ethnic minority to the Divisional Committee.

The aim would be for nominations to be sought as soon after the Annual Divisional Conference as possible, with the nomination and, if required, election process being completed in time for the successful candidates to attend, at the very least, the second scheduled meeting of the newly elected Divisional Committee.

The constituency for nominations and elections would be across all Members within the BBC Division, with Branches voting in line with the normal procedure for Divisional Elections.

If passed, this requirement would be in place for the 2003/4 Divisional Committee.

London Television News Branch

SOC note: All three of these propositions arrived after 1200 on Friday 7 February 2003. SOC suggests that the branches may wish to seek a reference back of the report of SOC at the start of Conference and try and get them reinstated.

1 March 2003