2003 Conference decides

Branch delegates from across the BBC have met at the 2003 Divisional Conference.

The focus of discussion at the Conference, held in Eastbourne yesterday (18 May), was the future of UPA (Unpredictability Allowances), rate for the job and the protection of jobs and conditions.

Policies agreed by the Conference, full details of which are given below, included:

  • Pay should reflect the unsociability of working hours.
  • A transparent method of salary progression.
  • A new open appointments procedure.
  • To oppose compulsory redundancies in Factual and Learning.
  • That Resources should not subsidise the rest of the BBC through less favourable pay and conditions.
  • Seek assurances that children's educational broadcasts on terrestrial platforms will be protected.
  • To support Radio OB Engineers in protecting their terms and conditions.
The BBC Divisional Conference was held the day after the main BECTU Annual Conference.

Formal motions on the BBC Conference agenda

All decisions on proposed propositions (motions) considered by the BBC Divisional Conference at Eastbourne on 18 May 2003.

Decisions of Conference are flagged by the use of six descriptions:

  • CARRIED - proposal supported by Conference.
  • LOST - proposal rejected by Conference.
  • REMITTED - proposal handed to BBC Divisional Committee without any decision by Conference.
  • PASSED OVER - proposal not debated or no vote taken.
  • WITHDRAWN - proposal removed by those who submitted the motion and therefore not considered by Conference.
  • INCORPORATED - amendment incorporated into proposal by agreement of movers of proposal.

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 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

Emergency Proposition 5: BBC pay and reward negotiations

This conference notes Luke Crawley's letter of 15 May 2003 concerning BBC pay and reward negotiations.

Conference instructs the Divisional Committee to make it clear to the BBC management that staff want pay that reflects the unsociability of working hours and compensation on an event basis for changes in shifts.

London TV News Branch

Emergency Proposition 6: BBC pay and reward negotiations

In the light of Luke's letter [of 15 May 2003 concerning BBC pay and reward negotiations], Conference note the lack of clarity and objectivity for salary progression. This system is clearly open to abuse by managers who may exercise their "discretion" unfairly. Conference therefore urges the BBC Divisional Committee to ensure a clear and transparent method of progression.

London TV News Branch

Emergency Proposition 7: Breach of procedure

This conference notes the BBC's flagrant breach of its own procedure early this year when two World Service trade union activists were publicly sacked without being given the right of appeal on 19 February.

Conference instructs the BBC division to take all steps to ensure the BBC recognises that this is not acceptable behaviour from a supposedly reputable organisation and all the recognised unions in the BBC should work together to ensure trade union activists are able to work without fear of intimidation.

This conference welcomes the vote for industrial action by members in Bush branch and instructs the BBC division to become actively involved in the support group to reinstate the sacked union activists.

It further calls for a boycott of appraisals in Bush branch until BBC management agree to talks with the unions to end this dispute.

Bush 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 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 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


Delete "an additional clear 24 hour period" and replace with: "at least one calendar day (ie midnight to midnight). This period will be given for the purpose of rest and recovery from night duties and shall therefore be in addition to the normal provision of protected days off".

Bush 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


Emergency Proposition 4: Redundancies in Factual and Learning

This BBC Divisional Conference reaffirms its opposition to compulsory redundancies. Conference supports the Branches in F&L [Factual and Learning] in all actions taken to protect all their members facing compulsory redundancy and agrees that BECTU should instigate a ballot for industrial action if necessary.

Conference further opposes the BBC's decision not to apply the ACAS agreement to fixed term contract employees currently at risk of redundancy. We believe that this may constitute less favourable treatment contrary to the Fixed Term Work regulations and will support individual who wish to challenge this.

BBC Factual and Learning Branch

Emergency Proposition 3: Radio OB Engineers terms and conditions

This Divisional Conference supports the Central London OB Engineers branch in all actions taken to protect and preserve their members' terms and conditions and agrees that BECTU should instigate a ballot for industrial action should that prove necessary.

Central London OB Engineers 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
19 May 2003