2005 BBC Conference decides

Branch delegates from across the BBC have met at the 2005 Divisional Conference.

Policies agreed by the Conference, full details of which are given below, concentrated on opposition to the proposed cuts and privatisation across the BBC which where subject to recent industrial action.

The BBC Divisional Conference was held the day before the main BECTU Annual Conference at Liverpool.

Formal motions on the BBC Conference agenda

All decisions on proposed propositions (motions) considered by the BBC Divisional Conference at Liverpool on 3 June 2005.

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  • WITHDRAWN - proposal removed by those who submitted the motion and therefore not considered by Conference.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 2: Night work payments

That this BBC Divisional Conference demands that the BBC and Siemens (for ex BBCT Staff) review the existing system of night shift payments (ie 24:00 to 04:00 and 04:00 to 06:00) because it does not adequately compensate night workers.

BECTU should argue for a new formula as follows:

All hours worked between 10pm and 8am should qualify for an hourly payment of £9.85 (minimum). This amount to be increased in each annual pay settlement in line with other actuality payments.

IT Branch

Proposition 1: BBC cuts

That this BBC Divisional Conference opposes the BBC cuts and privatisation proposals originally made in December 2004.

In particular it does not agree with the 15% cut in budgets, the increase in independent productions and proposed privatisation, joint-venture and/or break up of Resources and Broadcast.

It also questions the logic of a number of proposed departmental moves out of London.

ESPG Branch


Delete last sentence.

Proposition would therefore end at "... Resources and Broadcast".

Glasgow Branch

Proposition 3: BBC move to Manchester

That this BBC Divisional Conference believes in the expansion of Broadcasting and Production in Nations and Regions but is opposed to the proposed move of BBC Departments to Manchester which we believe is not in the best interests of BECTU members, the BBC and programmes themselves.

London Television News Branch

Proposition 4: BBC cuts

That this BBC Divisional Conference deplores the cuts and privatisation announced for the BBC by Director General Mark Thompson which seriously threaten Public Broadcasting in the UK. This Conference supports the efforts of BECTU Officials and lay Reps as well as the other BBC Unions’ Officials in the fight against the cuts which, if allowed to go ahead unchallenged, would have a serious impact on the BBC and the whole Broadcasting Industry.

Bush Branch

Emergency proposition 1: Transfer or outsourcing safeguards

That this conference, in light of the offer made to the joint unions by the BBC over the period 26/27 May 2005, instruct the BBC Divisional Committee to require of the BBC that, in the event of any transfer if outsourcing, the BBC provide that all BBC staff regardless of division or department, nation or region, those same safeguards as that applied to BBC Technology staff, and, as offered in relation to Broadcast Ltd, to which:

"members would have access to a final-salary pension scheme comparable to the BBC's, would have a minimum three years' protection of their terms and conditions, including redundancy, and a guarantee that there would be no compulsory redundancies for the first year"

As opposed to "Best Endeavours" for:

"Other staff due to be outsourced, mainly in the back-office areas"

Belfast General

Emergency proposition 2: Selection for redundancy or retention

In the light of the huge numbers of proposed redundancies due to the four reviews, the BBC is increasingly relying on subjective methods of selection for retention such as closed panels and boards. This divisional conference instructs the BBC divisional committee to demand that the BBC includes independent external observers on all boards and panels that are confined to select staff for redundancy or retention in a redundancy situation.

Radio and Music Production Branch
Bush Branch

Proposition 5: Safety Reps in the BBC

That this BBC Divisional Conference seeks recognition from the BBC that BECTU Safety Reps provide key support in the BBC’s own safety structure and that Management rely heavily on BECTU safety reps and officials in order to fulfil their legal obligations to Health and Safety.

In the BBC recognising the above, to set up a mechanism whereby Safety Representatives from branches with similar interest across the BBC can meet in a structured manner with paid release to exchange knowledge and information. Resolutions from such meetings would feed into the BBC Division, BBC Divisional Health and Safety Committee or National Joint Council Health and Safety Committee.

Bush Branch

Emergency proposition 6: BBC Divisional Conference

In the light of Gerry Morrissey's statement this morning, this Divisional Conference instructs the BBC Divisional Committee to retain an annual conference of this division.

Central London Engineering and Technology Branch

Emergency proposition 4: BBC Divisional Conference

This Divisional Conference calls for the NEC to arrange for all future divisional conferences to take place in advance of the main BECTU conference.

Central London Engineering and Technology Branch

Emergency proposition 7: Working hours

In light of the clarification by Mark Thompson in his ringmain broadcast to staff on 7 March in that he expects 80% of the staff to do 100% of the work with 50% of the support services and with no loss of programme quality, this Divisional Conference recommends that all safety reps in the BBC conducts a survey of staff in their areas to record working hours.

Factual and Learning Branch
21 June 2005