2010 BBC proposals issued

Proposals for the BBC Divisional Conference 2010 include pay, top slicing of the Licence Fee and open source software.

BECTU Branches in the BBC have submitted proposals, detailed below, for this year's Conference to be held 16 May 2008 after the main BECTU Annual Conference in Bournemouth.

Beforehand BBC Branches have until 1200 on 17 March 2010 to put forward amendments to the proposals.

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

BECTU Branches can submit amendments to these proposals using the forms enclosed with BBC Divisional letter 2706 dated 23 February 2008.

Nominations by Branches for the BBC Divisional Committee 2010-2011, and for the Standing Orders Committee (SOC) for the 2011 BBC Divisional Conference, can also be made using forms attached to this letter.

Detailed below are propositions submitted by Branches and the BBC Divisional Committee accepted and rejected by the BBC Conference Standing Orders Committee (SOC).

BBC Divisional Conference 2010 propositions accepted by SOC

Proposition 1: Access Control Data

This BBC Divisional Conference is concerned that data from the Access Control System is being made available to managers within the BBC for the purposes of monitoring the whereabouts of individual members of staff, in apparent contradiction to the BBC's own Data Protection Handbook. It calls upon the National Joint Council to clarify the situation with the BBC, and seek an assurance that such information will only be used by the BBC's investigators where they have been requested to investigate a genuine allegation of unlawful activity.

BBC Central London Future Media & Technology Branch

Proposition 2: Trade Union Recognition in BBC Audio Books

This BBC Divisional Conference deplores BBC Worldwide's refusal to extend trade union recognition to BBC Audio Books and calls upon the BBC Divisional Committee to make every effort to ensure that in future all BBC subsidiaries, ventures and joint ventures carry full recognition.

BBC Worldwide and TV Publishing Branch

Proposition 3: Privatisation of BBC Worldwide

This BBC divisional conference notes that:

  1. The BBC's wholly owned commercial subsidiary, BBC Worldwide, occupies a necessary and appropriate place in the UK and international broadcast market.
  2. BBC Worldwide returned 110 million to the public service for investment into programme making in the year 2009 2010.
  3. BBC Worldwide continues to provide an essential level of income to the public service, without which many flagship shows would not make it off the blocks and onto our (and our international comrades') screens.

This BBC Divisional Conference states its opposition to the partial or total privatisation of BBC Worldwide.

BBC Worldwide and TV Publishing Branch

Proposition 4: BBC Worldwide Pay

This BBC Divisional Conference deplores BBC Worldwide's decision to implement a pay freeze in 2009/2010 in spite of continued high profit yields. This BBC Divisional Conference further calls on BBC Worldwide to halt the trend towards bonus based reward and instead commit to negotiated consolidated pay increases.

BBC Worldwide and TV Publishing Branch

Proposition 5: Top Slicing of the Licence Fee

This BBC Divisional Conference opposes 'top slicing' of the BBC licence fee which will inevitably lead to ever encroaching cuts on the BBC's income available to make programmes. Further, top slicing could lead to the implementation of proposals to abolish the licence fee altogether. This would lead to direct state financing of the main public service broadcaster and the inevitable interference in its editorial independence.

BBC Worldwide and TV Publishing Branch

Proposition 6: External Spend

This BBC Divisional Conference recognises that the BBC Trust's interpretation of how the voluntary 'external spend' quotas should work has led to waste and inefficiency, and in particular to the licence fee being used to line private pockets.

This BBC Divisional Conference therefore instructs the Divisional Committee to lobby the BBC Trust and the Department of Culture Media & Sport to reduce the quotas in interactive external spend, and to restrict the radio external spend to its current level.

BBC Radio & Music Production Branch

Proposition 7: Headcount Restrictions

This BBC Divisional Conference instructs the Divisional Committee to call on the BBC to ensure its managers do not use 'headcount' restrictions as an excuse for:

  1. loading all extra work on to permanent staff and never hiring in anyone for cover;
  2. not hiring additional permanent staff even when they know there is continuing work to be covered, but hiring expensive independent companies and freelances to do the work instead.

BBC Radio & Music Production Branch

Proposition 8: Open Source Software

This BBC Divisional Conference notes that the BBC spends huge amounts of money on proprietary software licences, much of it indirectly through its contracts with Siemens.

Conference also notes that there is a great deal of 'Open Source' software available which can perform many of the tasks the BBC requires.

Since this software is free, its use would lead to cash savings which might mean fewer job cuts in other areas of the Corporation. Conference therefore instructs the Divisional Committee to raise the issue of Open Source at the highest possible managerial level, and to press the BBC to fully investigate its use.

Bush Branch

Proposition 9: BBC Informer

This BBC Divisional Conference recognises the positive impact of the "BBC Informer" supplement to Stage Screen and Radio. While recognising that its production took a significant amount of time and resources, many members felt this summary information was more easily accessible than online material.

This Conference therefore instructs the BBC Division to reinstate this valuable communication to members, and to ease the burden of its compilation through some or all of the following:

  1. Making more use of Lay and National Officials' reports.
  2. Encouraging submissions from Branches.
  3. Making use of material already published on the BECTU website and in SDC and Divisional Committee minutes.
  4. Seeking of volunteers from anywhere within BECTU to compile and edit the publication.

BBC Cardiff Branch

Proposition 10: Bottom Weighting in Pay Campaigns

This BBC Divisional Conference notes last year's accepted proposition for BECTU to urge the BBC to set a salary cap for BBC staff, and the subsequent pay agreement where the BBC itself decreed that the flat rate increase was not paid to anyone earning over 60,000 in line with the BBC's policy to freeze the pay of more senior staff.

In noting the above, this Conference urges the BBC Division to continue this general trend and give prominence in all pay talks to salary caps, senior pay freezes and bottom weighting for at least the next year.

BBC Cardiff Branch

Proposition 11: Branch Representatives Guide to BBC Agreed Statements

This BBC Divisional Conference notes the large number of recent changes to the BBC's Agreed Statements. This Conference urges the Divisional Committee to issue its own, simple guide to the new policies highlighting key changes for the benefit of Reps.

Conference further instructs the Divisional Committee to publicise future changes, as they are negotiated, and then add them to this guide.

Conference recommends that the guide is provided as a download from the BECTU website with appropriate links to the BBC Agreed Statements online.

BBC Cardiff Branch

Proposition 12: Limit the Gross Differences in Pay Across the BBC.

This BBC Divisional Conference notes public anger at BBC senior management's self-awarded pay levels and instructs the Division and requests the NEC to campaign that:

No BBC employee shall receive payment in any one year greater than ten times the average salary across the BBC. This average should be calculated, at the moment of Pay Claim agreement, upon the basic rates from the previous 12 months for pay bands 2 to 11.

Central London Programmes

BBC Divisional Conference 2010 propositions rejected by SOC

There were no propositions rejected by the SOC.

6 March 2010