S&PP industrial action ballots

S&PP members are to be balloted on industrial action to oppose potential compulsory redundancies and the change of base at Elstree.

This follows consultative ballots in S&PP (Studios and Post Production) in which ESPG members overwhelmingly rejected both the New Business and Entertainment Pillar proposals, which could result in nine compulsory redundancies, and plans to change the base of those working on EastEnders to Elstree.

During recent negotiation, S&PP management rejected all union counter-proposals which had been tabled in an attempt to reach agreement.

Two ballots will now be held, which will close on 30 July 2010 – members are being recommended to vote yes for industrial action, and action short of strike action, to oppose both sets of proposals.

New Business and Entertainment

S&PP management have refused to extend the consultation period for nine members at risk of compulsory redundancy

BECTU have been in consultation with S&PP on restructuring within the New Business and Entertainment Pillar since the end of March 2010, which has resulted in 63 post closures and the creation of 19 new posts.

Whilst the majority of these post closures have been achieved through a combination of voluntary redundancy and redeployment into these newly created roles, there are nine members who remain at risk of compulsory redundancy, many of whom have now been served notice of dismissal.

The union believes that the majority of these posts, including Stage Door Co-ordinators, Scenic Supervisors and Stores Operatives, are still required going forward and would augment and improve the revised new structure.

The union proposed that these roles be retained in order to ensure that the duties and workloads of our members and the operational requirements of the business remain reasonable and realistic.

This would give the new system some required flexibility and also afford the opportunity to review the process at a later date, particularly in light of the future uncertainty and restructuring surrounding Salford.

Unfortunately management rejected this proposal and felt that there was no requirement for any of these roles in the future.

The union then proposed that the consultation period be extended by one month in order to maximize the opportunity for redeployment into other areas of the BBC.

Whilst S&PP maintain they are committed to doing everything they can to find them work within the BBC, the union is concerned that by serving notice of dismissal management are falling short of their obligations to members to mitigate any compulsory redundancies.

Elstree base

S&PP management are proposing to implement the change of base from Television Centre to Elstree for those working on EastEnders, with no cushioning period, from 1 August 2010.

Two sets of proposals tabled by the union during negotiation, covering core hours and uplifting basic salaries, have been rejected by management.

The management position is that the proposed reduction in hours would not work on East Enders operationally due to scheduling.

They also maintained that any uplift in salaries is not viable and were not prepared to investigate this further.

The union is extremely disappointed by the S&PP management position and their unwillingness to resolve this issue amicably.

The Branch will be holding a members meeting at Elstree next Thursday, 8 July 2010, at 1900 to discuss the situation in more detail.

Further meetings are also being organised at Television Centre, which will be announced when arrangements are confirmed.

Industrial action ballots

Two ballots are to be held with will run concurrently – one covering all S&PP members concerning New Business and Entertainment, and one covering the Elstree base proposals.

This will mean that members on the Drama pillar will receive two ballot papers.

Both ballots will open 9 July and close 30 July 2010, with papers being sent to home addresses.

Filed under: BBC Studios and Post Production, News

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Posted Friday 2 July 2010 at 1534