BBC refuses to negotiate with striking NUJ

The BBC director general has stated that he will not compromise with the NUJ in the row over pensions despite the spectre of further strike action over Christmas.

In an email thanking staff that worked during last week’s walk out, Mark Thompson said: “We cannot and will not enter fresh negotiations or contemplate fresh changes to the agreed offer on pension reform no matter how much industrial action there is from the NUJ.”

Of the five unions that exist within the BBC, the National Union of Journalists was the only one which – following extensive negotiations – refused to accept changes to the BBC’s pension scheme. The union has threatened to strike again on the 15 and 16 November.

Meanwhile, the Beeb has also come under fire from the BBC Trust. Its report on the state of BBC programming demanded an improvement to “formulaic and derivative” shows.
Citing a lack of creativity and imagination, both BBC1 and BBC2 were criticised for a lack of “fresh and new ideas”, with the majority of viewer criticism targeted at unimaginative daytime shows of “collectable hunting and property”.

Viewer research also showed that over a third of those asked felt that the licence fee did not represent good value for money.

“Our research shows that audiences demand more from the BBC, with viewers looking for ideas they can’t find anywhere else,” said Diane Coyle, who was responsible for the report. “While plans are already underway to improve daytime output, the [BBC] executive needs to be more ambitious and take more creative risks to satisfy viewers’ expectations,” she warned.

(Source: MediaGuardian)

This article appears in issue 260 of Media Digest.

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