BBC redundancy deal with unions

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The Independent Online

The BBC today reached agreement over redeployment of staff which unions said would help employees facing redundancy.

The deal was agreed ahead of the BBC's Delivering Quality First announcement tomorrow, which could include hundreds of job losses.

The National Union of Journalists said that as a result of today's agreement, it had called off a dispute over compulsory redundancies which led to strikes in the summer and an on-going work to rule.

In a message to NUJ members at the BBC today, the union said "fundamental changes" had been made to the way the corporation approaches redundancy.

"We believe, if properly adhered to by the BBC, it will mean a functioning redeployment system which matches people's skills into available roles and breaks down the barriers which have prevented this happening previously," said the NUJ.

Helen Ryan, of the broadcasting union Bectu, said: "We welcome the agreement as one which will break down long-standing barriers to redeployment and address the stigma which can attach to staff seeking redeployment.

"It's in everyone's interests that staff don't leave the BBC unnecessarily, causing a loss of skills and experience. The disruption caused by redundancy both in the workplace and at home is huge, so if we can minimise the damage both the BBC and its staff will benefit."

A BBC spokesman said: "The BBC has agreed with the joint unions a number of changes to our redeployment processes to offer more help to staff facing redundancy who wish to be redeployed.

"Whilst we are not able to guarantee there will be no compulsory redundancies, we are pleased that following agreement on these redeployment commitments, the NUJ has agreed to end the current national dispute.