Broadcast union fears meltdown as BBC cuts jobs

BBC proposals that general managers take on specialist roles such as HR, after the implementation of planned job cuts, could bring the corporation’s production system “close to collapse”, union leaders have warned.

HR staff at the BBC will begin leaving the corporation as early as August, under the restructuring proposals that cut a total of 3,780 jobs.

After support staff have been made redundant, programme-makers and managers elsewhere in the corporation will then be expected to take on some of their duties.

In particular, programme production staff will be expected to cover for finance workers, while managers everywhere will have to take on responsibility for some tasks currently performed by HR specialists.

Adding a demand for more output from existing staff, on top of the extra administrative duties they will have to shoulder, could bring the production system close to the point of collapse, broadcast union Bectu said last week.

Managers will not have the time or training to replace the specialists, it said.

“We’re not against an effective, productive BBC, but many of the proposals are going to make it worse, not better,” said Bectu official Luke Crawley.

The BBC said its 35m Leadership Programme would ensure the job cuts do not affect operations.

“The programme is important because managers are going to have to take on some of those HR and finance responsibilities,” a BBC spokeswoman said.

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