Government stalls on decision to sell off BBC technology

The
Government is still deciding whether to approve the £2bn sell-off of the BBC’s
technology division.

Ownership
of BBC Technology, which employs 1,400 staff, was due to be passed to IT
services company Siemens at the beginning of September despite union
resistance.

However,
the Department of Culture Media and Sport said that no decision would be made
until minister Tessa Jowell
had met the Bectu union to
discuss the on the sell-off, and the BBC’s target date was switched to October
as a result.

At
the meeting last week, the union told Jowell
that although significant progress in securing guarantees for terms and
conditions for staff had been made, the talks had been rushed through too
quickly because of the BBC’s compressed timetable.

The
union said there were still detailed issues to do with pensions that remained
unresolved.

No
timescale was set by the minister for responding to the BBC’s request to
proceed with the sale, and the union is hoping for another opportunity to feed
in comments.

In
a recent postal ballot among Bectu
members at BBC Technology, 94 per cent voted against the sell-off in principle,
despite the favourable terms and conditions package won by the union.

By Daniel Thomas

 

 

 

 

 

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