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Thursday 31st
posted by Rory MacKinnon in Britain

BEEB Bosses are “beyond stupid,” union leaders have said amid plans to keep slashing journalists’ jobs while doling millions out to management.

The broadcaster’s year-on-year layoffs, mothballed programmes and budget cuts — branded “Delivering Quality First” — have long rankled the National Union of Journalists.

But general secretary Michelle Stanistreet voiced disbelief yesterday at a fresh purge of some 500 posts in News and the World Service, with most axed by April of next year — only to advertise 266 new vacancies.

“Hiring from outside at the same time as making long-serving staff redundant is beyond stupid,” she scoffed.

Meanwhile the broadcaster’s annual report showed that in the 12 months to April, £2.76m disappeared into the pockets of just a dozen executives, with a further 59 senior managers receiving a combined £7.13m.

“And the gravy train rolls on for senior executives, as they continue to recruit top-grade, top-pay posts and pay lavish perks at the same time as announcing cuts for the rest.

“Creating new roles for managers at the same time as axing jobs for journalists and programme-makers shows the BBC has its priorities all wrong,” she said.

“This is the time for radical change at the BBC and a reframing of how our public service broadcaster is structured and run — targeting resources at grassroots programming rather than fleshy layers of management and perks for executives should be a no-brainer.”

The confrontation follows a near-walkout over pay disputes, timed to coincide with the BBC’s Commonwealth Games coverage.

Union officials said they had postponed the strike in light of an eleventh-hour improved offer from management.

The union is now balloting members on whether to accept the deal.

The proposed cuts include:

- 105 in the World Service

- 79 in the BBC’s newsroom

- 56 posts in newsgathering

- 5 jobs from programmes, including all four Panorama reporters

- 2 posts from political programming