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Friday 3rd
posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

Bid for ‘leaner’ Beeb puts 1,000 jobs at risk

BBC workers pledged to fight compulsory redundancies yesterday after the corporation announced that more than 1,000 jobs are for the chop.

Director-general Tony Hall unveiled the cuts as part of his bid to create a “simpler, leaner BBC” to meet a £150 million licence fee shortfall caused by frozen charges and dwindling numbers watching live TV.

The corporation has already taken measures to make £1.5 billion savings a year by 2017 through making people redundant, slashing admin costs, selling off the landmark BBC Television Centre in White City for £200m and sharing sports rights.

Around 1,000 posts will go as three layers of middle management are shed, while the number of BBC divisions will also be reduced.

Human resources services will also be taken back in-house when the current contract with Capita runs out.

The BBC expects the cuts announced yesterday to save £50m.

National Union of Journalists general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said a restructuring that “prioritises journalism and programming” was “overdue.”

She said “fleshy layers of management” had been preserved in previous waves of cuts “that have badly hit grassroots content.

“The NUJ will ensure in the forthcoming consultation process that already overstretched editorial areas are not further compromised in the reviews and further cuts to come.

“It is concerning that the details revealed today will only account for around a third of the cost savings needed.

“We will work with our sister unions to ensure that the redeployment process is made to work properly and that compulsory redundancies are avoided.”

Broadcasting union Bectu also welcomed the bid to cut “the layers of management between the director-general and programme-makers.

“That said it is essential, as in any programme of cuts, that staff and unions are fully involved in the consultation and that where jobs are closed that redeployment opportunities are maximised.”

The Tories have slashed the arts budget by 36 per cent since 2010 and more cuts are expected as part of the £12bn “savings” the government is set to impose.