National Union of Journalists general secretary Michelle Stanistreet warned today that planned jobs cuts at BBC Scotland could seriously hit the quality of news coverage.
The organisation plans to axe 35 posts according to BBC Scotland boss Ken MacQuarrie - eight in Radio Scotland, two in the Gaelic unit, six in marketing, and two in new media and 17 from news and current affairs.
Ms Stanistreet said: "The cuts proposed in Scotland will damage the BBC. Under the so-called Delivering Quality First programme, it must find 20 per cent cuts and the corporation plans to axe thousands of jobs."
Meanwhile, the licence fee remains frozen until 2017.
"The NUJ is calling on the BBC to defend quality journalism, improve the licence fee settlement and avoid compulsory redundancies."
NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran has told BBC management it will be almost impossible to find enough volunteers for redundancy within the short time frame following the announcement.
At a meeting Mr Holleran pointed out that unless redundancy terms were improved he could not see the figures being reached before the end of September. He said staff were "shocked" at the size of the cuts.
"BBC Scotland should be getting more resources to deal with the growing demand for political debate around the independence referendum."
He added: "They are finding it difficult to produce programmes with the current staffing levels and only then with a lot of good will from our members.
"At the moment I am pessimistic about these cuts happening without conflict but we will be meeting management again soon to hear their proposals and that will give us a clearer picture."
NUJ worries echo those of former BBC Scotland news chief Blair Jenkins who told the Daily Record the Beeb was "cracking at the seams."
Mr Jenkins, who quit in 2006 after refusing to carry out 25 per cent cuts, said: "Anyone who knows how radio and TV operates can see there have been issues with programmes in recent years."
BBC Scotland did not reply to requests for comment.
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