BBC staff vote to accept pay deal which will provide 'greater transparency' and help hold corporation to account on pay parity

BBC staff have voted to accept a three-year pay deal and terms and conditions agreement after almost two years of negotiations.

The deal will provide “greater transparency” in pay and make it easier for the BBC to be held accountable for pay parity after “big and significant” issues needed addressing, union representatives said.

The corporation said it was a “significant moment in helping make the BBC simpler, fairer and more consistent”.

Members of the National Union of Journalists and technical union BECTU voted to accept the deal, while Union will report on the result from its members later this week.

The three-year pay deal, which is backdated from August last year and will run until the end of July 2020, is for 2 per cent in 2017/18.

Staff will then receive a pay award of 2 per cent in 2018/19 and 2.5 per cent (or the licence fee settlement percentage if higher) in 2019/20.

As part of the agreement, it was agreed that a new BBC minimum salary of £20,000, up from £15,687, will be introduced from 1 August this year.

According to BECTU, it also included increased sick pay and a simpler pay and grading structure with increased transparency.

BECTU members voted overwhelmingly for the deal, by 77 per cent, in a ballot that closed yesterday.

Assistant national secretary Noel McClean said: “There were a number of big and significant issues that needed to be addressed in this deal.

“Our members engaged with us on an unprecedented level to make sure that we were negotiating the best possible deal for them. Without that level of engagement we would not have been able to get this result.”

NUJ members showed a slightly lower level of consensus, with 58.69 per cent voting to accept the offer as concerns remained over night and weekend working.

A joint working group is to be set up with representatives from the BBC, NUJ, BECTU and Unite to investigate how weekend working should be recognised.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “There is still a lot of work to be done on terms and conditions, particularly on night working and on weekend working – which we plan to ensure will deliver further improvements to working patterns and conditions for NUJ members at the BBC, particularly those who routinely work unsocial hours.

“It’s now time for the BBC’s commitments to better working conditions and greater work-life balance to be put into action.

“The new pay structure still requires collective effort to make it work, but it is a structure that will provide greater transparency and assist in holding the BBC to account on pay parity now and in the future.”

Anne Bulford, BBC deputy director-general, said: “We welcome this ballot result and the news that members of the NUJ and BECTU have voted in favour of simple, fair and consistent proposals which are an essential part of modernising the BBC.

“Throughout the past 18 months we have been engaged in a collaborative process with the unions and these changes will benefit staff, the BBC, and most importantly the audiences we serve.”

Picture: Reuters/Neil Hall 

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