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By a Newsnet reporter
 
The NUJ Scottish Organiser has told BBC management it will be almost impossible to find enough volunteers for redundancy within the short time frame following the announcement of 35 job losses across Scotland.
 
At a meeting to discuss the scale of the latest cuts Paul Holleran said unless redundancy terms were improved he could not see the figures being reached before the end of September.

Mr Holleran, NUJ Scottish organiser said: "While we knew cuts were coming I think it would be no exaggeration to state that people in radio and the newsroom in particular were shocked at the large numbers affected.

At a time when BBC Scotland should be getting more resources to deal with the growing demand for political debate around the independence referendum and what kind of a future we want for Scotland then these cuts are forced through because of the bad deal over the licence fee settlement.

“They are finding it difficult to produce programmes with the current straffing 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."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: "The cuts proposed in Scotland will damage the BBC.  Under the so-called Delivering Quality First programme, the BBC must find 20 per cent cuts and the Corportation plan to axe thousands of jobs, while the licence fee remains frozen until 2017.

“At the same time the BBC must take on extra £340 million in spending responsibilities, including the funding of the World Service, local TV and the rollout of fast broadband.  The NUJ are calling on the BBC to defend quality journalism, improve the licence fee settlement and avoid compulsory redundancies."

The announcement, which was made today, was also condemned by Pete Wishart MP who called it a "devastating blow" for output in news and current affairs across Scotland.

The latest losses under the ‘Delivering Quality First’ initiative were announced in an email to staff from BBC Scotland Director Ken MacQuarrie. 

They include eight jobs in radio, two in the Gaelic department, 17 in news and current affairs, six in marketing and communications and two in new media.  Output from BBC Highlands will be drastically affected, losing half its reporting staff at Inverness.

With the need for cutbacks deriving from Westminster decisions on BBC funding, Mr Wishart said these further losses were evidence of the need for broadcasting powers to be devolved to the Scottish Government to ensure plurality and choice in Scotland.

Mr Wishart said: “The news of these planned job losses at BBC Scotland will cause great stress and uncertainty to the staff affected and I hope even at this late stage can be reconsidered.

“This will have a massive impact on news and current affairs provision in Scotland, cutting output from professional journalists across Scotland.”

The jobs cut announcement comes less than a week after First Minister Alex Salmond described the Westminster controlled framework for broadcasting in Scotland “outdated”.  Mr Salmond insisted that, regardless of the outcome of the independence referendum, that control over broadcasting should be moved from London to Edinburgh.

Mr Wishart added: “The need to make such devastating cuts has been driven by license fee decisions made by a Westminster government whose policy continues to short-change Scotland.  The outdated broadcasting framework never kept up with the realities of devolution, but now it is falling even further behind the curve of the constitutional debate.”

The SNP MP called the decision to cut staff at a time when Scotland is in the middle of an unprecedented constitutional debate “astonishing” and continued:

“Scottish television viewers deserve balanced, high quality and impartial journalism from right across the country but these losses are bound to limit the capabilities of BBC Scotland, especially beyond the central belt.

“This underlines why control of broadcasting should be devolved to the Scottish government and the Scottish Parliament.  The Scottish Government is committed to maintaining high quality public service broadcasting in Scotland, but we have been short changed for too long by the current set-up.

“The UK Government should act urgently to transfer powers over broadcasting to Edinburgh to ensure high quality, plural output which better reflects all Scottish social, cultural and political perspectives.”

In the internal email, BBC Scotland controller Ken MacQuarrie confirmed compulsory redundancies could not be ruled out, but pledged to try to avoid such measures wherever possible.

Addressing concerns over the ability of BBC Scotland to provide high quality, objective journalism and programming Mr MacQuarrie said:

“Our aim remains to provide high quality and distinctive programmes, content and services for audiences in Scotland and in the rest of the UK.  Our proposals will ensure that we deliver those aims and respond to the demands of an ever-changing industry.

"This story of sustainable growth, opportunity and skills development will continue over the period up until Charter Renewal."

 

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Comments  

 
# border reiver 2012-08-29 19:05
These staff cuts may be how the BBC hierarcy plans to deal with a few indy problems. By reducing staff it will give them an excuse to cut/reduce a number of Scottish political programmes, they may also scrap Newsnight Scotland who are under increasing pressure to be more balanced over its reporting. More importantly the large cuts to the staff in the Highlands may be a warning shot across the bow to discenting voices within the rest of the BBCs Scottish staff
 
 
# Silverytay 2012-08-29 19:22
Having been made unemployed twice in my life I hate seeing people lose their jobs .
This is the usual , we pay the unionist tax for less service .
I would take a bet that it will be the innocent staff at the biased beeb that will be culled while the biased better together labour placemen and women will keep theirs .
 
 
# Marian 2012-08-29 19:51
The Tories never really liked the BBC. They are utterly convinced that it is a hotbed of left wing propaganda and would dearly like to cut it down to size or abolish it altogether.

Were it not for the fact that the Tories are in a coalition and don't want to appear too much of a "nasty party" at this stage, the BBC would have been half-way to full privatisation by this time in the parliament.

Full privatisation will definitely be on the Tories agenda when they win the next Westminster general election in 2015.

Labour will of course as usual adhere to their right wing principles and fully support anything the Tories do to the BBC.

Meantime it appears we are seeing death by a thousand cuts.
 
 
# robbo 2012-08-29 20:25
Quoting Marian:
The Tories never really liked the BBC. They are utterly convinced that it is a hotbed of left wing propaganda and would dearly like to cut it down to size or abolish it altogether.

Were it not for the fact that the Tories are in a coalition and don't want to appear too much of a "nasty party" at this stage, the BBC would have been half-way to full privatisation by this time in the parliament.

Full privatisation will definitely be on the Tories agenda when they win the next Westminster general election in 2015.

Labour will of course as usual adhere to their right wing principles and fully support anything the Tories do to the BBC.

Meantime it appears we are seeing death by a thousand cuts.


I don't think the Tories are the only one that would want to see the Beeb privatised.

It hardly seems fair that you have to pay a license fee to have a TV, but the vast bulk of that money goes to the Beeb. Meanwhile all the other channels have to compete with adverts as their primary source of revenue.

A lot of people may be happy to continue to pay for the Beeb if it was optional anyway.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-08-29 21:12
"...Full privatisation will definitely be on the Tories agenda when they win the next Westminster general election in 2015..."

If that is a likely outcome, they are between a rock and a hard place, in which case the slightly softer option for them might be to go with independence, bearing in mind what Salmond said about using the existing service and staff as a basis for the new broadcaster.
 
 
# Wee-Scamp 2012-08-29 20:07
If the BBC are in need of suggestions as to who should be made redundant I'd be happy to provide them with a list!!
 
 
# Davy 2012-08-29 20:18
The fear of loseing your job is a very strong incentive to ensure that people toe the line as required.

Off topic, have you noticed that the "labour hame" site has changed the way you enter comments to their articles.
you now have to log onto the site with a password ? any ideas how ????????

The cowards have blocked their site from anyone but there own supporters.
Must be fedup of consistently lossing the argument to the cybernat meanies.
 
 
# hiorta 2012-08-29 20:23
Could this be the thin edge of the Unionist wedge being prepared to disguise the inevitable loss of face if the referendum result is not conceded beforehand?
Alternatively, can we look forward to a vindictive scorched earth policy?
 
 
# ButeHouse 2012-08-29 20:33
Addressing concerns over the ability of BBC Scotland to provide high quality, objective journalism and programming Mr MacQuarrie said:

"It's never been our intention to confuse the Scots with high quality, objective journalism and in that respect I think we have done an excellent job to date."


Yeah - OK, I said that but really, high quality objective journalism? who is he kidding?

Wee Scamp took the words out of my mouth when he offered to provide the BBC with a list of possible 'leavers'.

Personally I've no sympathy with them at all, they deserve all they get for their lies, disinformation, misinformation, skewing and the latest wheeze - every bit of good news announced by the Scottish Government the BBC manages to find some bad news on the same topic to go with it.

These people are evil, liars through and through, either that or they are so incompetent and so stupid they don't realise what they are reading out.

Either way the sooner they are gone the better.

VOTE YES
 
 
# Diabloandco 2012-08-29 20:57
" The NUJ are calling on the BBC to defend quality journalism, improve the licence fee settlement and avoid compulsory redundancies" did he say that with a straight face?

ButeHouse , can't help but agree with you -particularly your final description.
 
 
# Breeks 2012-08-29 20:59
I suppose it is tough to make ends meet AND make a news program when you've only got an annual budget of £3.5 billion.

I wonder if these redundant journalists will be sworn to silence about life behind the cameras in a BBC newsroom.
 
 
# Clydebuilt 2012-08-29 21:24
Quoting Breeks:
I wonder if these redundant journalists will be sworn to silence about life behind the cameras in a BBC newsroom.


Civil Servants and NHS stafers are given gongs to hold their wheesht. Can't see the sacked journos being given gongs.
 
 
# peter,aberdeenshire 2012-08-29 21:30
It is never nice to see someone losing their job, but maybe a wake up call for some BBC Scotland employees, you can be a good little drone and tow the party line but at the end of the day when it comes to cuts and a choice between Scottish and English jobs you will always lose. The union puts Scotland way down the pecking order.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-08-29 21:36
"a choice between Scottish and English jobs".

I haven't seen the job cuts in the English regions outside London. Have you?
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2012-08-30 05:29
oldnat
"a choice between Scottish and English jobs".

I haven't seen the job cuts in the English regions outside London. Have you?

From October last year:

telegraph.co.uk/.../...

“ The BBC is to cut 2,000 of its 17,000 staff and move another 1,000 to its new Manchester base as part of a plan to reduce annual spending by £700 million, the corporation will announce today.

I have been led to believe that a number of big beasts/hitters from London are digging their claws in against this move… how barbaric that they want us to move north of Watford.

Another thought, using the same logic, is that if they moved another larger tranche from London to Scotland they would even save more money… in fact why not transfer the whole of the BBC northwards, that would save a lot of grief and money.

.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-08-30 06:05
It is time that they moved away from Londoncentricit y.

I watched a programme last night where the great and good of the gardening and the entertainment world were doing a project to reclaim unused land as a public space in a good cause - In London of course. The next programme scheduled is...da da ...also in London.

We and the rest of the country outside London are paying for some of this, so why is't the BBC munificence shared around?
 
 
# cjmasta 2012-08-29 23:57
Is what we're seeing a cut in jobs (of the most important) whilst programmes are labelled as scottish whilst not being remotely so but we are paying for it and it is spent on our budget basically? I'm far from a fan of bbc political output, they show their colours almost daily but we must remember and also point our every bit of bias if we're to show scots. We're being conned. Daily!
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-08-30 00:20
Once again Alex Salmond is totally on the 8-ball this week with his pronouncement that Scotland will have its own public broadcaster and will use the "staff" and facilities presently a the disposal of the BBC.

The problem for many anti-SNP-ists at the BBC, is they are not on the "staff", but are freelancers and are unlikely to be able to successfully argue their case when new Scottish appointments are being made.

Tough!
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2012-08-30 06:22
OT

Oh dear trouble at mill for Guideon:

Now the Tories can't balance the books in Osborne's back yard

Chancellor's local Conservative Club calls crisis meeting over threats to shut it down

independent.co.uk/.../...

I especially loved the latter part of the article:

Recent research showed that national Conservative membership had slumped to between 130,000 and 170,000 – down from 300,000 when Mr Cameron succeeded Michael Howard. There are fears within the party it could soon fall below 100,000. Some of the biggest falls have been in the constituencies of government ministers.

As Wee Eck once put it… The Tories are getting duffed up… couldn’t have put it better myself.
 
 
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-08-30 07:05
The political situation in the UK is much akin to the theory of boiling a frog. The temperature (cuts to public services) has been slowly wound up to the point the English frogs no longer seem to be able to identify the threat. In Scotland we have found the water getting to hot for our liking and are now about to hop off into the distance.

The BBC thought they could be clever and slowly hollow out BBC Scotland's infra structure through clever accounting and ascribing freelance programs made on 'behalf' of BBC Scotland as Scottish made programs. They have been nicked by Sergeant Eck.

The problem for BBC Scotland is they then buy back the skills from the producers / engineers etc. they made 'redundant' at a higher real cost as freelance. I know because one of my friends is one of these BBC Scotland 'freelance' radio producers and is being paid more to do less, under less pressure by his own account.

The madness of neo-liberal, all that matters is ther bottom line, economics.
 
 
# Leswil 2012-08-30 07:23
I can't wait for disgruntled whistle blowers to start spilling the beans, regarding the BBC and it's bias against the people of Scotland!!
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2012-08-30 07:36
Quote from article, above:
Output from BBC Highlands will be drastically affected, losing half its reporting staff at Inverness.

As far as I am aware the BBC are not shedding half of its Highland editorial staff, but two thirds, yes two out of three.

pressandjournal.co.uk/.../...

The BBC is under fire over plans to axe two of its three senior broadcast reporters in Inverness.
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-08-30 07:38
Now let me get this right. We in Scotland pay the BBC 350 million in licnse tax, they in turn spend around 150 million of that here. Not sure how they equate such a surplus as a reason to 'cut' unless they think that their whole operation here is simply expendible so long as they can feed us the usual mis-information at whatever level.
BBC Scotland is a cancerous malignant tumor gnawing away at the very heart of the democratic process here in Scotland. We need to erradicate it before it succeeds in destroying our desire for self-determination. Removing its blood supply would of-course help enormously.
 
 
# Old Smokey 2012-08-30 08:00
O/T
Did anyone else here the rant of Alistair Bonnington on this mornings GMS?
He considers Holyrood a waste of space, really doesnt like the SNP, or Alex salmond or Kenny MacAskill, not the MSP's. Thinks the laws passed are 'childishly written'. He felt it was all embaressing
Interestingly GMS forgot to mention that he was at one time the BBC Scotland solicitor and legal correspondant (not sure if he still is)
 
 
# flyingscotsman 2012-08-30 09:16
In a perfect world lawyers consider the law alone and should not be involved in any political bias. Bonnington is certainly not one of those that maintain that line.

In 2009 he seemingly was against the Law Society "cosying up" to politicians. But it looks like he has no problem putting the boot into the SNP's ideas of a better justice system. Hypocritical.
firmmagazine.com/.../...
 
 
# xyz 2012-08-30 09:31
It's a bit worrying that all the Scottish people ever hear is that Holyrood, the Scottish government, everything Scottish is complete rubbish.
 
 
# weegie38 2012-08-30 09:50
What I found absolutely bizarre was the support he got from Anne Ritchie. This is a quote from the BBC website article.

Quote:
His criticisms have been supported by Anne Ritchie, vice-president of Glasgow Bar Association. She said such legislation was passed in reaction to an event - but ultimately it was not satisfactory. "In any crime, there are a number of people affected, including victims and their families," she said. "Passing legislation afterwards, however well-meaning, doesn't affect their lives or undo the harm they have suffered."

By her logic, we would have no legal system at all: I'm sure someone in history was murdered before it ever became a crime...
 
 
# Ready to Start 2012-08-30 08:08
Old Smokey yes he gets regular extended airtime as the BBC's favourite Unionist lawyer attacking the SNP Scottish government. But he is no longer the BBC's legal correspondent.

Did you see Brian Wilson's pro BBC rant in Scotsman yesterday scotsman.com/.../...
 
 
# J Wil 2012-08-30 08:34
What will be the quid pro quo for that one? More sympathetic reporting for Labour. But wasn't that Wilson's intention all along?
 
 
# gus1940 2012-08-30 08:17
If the BBC Scotland staff want to take a stand against the redundancies all they have to do is threaten to ignore the policy of blatant anti-independence bias and threaten that if the redundancies go ahead they will ignore management policy and produce output totally free from Bias, Misreporting and Omission.

That would immediately concentrate the minds of the management and their political string-pullers and cause them to reconsider the redundancies.
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-08-30 11:03
Yes Gus and pigs will fly past your window!

Whatever is driving the personal inputs of these anti-SNP BBC folk is much more in their gut than in doing what their told.

"Only obeying orders", so to speak, Aye, right!
 
 
# Robabody 2012-08-30 22:10
Ahh Bt, the old Nuremberg defence.....sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.

Disappointingly the NUJ have come late to the game, happy to take the subs without reminding members of the potential consequences of their behaviours. So much for their professional code of conduct.

Like so much in our lives the fine words of equality, fraternity and liberty etc., oft miss the actualities of business and personal actions.
 
 
# Leswil 2012-08-30 16:46
Do not forget WE PAY for a good service from the BBC and we are ALREADY being short changed.

There is no justification in us receiving a further depleted service, it is truly bad enough.

I am sure these jobs are well funded from the Scottish viewpoint, they should make their cuts elsewhere, fire Jeremy Clarkson for example!, and save a million quid right there!

We should not be surprised at whatever the Unionist BBC do in Scotland, time for the SBC!

We need control of our own media, to ensure we get the true facts that we deserve to get.

The "EBC" are never likely to report these freely while taking part in the Unionist conspiracy against the Scottish people.

As a side issue as I passed the newspaper stand this morning, I say the headline that the UK is subsidising the INDIAN NAVY ! with the contributions we give to them.

Yes, the money they have said that they don't want, and that it was chicken feed. Just send it back to Scotland!, we will put it to good use!.

You could not make it up!
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-08-31 18:05
Leswil - don't think that money being sent to any country by UK Gov is without tags., these will be as contra payment for something or other.

I'm more than a tad concerned with the free hand in the pooch that pays for Ian Davidson's shenanigans and his farce of a Select committee.

Whoever approves payment for example, to Lord Sutherland's bunch of experts, charged with calling Scotland a "state" and to devise a more suitably union disposed referendum question; an exercise which is the sole province of the Scottish Government and none of their damned business? And a ploy which backfired spectacularly with the recommended form of words being more suitable for the YES camp and now no doubt destined for the scrapheap with the rest of their botch-ups.

I ask again who's paying for all this nonsense and is there anyone watching the money being tossed away? I was under the impression we UK-ists were in the depths of a deepening depression and all struggling with austerity?

Calum Cashley's blog; Fri 24 August 2012 - "Asking the Question".

Also, who's paying for arch-unionist Brian Wilson to head up the newly created sham British and Scottish Export job, which will be no more than a black-ops cover for SNP bashing and costing no doubt millions?

It's truly getting more ridiculous by the day.
 
 
# cokynutjoe 2012-09-01 07:41
Just been listening to BBC Scotland's "Out of Doors", is it not passing strange that this programme wanders up hill and down dale in Scotland engaging with members of the public the majority of whom have Home Counties accents, and this is every week.
Would there be a similar programme on rural England where we pass from Jock to Jock? I very much doubt it. Similarly, can one imagine this happening in Ireland.
Don't Scots visit their own hills? can't the producers of this prog' find Scots coherent enough to take part? is there some kind of dumbing down going on here? I think we should be told.
 
 
# setondene 2012-09-02 09:11
A large chunk of our countryside is owned by people with 'Home Counties accents'. They are the British establishment. Scottish made programmes now have to be capable of being syndicated UK-wide. Given that the home counties English find our speech difficult to understand you can see the imperative to interview largely English-accented individuals. I guess that will be more comforting for the potential audience and avoid the embarrassment of using subtitles. No consideration whatsoever is given to the deleterious effect on Scottish self-confidence or culture. I am sick to death of programmes that gently massage English egos, while we struggle to even be heard.
 

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