Monday, April 12, 2010

Bectu in Casualty protest

By Matthew Hemley for The Stage:
Production staff from the BBC series Casualty are to stage a protest outside the drama’s Bristol-based production studios this Wednesday, following claims some employees are being dismissed so the Corporation can avoid awarding them certain employment rights,

According to Bectu, seven staff from the show’s props department are not having their contracts renewed this month, because the BBC wants to avoid having to grant the employees specific rights that come with working for the Corporation over 12 months.
Here's the report on the Bectu website:
"This treatment of individuals would be unacceptable and immoral coming from any employer. However, the fact this it is the BBC, a publically funded, and universally respected broadcaster will cause many to view the BBC in a new light," commented, Helen Ryan, supervisory official.

Staff at risk are being encouraged to lodge a formal appeal against their dismissal and a sample letter is being circulated.

Whilst the dispute centres on the BBC's attempts to stop staff accruing employment rights, it is well known that some of the staff affected have worked on Casualty for up to six years having been contracted by Bristol Design Services up until April 2009.

"The BBC's stance is so unfair and so wrong it has to be challenged publically. The experience represented by the staff at risk cannot be replaced locally and it is predicted that production managers may need to hire staff from London.

"This makes a mockery of the BBC's commitment to regional production and is set to increase costs. Where's the sense in that? BBC managers have also needlessly damaged industrial relations. We will do everything we can to persuade BBC Vision to reverse this decision."

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