Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Flower power!

What a sight - more than 100 BBC World Service staff pouring out of the building armed with flowers and a banner to launch their campaign to Save the World Service. Staff fear plans to offshore work will undermine the credibility of their journalism and are angry that staff at the South Asia service are being forced to make a choice - lose your job or accept worse terms and conditions in India or Pakistan. Union members are only too keen to point out to the BBC World Service that they are effectively saying 'get back to where you came from'.
It was great to join the staff at the flower power protest.

On Monday I also had the pleasure of being one of the judges of the Amnesty International Media Awards for both consumer periodicals and newspaper supplements. It was incredibly difficult, the standard was so high but the judges, including Ian Hislop and Isabel Hilton (via a link to Beijing) reached a good consensus. To be honest we could have given them all an award.

I also had some contact with management at York where NUJ members are to strike from midnight tonight. Sadly no significant movement at this stage. I wish the strikers the best of luck and applaud their determination.

Yesterday I and BECTU General Secretary Gerry Morrissey had lunch with BBC Director General Mark Thompson to discuss the future of the BBC and in particular the licence fee and the threat of top-slicing.

The afternoon was taken up with other meetings with Bectu and with our reps at World Service.

Today it's budget day. Groan! It's that time of year when I start the process of putting together the union's budget for October 2008 to September 2009. It starts today and ends on 25 July when the NEC consider. In between it is scrutinised and debated by various committees and the national officers.

I also attended parts of the BBC/ITV reps meeting - a chance to discuss strategy and for them to say goodbye to John Fray who has worked so closely with most of them over the years.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jeremy, how much money have you spent of the NUJ's coffers in your ill conceived support of Maliks action at the High Court? Do you wish you had fully understood the principles involved or should you not let a principle stand in the way of a bit of posturing? The fact that Maliks book contains a tissue of lies-according to the co-author Hassan -is that relevant to your principled stance?