Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Back to life, back to reality

After the excitement of Baghdad, it's back to the more mundane - although that's a kind description of five hours of pay negotiations at the BBC. Given the economic climate and the fact that most members are focused on saving jobs and looking ahead to a battle to save the current salary scheme we felt we got a reasonable offer out of the BBC. No-one will be rich but at least most people will get a rise with the lowest paid benefiting the most.

Thursday was a day of BBC talks - first up an interview with Newsnight about the state of the local newspaper industry followed negotiations over BBC Sport's move to Salford. Next up it was talks with Bectu about the BBC/ITV partnerships and the likely Digital Britain outcomes before beginnning the marathon pay negotiations.

Friday I was up early to travel to Eastbourne for the TUC's Trades Councils Conference, which I chair. After a committee meeting we hosted a rally against the far right before the conference proper debated motions on the economic crisis, the environment, education, public services and much more. It must have been the warm weather and the fact we were meeting in a windowless room but we were all finished by 11am on Sunday - surely a record, which I put down to great chairing! It at least allowed me a couple of hours on the beach.

No rest for the wicked. Monday morning it's in to the office for a management meeting before trying to plough through emails and head to the TUC for a meeting.

Tonight is the Amnesty International Media Awards which I am looking forward to - I was a judge and am handing over two of the awards. Before that I've got negotiations with our own staff unions and am making a speech to a joint meeting of trades union councils in London.

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