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Some 1440 BBC Technology staff have been transferred to Siemens Business Services today following the completion of a major ten-year £2bn Technology Framework Contract (TFC).

The sale of the BBC's tecnology division received ministerial approval a week ago after Culture Minister Tessa Jowell said there was "no legitimate reason" to block the sale.

Trade union BECTU has fought the sell-off for almost a year. It claims it is "not just the BBC selling off one of its Crown Jewels, it's a case of handing its central nervous system over to the private sector".

As part of the deal BBC Technology is to be renamed Siemens Business Services Media Holdings Ltd, which will now provide the staff, skills and investment needed to support the BBC's technology needs.

Siemens acknowledged that many staff were likely to be apprehensive about the move. However, workers have won a number of guarantees which it's hoped will smooth the transition, including a promise that their employment terms and conditions will remain unchanged for three years and no compulsory redundancies for 12 months. ®

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