Siemens union threatens BBC strike
Planes, trains and now the telly?
Members of media union Bectu have voted in favour of strike action to oppose a BBC pay freeze for tech staff.
Siemens staff working at the BBC voted for action unless talks on Wednesday prove successful, after a giant outsourcing deal.
Bectu told the BBC the result on Friday and the two sides will meet again on Wednesday.
Suresh Chawla, national official at Bectu, said the union remained hopeful that a strike can still be avoided and an amicable settlement reached.
The ballot opened in late February.
Siemens took over Auntie's technology in 2004 and 1,400 staff moved across. But the deal has been widely criticised - the Public Accounts Committee said the Beeb had failed to manage the contract properly and that 60 per cent of projects were either delivered late or were over budget.
The union pay offer was made in October but rejected. Siemens offered a small rise in exchange for concessions on performance related pay which the union said its members had already rejected. ®
I see you are showing your brilliant IT skills by failing even the simple task of making your self Anonymous!
Seen it before..
[e] where you hope that after 2 year TUPE protection, the new "commercial" company will axe staff in order to pass on savings that are demanded... BBC will be able to say this is now of their hands
This won't affect broadcasting, the only (if any) effects will be longer term.
There are only 3 scenarios in which outsourcing may make sense:
[a] where economies of scale can be achieved - unlikely if 1,400 staff are involved;
[b] where the 'sale and leaseback' of staff can be used to provide a cash injection that can keep the annual bonuses rolling long enough for your golden parachute to kick in - not applicable in a non-profit like the Beeb; and
[c] where IT management is FUBAR - but then the obvious course of action is to sack the clueless bastards and employ someone competent.
The Beeb have obviously discovered:
[d] leaping onto a bandwagon whose 'sell by' date is long past.
Why are office systems so bad?
What really angers me is that the BBC office systems are so hard to use. (There are other Siemens-related frustrations, but that's another story.)
For example, the Web Kiosk system at the BBC for adding leave days is ridiculously difficult to use -- likewise the internal wikis and travel booking systems (i.e. not just Siemens).
This kind of bad software affects the daily lives of virtually every employee -- it's a huge source of frustration and drain on productivity, and makes the corporation look stupid.
Same as every other company I ever worked for. There's nothing wrong with individual Siemens employees -- in my experience, they're generally friendly and helpful.
At the BBC, like in most companies, making office systems easy to use is never seen as a priority.
(e) is, in fact, a special case of (b), with two interesting twists: the managers that arranged this outsourcing have earned big bonuses for a loss-making exercise (as pointed out by the Public Accounts Committee) and have also earned the distrust of technical staff, who wouldn't dream of returning to work for such a dreadful employer as the BBC.
The carpetbaggers in charge of the BBC aren't concerned about the BBC's future, unlike most BBC employees and users, because their political patrons will take care of them and allow them to make the rest of the workforce redundant bit by bit. The result will be a restrictive video playout channel that's dependent on politicians to support a licence fee which fewer and fewer people pay. The Italian solution will be delivered, unfortunately to the benefit of Murdoch, who is even more of a threat to democracy than Bellusconi.