Morale at BBC Scotland is at ‘rock-bottom low’

Morale among BBC Scotland staff has sunk to a “rock-bottom low” amid deteriorating relations with managament, corporation bosses were told today.

• BBC staff morale at “rock-bottom low”

• Relations between staff and management worse in Scotland than rest of UK

• Proposed job losses, amounting to one in 10 posts, have angered corporation staff

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BBC Scotland director Ken McQuarrie was joined by senior executives at an appearance before Holyrood’s education and culture committee to discuss the impact of jobs cuts at Pacific Quay.

There was fury last year when they refused to appear in front of MSPs to discuss the loss of up to 120 jobs by 2017 as part of a drive to cut its budget by 16 per cent, but the BBC executives later agreed to give evidence. The planned job losses equate to nearly one in ten of its staff.

Committee convernor Stewart Maxwell said today a staff survey in 2010 showed that relations between staff and management were at a lower ebb in Scotland than across the UK.

“In advance of this meeting a number of people have spoken to me, a reasonable number, and the one thing they all said consistently was that in their view there was a complete lack of communication at BBC Scotland,” Mr Maxwell said.

“They weren’t being told, issues weren’t being addressed, they were not being dealt with or responded to, they were not being informed what was going on and morale was at a rock bottom low. That’s now.”

BBC Scotland Scotland chief Ken McQuarrie said he did not “minimise the importance” of looking at these issues and addressing them.

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But he added: “There’s a regular communication with the staff. We have a regular system of internal communication like any organisation has.

“We work all the time on getting the optimum internal communication, responding to what staff needs are being accessible and available at any point if staff want to raise an issue.”