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NUJ announces BBC strike date

11 February 2013

BBC NUJ journalists will come out on strike on February 18, unless the corporation agrees to end compulsory redundancies and redeploy the posts under an agreed scheme.

From Friday 15, journalists will start a work to rule as part of the dispute.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"After months of negotiations with BBC Scotland management, NUJ reps fighting to secure the jobs of nine of their colleagues discovered that six jobs were being externally advertised, offering six-month contracts to journalists who do not work for the corporation.
"The BBC is prepared to waste public money on needless redundancies rather than secure redeployment opportunities for those at risk. This demonstrates the significant failures of some managers to uphold key aspects of the redeployment agreement, let alone the spirit of the deal.
"In the meantime we have meetings planned with the BBC and we want to engage in meaningful negotiations to resolve this dispute - I hope common sense prevails and a sensible solution is agreed which will mean that strike action is not necessary."

The job losses are part of the BBC's Delivering Quality First programme which plans more than 2,000 job cuts across the corporation.

In a letter sent to all BBC members, Michelle Stanistreet said:

As you know, your NUJ reps took a decision at their recent meeting to take industrial action. This follows the overwhelming vote by members to oppose compulsory redundancies by taking strike action if necessary.
Unfortunately, despite extensive efforts by your NUJ representatives and officials, there remain a number of your colleagues at risk of being forced out of their jobs by the end of March:  in BBC Scotland, the Asian Network, Newsbeat, News, Five Live, the Big Screens, the World Service and English Regions.
After months of negotiations with BBC Scotland management, NUJ reps fighting to secure the jobs of nine of their colleagues discovered that six jobs were being externally advertised, offering six-month contracts to journalists who do not work for the corporation. The BBC is prepared to waste public money on needless redundancies rather than secure redeployment opportunities for those at risk. This demonstrates the significant failures of some managers to uphold key aspects of the redeployment agreement, let alone the spirit of the deal.
That is why - once again - the NUJ is asking members to stand shoulder to shoulder with their colleagues facing the needless loss of their jobs and take action.
The decision to roll out a work to rule means that this will start on Friday 15 February 2013. Full guidance will be circulated to your local reps in advance.
In addition your reps voted to call a one day national strike - this will take place on Monday 18 February.
This month, the NUJ secured a victory for former BBC member Russell Maddicks in his tribunal case against the BBC for unfair dismissal. Like many other colleagues, Russell was forced out on compulsory redundancy despite there being other jobs and other available opportunities in the BBC. Don't let the BBC treat other members in the same way. Support the strike and say NO TO COMPULSORY REDUNDANCIES.
In the meantime, we have meetings planned with the BBC next week and we want to engage in meaningful negotiations to resolve this dispute - I hope common sense prevails and a sensible solution is agreed which will mean that strike action is not necessary.

Tags: , BBC, broadcasting, strike, industrial action