BBC staff to vote on industrial action over pensions
21 July 2010
BBC managers have refused to withdraw plans that will implement a cap of 1% on pensionable pay, irrespective of future pay rises or promotions. Staff across the BBC will now be balloted for industrial action by the staff unions.
Sue Harris, NUJ Broadcasting organiser, said:
"BBC management have shown complete contempt for staff in the face of the clear message from staff attending the series of consultative meetings that have taken place over the past two weeks. Those meetings have seen repeated votes – unanimous in almost all cases – calling on the staff unions to ballot for industrial action should the BBC continue to pursue its plans for a blatant pensions robbery.
"Staff across the country are already incensed at the proposals and will be even more furious now, particularly given the revelation this week that BBC deputy director general Mark Byford will trouser a staggering £400,000 a year in pension payments upon retirement. It's hypocrisy, pure and simple."
The NUJ, together with BECTU and Unite, will continue to meet with BBC managers during the statutory consultation period with the intention of convincing the BBC to withdraw its current proposals and start meaningful dialogue with the staff unions over alternative ways of bridging the current pensions deficit.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ Deputy General Secretary, added:
"We're obviously disappointed, but not entirely surprised, that the BBC is taking such a hard line over this issue. Without question, the government is paying extremely close attention to the development of this dispute, given their plans for wholesale pensions reform across the public sector. The NUJ will do everything possible to defend the hard-earned pension rights of BBC staff."