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BBC strike ballot starts

4 November 2011

The NUJ ballot for industrial action at the BBC has started in response to the broadcaster's plans to axe thousands of jobs.

It intends to cut its budget by 20 per cent during the next five years – saving £670 million a year.

Mark Thompson, the BBC's director general, agreed last autumn to freeze the licence fee until 2017, but also accepted funding responsibility for several corporation services.

Since 2004, more than 7,000 jobs have gone at the BBC – 1,000 each year. The difference between pay at the top and bottom of the corporation stands at 47 times the lowest salary.

The BBC has refused to wait until the BBC Trust completes its public consultation on programme cuts before beginning making people redundant. The corporation has also refused to change the dates when they intend to change new workers' terms and conditions. It has also vetoed a voluntary redundancy scheme.

Bectu and Unite will also ballot their BBC members.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"We are urging all our members at the BBC to vote yes for action. Staff are fighting not only for their jobs, but also for the BBC's future as broadcaster and world-class public service.
"The launch of the ballot shows our determination to fight for our BBC and our refusal to accept the wholesale destruction of the world's most respected broadcasting corporation."

Tags: , broadcasting, ballot, delivering quality first, cuts, bbc