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NUJ BBC ballot starts now

7 August 2014

The NUJ and sister unions have started to ballot members across the corporation on the same day an employment tribunal found the BBC's former technology chief was unfairly dismissed. John Linwood was sacked last year and blamed for the failure of the DMI IT project.

The employment tribunal said emails shown as evidence represented a "culture and climate" that involved "the steering of the spotlight of blame in other directions, on the part of those who felt themselves to be in danger of association with a sinking ship" and the corporation had "a cavalier disregard for any of the accepted norms of a fair disciplinary process".

The tribunal also said the disciplinary investigation was "wholly inadequate" and "not the actions of a reasonable employer".

The tribunal’s ruling sheds light on some of the endemic problems still facing the BBC. The ballot for strike action is over job cuts in BBC News and World Service, plus compulsory redundancies in Scotland and elsewhere. The ballot starts today.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"Now is the time for radical change at the BBC. We need this change in the public interest and to support quality journalism provided by our public service broadcaster. The unions continue to call on management for commitments on redeployment, a freeze on external recruitment and for the 266 'new' posts to be available to those at risk of redundancy.
"These plans would prevent jobs losses and signal a change of approach from the 'cavalier disregard' revealed today."

Tags: , bbc, broadcasting, jobs, job cuts, ballot, strike, employment tribunal, sacking, news, bbc world service