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NUJ strikes at BBC on opening day of Commonwealth Games

15 July 2014

NUJ members voted to take strike action next Wednesday 23 July – coinciding with the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – in their fight for a decent pay rise.

NUJ reps from across the BBC met to discuss the result of the ballot for industrial action over pay and appraisals which has been running over the past 3 weeks. Members voted overwhelmingly for strike action – with 77.2 per cent of members voting for industrial action including strike action and 89.5 per cent voting yes for action short of strike.

The strike action will take place from 11.59am to 11.59pm on Wednesday 23 July, and will affect all parts of the BBC. The action will be held jointly with members of Bectu and Unite. A work to rule will start from midnight Thursday 24 July, coupled with an appraisals boycott.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"The decisive turnout and result clearly demonstrates that journalists across the BBC are not prepared to put up with paltry pay deals any longer, while those running the corporation continue to enjoy their lavish salary and perks at the same time as dishing out lectures about the need for staff to 'get austerity'.
"When it comes to executive perks, lavish salaries for managers and jobs for their mates, the BBC executive is the board that likes to say yes. When it comes to paying journalists and programme makers that deliver the content that makes the BBC the envy of the world, the BBC has tried to peddle the line that a below inflation deal is the only way of keeping their political and corporate enemies at bay in the forthcoming licence fee settlement. It does not wash. The NUJ believes there needs to be radical reform at the BBC, with executive pay capped at £150,000 – that would free up the money to ensure fair pay for all staff.
"BBC managers have embarked on a major public relations exercise during the course of this ballot with one intention - to demonstrate that the NUJ is out of touch with its membership and that the disenchantment with the management of the corporation is only skin deep. Today's result demonstrates how badly out of touch they are.
"NUJ members want the BBC executive to robustly campaign for a decent licence fee settlement that will secure the future of the public service broadcaster and allow it to thrive. Death by a thousand cuts – with many more hundreds of damaging job losses set to be announced this week – is no future at all for the BBC.
"Members are clear that they are prepared to take sustained action in this dispute and will name further dates if the dispute is not resolved. It's time for the BBC to revaluate its position and to resolve this dispute by negotiating a sensible and fair pay rise for staff who work so hard, for modest salaries, because of their genuine commitment to public service broadcasting."

Tags: , bbc, broadcasting, cuts, pay and conditions, strike, industrial action