NUJ starts formal ballot for industrial action over compulsory redundancies at the BBC

  • 29 Sep 2023

The NUJ has voted to move to a formal ballot of all members at the BBC for industrial action in opposition to any compulsory redundancies at the corporation.

There are currently NUJ members facing the prospect of compulsory redundancy in the World Service, the News Channel, and across England at BBC Local. The NUJ believes with redeployment and flexibility these can be averted.  

Feedback from members across the BBC point to morale being at an all-time low, and reps from across England gave stark insights into the impact of the chaotic roll-out of the restructure in their own newsrooms, with inadequate technology in place, long delays, unfilled vacancies of critical roles, and no information on rotas, in plans that will cut local radio content by almost half.

The NUJ continues to believe a resolution to the BBC Local dispute is possible – with genuine and meaningful engagement with the BBC’s decision makers.

Reps were incensed to hear about contributions from one of those decision makers, Rhodri Talfan Davies, BBC Director of Nations, at their meeting today. At a staff meeting this week he blamed the union for problems during the restructuring that is taking place, and told journalists they should “live in the real world”.  

Paul Siegert, NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said:

“So far the Director of Nations has been the invisible man. Declining to meet with angry MPs or to sit down with NUJ negotiators.  Yet he has found time to blame the NUJ for all the current issues, problems and delays in the roll-out of his own flawed plan. While our members deal with the fall-out of that, his only contribution is to attack the union and the collective bargaining process from the sidelines.

“This dispute is resolvable and requires serious engagement, not petty provocations. If the BBC refuse to engage properly, as befits a public body, NUJ members across the BBC stand prepared to widen this dispute including taking strike action if necessary.”

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