Journalists agree strike ballot in BBC pay row

NUJ members at the BBC are to hold an official strike vote over this year’s 2.6 per cent pay offer.

According to the NUJ, feelings are running high over the fact that pay
rises for executives have been far higher.
Director general Mark Thompson has received an 8.7 per cent rise to
£619,000 after leading a cost-cutting programme which has seen 6,000
jobs axed.

The NUJ believes pay for managers has increased by 30 per cent over the last three years.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “BBC managers cannot be
surprised by the immense anger with which their actions have been met
by hard-working staff. Whilst hundreds of journalists were hard at work
on one of the busiest news days of the year BBC managers were
celebrating huge pay awards.

“The fact that money can be found to reward managers who have
axed jobs, cut programme budgets and presided over a pensions fiasco
but cannot be found to save vital jobs in current affairs shows where
the current BBC management’s priorities lie.

“Their shame-faced refusal to negotiate simply adds to the sense that
there is one law for fat cat bosses and another for dedicated BBC staff
“.

The decision to ballot members was taken at a meeting of BBC unions reps today.

NUJ broadcasting organiser Paul McLaughlin said: “BBC reps have
made it clear they will no longer accept the management’s double
standards or their continued refusal to listen to staff concerns.

"BBC management have got their priorities all wrong – huge increases
for Executives, a pay cut and worse pension for everyone lese.

“Members are calling for action and we will be holding a strike ballot unless the BBC comes to its senses”.

Strike ballots are expected to be organised by all four BBC unions: the NUJ, BECTU, Amicus and the Musicians Union.

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