The Today Programme was taken off the air today as around 4,000 BBC journalists took part in a strike organised by the National Union of Journalists in protest to planned changes to their pensions.
Other BBC news outlets such as Five Live and BBC Breakfast offered reduced services with many regular anchors absent. The NUJ was today predicting that BBC Two’s Newsnight would also be off air altogether.
NUJ members are striking over curbs to their pension provision. The BBC says there is a £1.5bn shortfall in the size of pension pot needed to meet current liabilities, but the NUJ argues that any changes should have waited until the spring when the fund is due to be valued.
The BBC reported this morning that head of news Helen Boaden had admitted in a leaked email that the corporation should have waited before implementing the pension fund changes.
The NUJ has been forced to go it alone with today’s 48-hour-strike, which started at midnight, after members of other BBC unions such as Unison, Bectu and Equity, voted to accept a revised pension deal.