NUJ: BBC News seven days from possible strike

BBC News staff could be seven days away from strike action after the corporation said that it would push ahead with plans for compulsory redundancies within the division.

The discussions broke down earlier this week after the BBC and joint unions failed to find agreement over the last phase of cuts to be made in BBC News, which must be made by March.

NUJ broadcasting organiser, Paul McLaughlin, told Press Gazette: ‘The NUJ has called a national meeting later this month with all representatives across the BBC, because they have a legal ballot to take strike option. ‘There is the possibility that we would be seven days from further industrial action at the BBC.

‘Clearly our representatives will decide the best course of action but I certainly feel we need to stand strong now because the BBC is determined to disregard members’ wishes.’Two Newsnight correspondents, a regional radio reporter, a sports news presenter and an interactive broadcast journalist are some of the posts that will be axed.

The BBC has indicated that it intends to carry out selection of journalists with a view to dismissal.

McLaughlin said: ‘We will not have our members forced out of a job as a result of BBC mismanagement and incompetence.

‘The BBC has said that they are going to press ahead and are hell-bent on sacking people. ‘We have no more meetings with them lined up and the procedure is exhausted.’The cuts, which will be the first compulsory redundancy in over a decade for BBC News, are part of the BBC’s Value for Money initiative, which aims to make savings of 15 per cent across news.

The BBC told Press Gazette: ‘Today we confirmed that despite all our efforts to resolve this by closing empty posts, and by using redeployment and voluntary redundancy, there are still a small number of individuals whose posts are to close and for whom so far we have been unable to find alternative roles.

‘We will now be starting selection processes but we will continue to work with the unions and the people directly involved in continued efforts to avoid compulsory redundancy.”

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