NUJ members vote yes to strike action
Strike action could take place this summer after BBC members of the NUJ voted in favour of industrial action over compulsory redundancies.
Of members who voted, 72% said they were in favour of strike action and 87% were in favour of action short of a strike. The union says the ballot, whose results were announced on Tuesday, could result in two national one-day strikes this month unless compulsory redundancies are halted.
NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: 'Today's result demonstrates that members at the BBC are fully prepared to stand up for their colleagues under threat. If the BBC wants to provoke a strike over such small numbers it would be shameful. We call on the BBC to get round the table with us and sort it out.'
The strike ballot was called after it became clear that compulsory redundancies would arise from cuts to the World Service and BBC Monitoring, where 387 posts are scheduled to close.
The NUJ motion reiterates the policy of no compulsory redundancies among its members and calls on the BBC to resolve all outstanding cases. It also condemns the decision not to use the £2.2 million granted by the Foreign Office to the World Service for the next three years to halt all compulsory redundancies.
In a staff email sent in response to the announcements, director of News Helen Boaden emphasised that turnout for the ballot was less than 40%, involving 1,248 members - 6% of BBC staff.
'We will continue with our efforts to limit the number of compulsory redundancies but the number of posts that have to close means that unfortunately it is likely to be impossible for us to avoid some compulsory redundancies,' she said, adding that the extra FCO funding for World Service was 'not enough to allow us to avoid having to continue with this process'.
She continued: 'I understand that many of you who are NUJ members will face a personal choice about whether or not to take part in this industrial action. Before you make that decision I want to stress that we will continue to do all we can to limit the number of compulsory redundancies though at this point we have no other options available to us.'