Entertainment & Arts

BBC staff strike action called off

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Image caption The 12-hour walkout would have coincided with the opening of the Commonwealth Games

Strike action by BBC staff planned to disrupt coverage of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony has been suspended after talks.

NUJ and Bectu union members had voted in favour of industrial action in a row over pay.

The walkout was to have started at midday on 23 July and last for 12 hours.

The NUJ said 77% of its members voted for strike action, while 79% of Bectu staff came out in favour.

Three hours of talks attended by union officials and BBC director general Tony Hall saw an improved pay offer in a two-year deal.

The BBC had offered staff earning less than £50,000 a year an increase of £650, with those earning more than £50,000 receiving £500.

The new deal includes the same offer, but adds an additional £150 payment on 1 January 2015 with a 2.5% salary increase on 1 August 2015.

"We welcome today's movement from management which means we now have a significantly improved offer which we believe our members should have the opportunity to consider in a ballot," Bectu general secretary Gerry Morrissey said.

"The truth is we've seen more movement from management in these negotiations this week, than we have seen in pay talks over the past five years."

A BBC spokesperson said: "We're pleased that the unions have suspended their strike action in order to consult their members and we hope that we will now be able to resolve this dispute.

"We are now concentrating on delivering the best coverage of the Commonwealth Games for our audiences."

Union members will now vote on whether to accept the new offer.

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