Journalist union calls off second 48-hour strike at BBC

image captionThe National Union of Journalists has 4,100 members at the BBC

The National Union of Journalists has called off a 48-hour strike at the BBC planned for next Monday and Tuesday over proposed pension scheme changes.

The NUJ said the BBC had agreed to hold talks and to resolve disciplinary action taken against three overseas employees after an earlier walkout.

That strike last Friday and Saturday forced some news programmes on BBC radio and TV to go off air.

The BBC welcomed the NUJ's move but said the offer would not be changed.

'Final offer'

In an e-mail to staff, director general Mark Thompson wrote: "The BBC has not changed its pension reform package in any way.

"We cannot afford to revisit the terms of the agreement we reached with the joint unions at the beginning of October and will not do so."

He added that BBC management were "very willing to give both unions and staff greater clarity about how the pension reform package will work" and would be able to do so after the staff consultation ended on 15 November.

Speaking earlier, Jeremy Dear, the NUJ's general secretary, said the union was "pleased the BBC has changed its position and agreed to talks".

"We will endeavour to reach a negotiated settlement," he continued.

The NUJ, which has 4,100 members at the BBC, voted to reject the corporation's "final" offer on pensions at the end of October.

The broadcasting union Bectu voted to accept the deal.

Radio 4's Today programme was cancelled on Friday 5 November as a result of the 48-hour walkout, although it went to air on Saturday.

The BBC's main news bulletins also went ahead as planned, despite the strike.

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