BBC staff to strike as Commonwealth Games open

Image source, PA
Image caption,
The 12-hour walkout will be followed by a work to rule directive

BBC journalists are to go on strike on the first day of the Commonwealth Games next Wednesday.

The walkout will start at midday on 23 July and last for 12 hours.

Union members from the NUJ, Bectu and Unite voted in favour of industrial action in a dispute over pay.

The NUJ says BBC journalists have seen a 10% pay cut in real terms over the last five years and that too much is being spent on salaries and perks for managers.

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

The walkout will include technicians and other staff as well as journalists.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet described the turnout in the strike ballot as "decisive", adding that the result "clearly demonstrates that journalists across the BBC are not prepared to put up with paltry pay deals any longer".

The BBC has offered staff earning less than £50,000 a year an increase of £650, with those earning more than £50,000 receiving £500. Senior managers will not receive any increase.

Ms Stanistreet said those running the BBC enjoy "lavish" salaries while "dishing out lectures" to staff about the need for austerity.

"When it comes to executive perks, lavish salaries for managers and jobs for their mates, the BBC executive is the board that likes to say yes" she said.

Calling for "radical reform" at the BBC, the NUJ head said executive pay at the corporation should be capped at £150,000, a move that would "free up the money to ensure fair pay for all staff".

A BBC spokesperson said the broadcaster would do all it can to bring its audience uninterrupted coverage of the Commonwealth Games.

"In the meantime we will continue to speak to the unions in an attempt to resolve this dispute.

"However we have already made an improved offer and we are mindful that across the BBC we need to make significant savings and deliver more for less".

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