BBC workers vote to strike after 70% of members reject new pay offer

BBC: Tim Davie says ‘people are clearly worried’

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BBC journalists are poised to follow in the footsteps of ambulance workers, nurses, postal workers and others by going on strike. A National union of Journalists memo seen by says 70 percent of those who voted had opposed the corporation’s proposals over Local Radio sharing, which would cut the number of local programmes on Local BBC Radio.

The memo explains that the result, allied to a consultative ballot a fortnight ago when members backed industrial action, the union would now move to a formal ballot.

The BBC will be written to this week, with the ballot papers will go out to all NUJ members working in BBC Local the week starting February 6.

After the three-week ballot, industrial action is being planned for the week beginning March 13.

The memo explains: “Industrial action isn’t something we resort to easily but the BBC have made it clear that the offer on the table regarding programme sharing is their final one and they now intend to move forward with their plans, starting with advertising some new roles including those of Presenter/Producer.

“That leaves us with no option but to move to a formal ballot.”

In accordance with the BBC’s proposals, there will in future be six regionsd, under new Audio Editors, covering North West/North East, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, Midlands, London and East, South, and South West.

As a result, 139 posts in local radio will be jeopardised, with a voluntary redundancy drive is being launched effective immediately.

BBC Director of Nations Rhodri Talfan Davies and BBC Director of England Jason Horton defended the plans last month, with the former insisting: “We are keeping 39 local stations across England.

“We are keeping local bases of at least 25 staff in each of our local bases and strengthening the size of our local news teams.

“This is fundamentally not about a reduction in services.

“It’s about making sure our portfolio of local services that we deliver across radio, television and online keep pace with the way audiences are changing.”

Asked about specific pairing of stations, he added: “Do I think the exact model we’ve announced will be the one we implement, I doubt it, because you live and you learn.” has approached the NUJ and the BBC for comment.

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