BBC staff deliver massive mandate for action on pensions

The joint unions, BECTU, the NUJ and Unite have today welcomed the overwhelming backing of union members in the BBC for the unions’ campaign against drastic cuts to staff pensions.

In ballots calling for strike action which closed at lunchtime today (Wednesday 1 September) more than 90 per cent of the unions’ members supported calls both for strike action and for action short of strike in opposition to what has been described as a “pensions robbery”.

Commenting on the ballot of NUJ members, general secretary, Jeremy Dear said:

“The massive scale of this vote is unprecedented – it is a reflection of the wave of anger and sense of betrayal which has greeted the BBC’s attempted pensions robbery. BBC management have an opportunity to avoid deeply damaging strike action by guaranteeing the value of pensions already earned and withdrawing their punitive and draconian proposals.”

Commenting on the BECTU ballot result, Gerry Morrissey, general secretary said:

“Today’s massive ballot result confirms the extent of staff anger over the BBC’s plans; we clearly have a resounding mandate for strike action to challenge the BBC on its plans to break its pensions agreement with staff.”

Commenting on the Unite result, Peter Skyte, national officer said:

“Our members have decisively demonstrated their opposition to the BBC’s pensions and pay proposals. The BBC needs to think again about stealing pension benefits already earned and retaining a defined benefit pension scheme in order to regain the trust and support of its workforce for the challenging times that face the organisation in the future.”

Joint union representatives from the across the country met in London this afternoon to consider the ballot results and to receive a briefing on the talks which continued with BBC management during August. As a result of today’s briefing, union representatives have decided that those talks should continue until mid-September when the BBC has said it will table alternative proposals. Any announcement on strike dates will be deferred until that time.

The BBC’s plan to place a 1% cap on future pension increases continues to cause outrage amongst BBC staff.

BALLOT RESULTS IN FULL

BBC staff

Question 1

Are you prepared to take part in industrial action consisting of a strike?

YES: 2,107 (93.6% of valid vote)

NO: 143 (6.4% of valid vote)

Invalid ballot papers:1

Turnout: 2,250

Question 2

Are you prepared to take action short of a strike?

YES:  2,175 (97.2% of valid vote)

NO: 62 (2.8% of valid vote)

Invalid ballot papers:14

Turnout: 2,237

BBC Worldwide staff

Question 1

Are you prepared to take part in industrial action consisting of a strike?

YES: 22 (88% of valid vote)

NO: 3 (12% of valid vote)

Turnout: 25

Question 2

Are you prepared to take action short of a strike?

YES: 24 (96% of valid vote)

NO: 1 (4% of valid vote)

Turnout: 25