BBC pension offer: union reps call for ‘NO’ vote in ballot

This is the text of a leaflet put out by union reps at the BBC calling for a “NO” vote to the latest pension offer (From NUJ Left)

14 October 2010

The BBC Pensions Robbery: It’s our decision now…

We are a cross-section of union reps from across the BBC and we think you should vote ‘No’ in the consultative ballot on the BBC’s CAB 2011 pension plans.

We believe the BBC unions were right to suspend the strikes earlier this month. It has given all of us a chance to see the progress, which our negotiators have made, but it has also allowed BBC staff to scrutinise what is on offer. It is not fair and it is not acceptable. BBC staff have the right to demand that Mark Thompson offers them a pension which will allow them a decent, secure standard of living in retirement.

That’s what we were promised. So far, none of his alternatives to scrapping the Final Salary Pension Scheme gives us that.

You should vote ‘NO’ because…

CAB 2011 means staff will be expected to pay more, to work longer and get less back for their retirement. The BBC has refused to consider the unions’ calls to protect our pensions against rising costs of living in the future. You risk losing more than 20% of your pension to inflation under the current plan. The BBC’s “final” offer was no such thing. Negotiations are still going on and management have continued to amend key elements of their proposals. BBC staff are not demanding “featherbedding” or “gold-plated” pensions. The current average pension for BBC staff is £12,500.

That’s somewhere between the pension of a fire-fighter and a police officer. We trust our negotiators to try to secure the best they can for us. We no longer trust the BBC senior executives who have told each other they think staff “will fall for it” when they tell us they have made their final offer.

Don’t be scared to vote ‘NO’

If you vote “yes” in the consultative ballot, you are saying the BBC plans are acceptable. A strong “No” vote puts BBC staff back in the driving seat. It means we are telling our negotiators and telling Mark Thompson that CAB 2011 is not fair, it is not acceptable and we will go on strike if the BBC does not give us what we were promised – a pension that is secure into the future and is valuable for younger people with a life of work ahead of them.

Peter Murray, Glasgow Chapel, NUJ President; Tory Blair, BBC London Branch,
NUJ Secondee; Ian Pollock, BBC London Branch, former Pensions Trustee; Bríd
Fitzpatrick, Newcastle; Paul Mason, Newsnight, Zarghuna Kargar, Afghan Service,
Paula Dear, News Interactive, Simon Vaughan, Westminster; Michael Workman,
World Service News; Julie Clayton, Cumbria; Jeremy Aspinall, BBC Worldwide;
David Eyre, Glasgow/Edinburgh; Becky Brandford, BBC Ineractive,;Jonathan
Brunert, Panorama/White City; Andy Comfort, Hull; David Campanale, World TV;
Dimitry Linnik, Russian service; Jane Anderson, Worldwide; Lesley Taylor, Radio
Newsroom; Jon Kelly, News Interactive

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