At last week’s meeting of the NEC Policy Committee, (28 October) we had an update from the meeting with BBC reps being held at the same time, on the fifth floor, to discuss the outcome of the ballots on the BBC mangement’s latest ‘pensions offer’. In the ballot 70% of NUJ members rejected the  proposals and we were told that union reps had agreed plans for a series of strikes and other industrial action, with the threat of a walkout at Christmas on the cards. Subsequently the following statement appeared on the NUJ web site together with suggestions of how you can get involved:

NUJ members are to strike in protest at plans to make them pay more, work longer and get significantly lower pensions. Please support NUJ members fighting for fair pensions at the BBC.

Journalists at the BBC stand to lose thousands of pounds every year under draconian new pension plans set to be imposed at the Corporation.

In response, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has announced dates for strike action. NUJ members will strike for 48 hours on 5/6 November and 15/16 November with further dates to be announced.

Union members will also refuse to take on additional duties or volunteer for acting up as part of an indefinite work to rule starting on Friday 5 November.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary  said:

“Could you afford to simply give away £100,000, £25,000 or even ‘just’ £10,000? Of course not. But those are the kinds of sums every journalist faces losing under the BBC’s latest pension proposal. BBC journalists are not asking for higher pensions. They are not even saying they wouldn’t consider paying more or working longer for a fair pension settlement. That means a deal based on the real deficit in the scheme, not speculative and questionable figures. It means a pension which does not lose a significant part of its value every single year for the rest of their lives – which is what will happen under the current proposals. And it should be a deal that means what has been promised to them – which they have already paid for – is protected. The current offer fails those tests and it fails BBC staff. That’s why they’ve been left with no choice but to take industrial action on 5 and 6 November and 15 and 16 November. They can’t afford not to…and they need YOUR support”

How you can help:

– Make a donation

Please make cheques payable to NUJ (mark on the back BBC Strike hardship fund) and send to NUJ General Secretary, Headland House, 308 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP.

– Send messages of support

Please email messages of support to campaigns@nuj.org.uk

– Join the picket lines

Please visit your local BBC centre to join the pickets on 5 and 6 November.

For further details of picket times/places email campaigns@nuj.org.uk

In London we are asking people to attend TV Centre, W12 at 12 noon.

– Invite a speaker

Contact your local BBC rep or campaigns@nuj.org.uk to arrange a speaker for your next meeting

– Keep up to date on developments

For all the latest information about the BBC disputekeep checking the BBC pensions robbery page of the NUJ website

– Attend public meetings in your area

Contact your local NUJ chapel or branch, trades council or TUC region for more details:

Trade Union Congress in the Regions

The battle over pensions is moving centre stage. The action our members at the BBC is taking is important to the rest of the trade union movement. Solidarity and support from other NUJ members is crucial.