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BBC journalists to strike over compulsory redundancies

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Journalists at the BBC will go on a one-day strike next week unless the corporation reaches a compromise over compulsory redundancies in its workforce.

The National Union of Journalists said that its members at the BBC will walk out on Monday (February 18) as part of the dispute.

They will start a work-to-rule from February 15, meaning they will only do the minimum amount required in the workplace and no overtime.

The new look BBC Broadcast house

© BBC



NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said that the strike will go ahead unless the BBC "agrees to end compulsory redundancies and redeploy the posts under an agreed scheme".

"We have meetings planned with the BBC next week and we want to engage in meaningful negotiations to resolve this dispute - I hope common sense prevails and a sensible solution is agreed which will mean that strike action is not necessary," she said.

The BBC intends to make more than 2,000 jobs cuts across its operation as part of the Delivering Quality First austerity drive.

The NUJ says that the BBC was planning to make 30 compulsory redundancies, affecting digital radio station the Asian Network, Radio 5 Live and BBC World Service, among other services.

The union has been specifically fighting with BBC Scotland management to secure the jobs of nine staff in roles earmarked for redundancy.

BBC logo at BBC Television Centre
"After months of negotiations with BBC Scotland management, NUJ reps fighting to secure the jobs of nine of their colleagues discovered that six jobs were being externally advertised, offering six-month contracts to journalists who do not work for the corporation," claimed Stanistreet.

"The BBC is prepared to waste public money on needless redundancies rather than secure redeployment opportunities for those at risk.

"This demonstrates the significant failures of some managers to uphold key aspects of the redeployment agreement, let alone the spirit of the deal."

A BBC spokesperson said: "We understand how frustrating and difficult situations involving redundancies can be, but it is disappointing the NUJ have chosen to take this action.

"We are working hard to ensure that we succeed in getting staff redeployed wherever we can and will continue to work with the unions to ensure that their members receive the right redeployment support."

This is not the first time that BBC staff have voted to strike over job cuts. In August 2011, thousands of BBC journalists staged a 24-hour walk-out against compulsory redundancies at the corporation, causing disruption to BBC news programmes across both television and radio.

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