Socialist Worker

BBC workers begin ballot over pensions

Issue No. 2213

Trade unionists at the BBC were to begin their ballots for strike action this week over attacks on their pensions.

Bosses are closing the final salary pension scheme from December and plan to sharply reduce workers’ pensions.

The five unions at the BBC—the NUJ, Bectu, Unite, the Musicians Union and Equity—are co-ordinating to fight the plans.

“There is a huge amount of anger,” Pete Murray, the NUJ president who is a shop steward at the BBC, told Socialist Worker. “Even senior managers who aren’t in the union are saying that we’re fighting for everyone.

“We are confident that we’ll get a pretty overwhelming vote for action. Our demands are straightforward—we want genuine consultation.

“There are a number of alternatives to these plans. The BBC could reassess the deficits in the scheme—which were assessed at the height of the recession—and it could pay these off over a longer time period.

“While workers’ pensions are attacked, licence fee money is used to top up directors’ pensions. It’s a disgrace some are going to get £400,000 a year.

“Lots of people are joining the union. It’s the first time anyone can remember all five unions joining together in this way in a campaign.”

The ballot closes on 1 September. Union reps will meet the next day to plan action. It could hit coverage of the party conferences.

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Tue 3 Aug 2010, 18:18 BST
Issue No. 2213
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