STAFF at the BBC World Service have voted to be balloted on industrial action in a fight over working hours. A joint meeting of members of the journalist's NUJ and technical workers' BECTU unions in the newsroom voted unanimously for the ballot.
They are angry that management are refusing to negotiate over cutting hours for those on nights from 40 to 35 a week. Management are also refusing to allow those aged over 50 to opt out of night work.
A second ballot involving NUJ and BECTU members on the World Service's Newshour programme is planned in a fight over shift patterns. Meanwhile a planned ballot of BECTU members in BBC Education has been put on ice after management made new proposals. Many workers feel the management's plan is part of a drive to "dumb down" the BBC's output as new BBC boss Greg Dyke pushes a reorganisation through.