Trade unions organising at the BBC have announced they will ballot members for strike action to win a pay increase in line with inflation.
A joint statement from the National Union of Journalists, Unite and the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) on Thursday 19 April described BBC bosses’ current pay offer — a 1% increase — as “derisory”.
Unions also criticised the BBC management decision to write to workers individually announcing an intention to introduce the pay rise two months earlier than first planned. Unions believe this is a deliberate ploy to bribe workers not to take strike action by putting extra money in their pockets sooner than expected.
If BBC workers strike, coverage of the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations will be severely disrupted, as would coverage of the Euro 2012 football tournament and the London Olympic games. BECTU general secretary Gerry Morrissey said unions would “wipe out as much of [the jubilee coverage] as possible” in order to win a decent pay deal.
Unions are demanding an increase of 2% above inflation, with a minimum increase of £1,000 for every employee.
Balloting will being on 30 April, and the result will be announced on 21 May.
An orgy of pro-monarchist sycophancy being disrupted by strike action really would be something to celebrate.