The leader of the National Union of Journalists is calling on the BBC to abandon a planned cut to staff pensions and come clean about the true finances of the corporation’s pension scheme.
Unions have been leaked figures – drawn up for the BBC by financial consultants – which put the pension deficit at just under £1 billion.
In previous public statements BBC bosses have said the deficit would be £2 billion.
The pension scheme’s actuaries are believed to be quoting a figure of £1.5 billion.
The amounts are different because some things are variable – like the length of time pensioners will live.
The actuaries and the BBC will have to agree on a final figure
Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, said: “The BBC sought to sell it's pensions robbery by claiming it had to plug a £2bn deficit. If today's figures are true, that has now been exposed as a sham. The BBC's credibility is in tatters and their justification for these punitive changes completely undermined. The BBC must come clean.
“The BBC should re-start negotiations with everything on the table.”
Members of the NUJ, the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU), and Unite working for the corporation have already voted more than 90 percent in favour of strike action over changes to the pension scheme.
BBC workers are voting in a consultative ballot on whether to accept a new offer.
There is a rank-and-file campaign for a no vote as The Workers United reported on Sunday.
I am a member of the NUJ. I have worked for the BBC but I am not e member of the pension scheme.