Sunday, 10 October 2010

BBC workers organise their own campaign over pensions

Rank-and-file trades unionists at the BBC are to launch a campaign for a no vote in the consultative ballot over a new pension deal.
A strike was postponed last week after the corporation improved plans for a career-average pension to replace the final salary scheme which covers most employees.
Reps from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU), and Unite agreed to consult members – without making a recommendation about whether to support the new deal.
Anger amongst BBC staff, who are losing thousands of pounds of pension rights they thought they had earned, has not been eased by the new offer – which will take seven pages to explain in documents to be sent out with ballot papers later this week.
A meeting of the NUJ Left on Saturday – attended by the union’s general secretary Jeremy Dear and president Pete Murray – agreed to support reps from all unions around the corporation who want to campaign for a no vote.
The plan is for leaflets arguing for a no vote are to be drawn up and handed out around the BBC’s offices all over the UK and the world.
The aim is to give BBC workers who don’t like the deal the confidence to vote no.
The NUJ ballot was due to start last week but was delayed because the BBC wanted to revise its “final offer”.
This is a vital dispute to defend the whole concept of decent workplace pensions – especially in the public sector.
BBC workers who oppose the new pension scheme should keep voting no even if they are wary of striking.
A big no vote will be a negotiating tool for the three unions even before any industrial action takes place.
I'm a member of the NUJ and the NUJ Left. I have worked for the BBC but I'm not in the pension scheme.

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