Radio OB engineers to strike

Members in BBC Radio Outside Broadcasts will start a programme of industrial action next week in pursuit of a pay and regrading claim.

The BBC was served with notice of the action today 23 July. This follows the group’s rejection, by a clear majority, of management proposals to settle the dispute. In an industrial action ballot, 78% of the staff affected voted in favour of strike action.

The action is set to start on Thursday 31 July and will affect the BBC’s coverage of London-based events.

The action will be continuous and will place strict limits on the amount of flexibility staff are willing to offer. Shifts over 12 hours long will stop; staff will insist upon at least an 11-hour break between turns of duty; staff will refuse to work more than 6 days out of 7 and hours in excess of 160 in a four week period will be refused.

A BECTU spokesperson said: “The dispute arises because this skilled group of staff have seen their responsibilities and workload increase without appropriate regrading to deliver the reward and recognition which they deserve.

“Staff have been patient for a long time now, only to see the BBC fail to act on its promises to resolve long-held grievances. It is hoped that this action will lead to a commitment by management to deliver a long-lasting solution to our members concerns.”

Wednesday 23 July 2008