the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

11 April 2012

BBC staff working in the Network Operations Centre based in Bush House and Broadcasting House, London, are to take strike action starting this coming Sunday 15 April.

The action will start at 15.00 on Sunday 15 April and will continue until 21.00 on Monday 16 April and will affect the transmission of programmes by the World Service.

Staff in Network Operations, who are represented by BECTU, are challenging the BBC's refusal to allow them to join a defined benefits pension scheme following the transfer of their employment with Babcock to the BBC. Several members of staff were previously employed by the BBC. More details here.

Commenting on the dispute, supervisory official, Helen Ryan said:

"This is a classic case of staff pension provision being disrupted by contracting out. When these staff were transferred out of the BBC in 1997, the BBC backed their demands for continuing membership of a final salary scheme. Now, 15 years on, the BBC wants to wash its hands of its responsibilities to deal with the disruption to pension provision which these staff face.

"BBC management refused to allow these staff to join CAB2011 when the scheme was still open. The attitude of BBC management to this situation is simply not credible and the coming strike action is the direct result of their refusal to negotiate." 

BECTU members at the Network Operations Centre voted unanimously last month to back the call for strike action.