the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

16 April 2012

A strike by staff at the BBC Network Operations Centre has secured 100% support. The action, which is over pensions, started yesterday (15 April) and continues until this evening (16 April) at 21.00.

Staff are protesting at the BBC's refusal to allow them entry into a defined benefits pensions scheme after their employment was transferred from Babcock to the BBC in late 2011.

Several current members of staff had previously been employed by the BBC when World Service transmission services were first privatised in 1997.

Commenting on the action one member of staff said:

"We actually had every single member of affected staff (bar one who is on maternity leave) not only supporting the strike but also standing outside Bush and BH [Broadcasting House] - a great success and a tremendous show of unity."

BECTU is urging management to reconsider its position.

Speaking last week about the upcoming strike, BBC 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." 

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