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Updated: Friday 6 August 2010

Bectu urges BBC strike

Ballot papers have been sent to Bectu (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union) members at the BBC calling for a strike. The union says it has ‘no alternative’ but to call for industrial action.

Bectu, which represents 6,000 BBC employees, is said to be very unhappy with the corporation’s proposals to cut current and future employee pay and pension benefits.

In an open letter to the BBC, the union has labelled the changes as “unfair…unacceptable…and too severe” and says “the pensions proposal affects every member of BBC staff and their family, now and in the future”.

The NUJ (National Union of Journalists) is also balloting its members at the broadcaster for possible strike action.

Thursday 9 September is signalled as a possible date for industrial action, potentially threatening the BBC’s coverage of the Pope’s visit to the UK and the Last Night of the Proms.

The BBC has said it remains open to a 90-day consultation and further negotiations. The corporation said “We continue to believe that the proposals we are making will deliver a pension scheme that is sustainable, affordable and flexible for BBC staff and the licence-fee payer”.

You can read an open letter from Bectu to non-members at the BBC here.