BECTU members in the Bush House Network Operations Centre of the BBC voted last month to strike over their future pension arrangements, the strike will take place this weekend.

Union members working in the BBC World Service department of the Network Operations Centre will strike this weekend with the possibility that the strike action may effect programme output.

The BBC employ 15 staff members in the concerned department, however not all are BECTU members. Those going on strike will not work from 3pm on Sunday through to 9pm on Monday. The World Service staff are taking action after the corporation failed to restore the staff to a pension scheme after they returned into BBC employment last December.

Bectu supervisory official, Helen Ryan says of the action, “This is a classic case of staff pension provision being disrupted by contracting out. 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.”

For some employees it was a return to BBC employment, as they had worked for the corporation before, and up to, 1997 when the World Service transmission operations were privatised and taken on by Babcock Communications Ltd. At that time the transferring workers retained their access to a final salary pension scheme, at the insistence of the BBC.

This time after transferring from Babcock to the BBC the workers were not offered membership of a BBC pension scheme, only a Lifeplan defined contribution scheme.

“We are disappointed that Bectu members have opted to take strike action. The BBC’s position is consistent with both TUPE regulations and previous reverse TUPE situations …. It would set an unsustainable precedent to allow people transferring into the BBC to enter pension schemes, which are now closed, to new members.

“Our priority now is to deliver scheduled services to audiences.” A BBC spokesperson said.

BBC World Service is the beeb’s international radio broadcaster. It aims to provide impartial news, reports and analysis in English and 27 other languages.

It is available to listen to a variety of platforms across the world including online, satellite and cable, AM, FM, shortwave and digital radio.

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