BBC strike averted after last-minute crisis talks
LONDON – Strike action threatening the BBC's radio output next week has been postponed, following last-minute negotiations between BBC management and broadcasting unions.
The BBC has tabled a new proposal on the job cuts, reportedly offering a higher, grade-six salary for BBC radio and music staff taking on the newly merged assistant producer role.
Strike action was planned for February 15 and February 22, when up to 500 BBC radio and music staff were prepared to walk out in protest of the merging of three roles into one and 115 job cuts.
The corporation held talks with members of broadcasting unions Bectu, NUJ and Amicus yesterday and the new proposals will be taken back to the unions for a ballot early next week, with a result expected the week after.
If the offer is approved, the strikes will be called off, but if it is turned down the strike action will be back on, without the need for a further ballot.
Strike action could cripple the corporation's radio output with top shows such as Radio 4's 'Today' and 'Woman's Hour', as well as the Chris Moyles' flagship Radio 1 breakfast show, taken off air.
Mark Thompson, BBC director-general, has proposed 239 job cuts with 124 new jobs created merging radio, studio and online production into one role. Unions are seeking concessions on pay and the amount of work new staff will have to cope with.
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