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STRIKE – all out on 26 February 19 February 2007

Posted by nujbbclondon in Uncategorized.
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Preparations for the NUJ’s national BBC strike day, from 0001 on 26 Feb, are in full swing,  and lots of chapel meetings are being held this week. 

We are striking because we opposed compulsory redundancies from day one of the three year so-called Value-for-Money cuts programme.  They are not necessary and can be avoided, provided managers make the effort.

Everyone should have received a Q&A email reiterating the issues at hand. What we have to concentrate on now is building as much support for the strike as possible

Mark Thompson has already admitted this month that more cuts are on the way – let’s make sure we continue to have a say over how the running of the BBC affects our working lives and the output we create. If you have any questions or concerns speak to your union rep or contact BBC London branch joint-chairs Paula Dear or Ian Pollock (see ‘contacts’ above).

Here are the answers to some of the questions you might have…

Q: WILL THERE BE A PICKET?
A: Yes, and the strike needs you! No point in going out if we are not going to show ourselves. Please volunteer, via your chapel rep, for a shift.
For TVC the reps agreed that we should cover the whole 24 hours – shifts will be 0000-0600; 0600-1200; 1200-1800 and 1800-0000. Other offices are making appropriate arrangements.

Q: WHAT ABOUT THE MONEY I’LL LOSE WHEN I GO ON STRIKE?
A: The NUJ nationally runs a hardship fund, and we will also have BBC London Branch fund –  available for members whose loss of pay through striking creates hardship. Members should apply to the NUJ BBC London Branch Treasurer Jon Holden, including a brief explanation of their circumstances and enclosing the letter they will receive from the BBC about their loss of pay.

Q: WHAT IF I’M NOT SCHEDULED TO WORK?
A: Please turn up for picket duty and make a donation to the hardship fund to help your colleagues. Cheques should be made payable to ‘NUJ BBC London Branch’. Please pass these to your rep or send to Jon Holden, rm1640, TVC.

Q: ARE SOME PEOPLE “EXEMPT” FROM STRIKING?
A: Every single member of the NUJ has the right to strike, and will be expected to support their colleagues. During previous strikes reps agreed that members at editor level would not necessarily be expected to go out, but they still have every right to.

*Please note THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE ASSISTANT EDITORS. Managers suggesting this are merely pressurising them into working.  This is unacceptable – if you feel you are being pressurised in this way contact your workplace rep or a branch rep immediately.

Members out on pre-planned reporting trips that cannot be changed should refrain from working.

Q: WHY IS THIS STRIKE HAPPENING NOW?
A: The BBC has brought this upon itself. The unions have been negotiationg the job closures for nearly two years – the result of which is that not a single NUJ member has been made compulsorily redundant.

It is absurd that this number of jobs cannot be resolved by the managers in question, when we have redundancy volunteers lining up to go, and Ariel is packed with job ads.

Moreover, this is unfortunately the tip of the iceberg. We have no option but to maintain our bottom line of no compulsory redundancies now, because there will be further cuts to come following the BBC’s failure to get a good licence fee settlement. Indeed more cuts have been announced at Five Live and in Current Affairs in recent weeks.

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