United Kingdom

BBC journalists strike over pensions

People queue outside BBC Television Centre to watch a show in London
People queue outside BBC Television Centre to watch a show in London Reuters

Thousands of BBC journalists walked out for a 48-hour strike to protest changes designed to fill a gap in pensions schemes.


Many flagship programmes were knocked off air, forcing the broadcaster to transmit prerecorded shows on several channels. Radio 4’s Today news programme, which has about 6.5 million listeners, was one among the many shows cancelled.

Picket lines were mounted all across the UK at BBC sites, in the first of two strikes planned for this month.

Talks over pensions schemes broke down last month between journalists and management, with 70 per cent of National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members voting against the BBC’s latest pensions offer.

The BBC “is ripping up the current pension arrangements and replacing them with a pension scheme that will see staff paying more in contributions and working longer and getting less in retirement,” a statement on the NUJ website read.

The BBC wants to put a cap on rises in pensionable pay at one percent to tackle a 1.7 billion euros pensions deficit.

The BBC is funded by a levy imposed on all households in the UK and its funding has been constrained by a government squeeze on all public spending.

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