Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) working for BBC Local have voted overwhelmingly to accept the offer brokered between ACAS the NUJ and BBC management on jobs, income protection, and workload, along with new concessions on recorded radio news bulletins and shared programmes. This brings to an end the long running dispute between the union and the corporation which has seen strike action and other forms of industrial action.
BBC Local strike action comes to an end
Hundreds of union members took part in the ballot which closed on 13 November. On a 55% turnout, 70% of members accepted the offer. The union will continue to campaign for local radio programming which reflects the needs of local audiences.
Paul Siegert, NUJ broadcasting organiser said:
“This is an overwhelming result in our long-running dispute at BBC Local. We’ve gained significant safeguards on jobs and income protection for NUJ members, along with new concessions on radio news bulletins and shared programming. None of this would have been possible without the fight back and action taken by our members across England.”
Reach plc to cut hundreds of jobs
Meanwhile Reach plc. which publishes the Mirror, Express and Star newspapers as well as a host of regional and local titles, announced last week that it was seeking to cut 450 jobs. This represents almost a tenth of its entire workforce and is part of management’s proposals to cut operating costs by a further 5%–6% in 2024.
Responding, the Reach NUJ group chapel said it was dismayed that this was the third set of mass redundancies undertaken by the company in 2023 and believed that the cull of jobs was not consistent with the company’s stated aim of commitment to quality journalism.
In a strongly worded statement they expressed no confidence in the leadership of chief executive Jim Mullen or the company’s senior management. They called on non-executive board members and shareholders to take note of this judgment and consider their position on the executive team in the light of it.
The chapel is also considering balloting for industrial action.