BBC journalists to strike over plans to make cuts to local radio

BBC journalists in England will stage a 48-hour strike after rejecting revised plans on cuts to local radio.

Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) will walk out on June 7 and 8.

They will also work to rule, which includes refusing to act-up to more senior roles.

The union said some concessions were made in talks brokered by the conciliation service Acas but they did not go far enough.

The journalists on strike will be members working in local radio, on regional TV and online in England.

Paul Siegert, NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said: “Many of our members who have had to reapply for their jobs and face redundancy have had a very bruising and upsetting time.

“This fight is about the heart of the BBC’s public service remit.

“Local news is vital not just so people can be informed to be able to participate in local democracy, it binds communities together and for the many who will not be able to access local news digitally they will lose the familiar presenters who have become their friends.

“Local radio is not expensive in terms of the BBC’s budget and we believe that the BBC could easily solve this dispute.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “We’re obviously disappointed with the result of the NUJ ballot.

“We will continue to engage with the Union as we have done over the last few months in an effort to minimise the impact on our staff and our audiences.

“We have a plan to modernise local services across England – including more news journalists and a stronger local online service – which will see no overall reduction in staffing levels or local funding.

“Our goal is a local service across TV, radio and online that delivers even greater value to communities.”

Acas chief conciliator Marina Glasgow said: “Our collective service remains available to help all the sides in this dispute find a way forward.”