The British Broadcasting Corporation journalists in England have announced that they will stage a 48-hour strike after rejecting revised plans on cuts to local radio.
On 7 and 8 June, members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) will walk out, BBC reports.
According to the national broadcaster of the United Kingdom they will also work to rule, which includes refusing to act-up to more senior roles.
In an effort to minimise the impact on its staff and audiences, the BBC said it would continue to engage with the union.
On the heart of the matter, the BBC’s plans for its 39 local radio stations to share more programmes as some concessions were made in talks brokered by the conciliation service Acas but they did not go far enough, according to the union.
Although, NUJ members working for BBC Local had first walked out on strike on 15 March, in a move which disrupted some programming.
But the second strike which planned to coincide with the local elections on 5 May was called off while members were balloted on the BBC’s revised proposal.
However, the union said the revised deal removed the risk of redundancy from 300 journalists and would see three extra pairs of weekend breakfast shows.
But it has been rejected by members and those working in local radio, regional TV and online in England will strike in June.
In reaction to the situation, 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.”
In the words of a BBC spokesperson: “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.”
There is a separate plan for members of the NUJ who work across BBC Northern Ireland to strike on 19 May for 24 hours.
Its also interesting to discover that they oppose plans to close 36 posts in an attempt to make £2.3m in savings and invest more money in online services.