Friday, October 8 2010,
BroadcastingThe National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has today asked its members whether the BBC's revised pension proposals are sufficient to halt planned strike action later in the month.
The consultative ballot of around 4,000 NUJ members follows an improved pension scheme offer put forward by the BBC director general Mark Thompson last Friday.
Fellow broadcasting unions Bectu and Unite are expected to launch ballots of their BBC members shortly, reports The Guardian.
Balloting is likely to be completed before a planned 48-hour strike begins on October 19, which is scheduled to disrupt the BBC's coverage of chancellor George Osbourne's spending review announcement.
The first two-day strike, timed to coincide with coverage of the Conservative party conference, was called off this week in response to the improved offer from Thompson.
Unions are keeping the second strike dates in place as they continue talks with BBC management. An additional 48-hour strike has also been pencilled in to run on October 25 and October 26 should the negotiations break down entirely.
However, it is thought that the threat of strike action is receding as the BBC makes pension scheme concessions to placate its staff.
The NUJ will today send a six-page document explaining the BBC's revised pension proposals to its members.
There is understood to be concern that the BBC has failed to properly explain how a £5m fund for staff most affected by the pension changes will be utilised. However, a source added: "Other issues are far more likely to influence how people cast their votes."
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