UK - BBC Technology workers have voted to strike in order to protect their pension rights after the broadcasting giant agreed to sell the unit to Siemens.
The Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematography and Theatre Union – which represents a quarter of BBCT’s 1400 workers – wants assurances that pension benefits will be identical to the BBC’s when staff transfer to Siemens.
BECTU said over 80% of its members had voted for strike action.
The union is also seeking guarantees that there will be no compulsory redundancies or changes to terms and conditions and it wants staged pay increases of 2.5% over the next three years.
Siemens has offered to establish a pension scheme “broadly comparable” to the BBC’s as part of the existing Siemens PLC Pension Fund.
BECTU senior officer Luke Crawley said: “Under the new scheme, unpredictability allowance – paid to compensate for disruptive working patterns and antisocial scheduling – would be pensionable, which wasn’t the case in the BBC scheme, so that could be good news.
“But the BBC scheme looked at your basic salary over the past 365 days and worked out your pension from that. In the new scheme, workers will get a pension based on their average salary of the best 36 months over the past 10 years, which in terms of inflation could be a worry.”
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