BBC journalists to strike to save local programmes – including on Radio York
NUJ members working for BBC England have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action to try and save local shows.
TV, radio and online journalists will begin a 24-hour strike at 11am on Wednesday 15 March, the day of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s first spring budget, the National Union of Journalists said today (Tuesday).
At the end of that action, journalists will begin a period of “work to rule”, in which they work only their contracted hours and duties.
Further strike dates are likely, possibly on the dates of the council elections in England (Thursday 4 May), the coronation of King Charles III (Saturday 6 May) and the Eurovision song contest in Liverpool (Saturday 13 May).
Weekday afternoons and many weekend shows are under threat at BBC Radio York as part of measures to save money and spend more on digital platform content.
Cost savings already introduced include sharing an executive editor with Radio Humberside.
Most presenters have been forced to apply for their own jobs. Many experienced, award winning and popular people across the BBC local network have described this as a ‘humiliating process’ of producing a demo-tape to be listened to by managers who already should be well aware of their work.
BBC bosses want the 39 stations in the local radio network to share 20 afternoon shows, ten evening shows and a single all-England programme after 10pm.
There are some areas that will retain full daytime local programming like London. Manchester, Southampton and Portsmouth. But in North Yorkshire local programmes will finish at around 2pm.
Of those balloted, 83% voted in favour of strike action with 17% against.
And 92% voted in favour of action short of strike, on a turnout rate of 69%.
It is not yet clear what effect the action will have on the output at the BBC studios in York.