The National Union of Journalists has announced fresh strike dates at the BBC after the majority of its members rejected the latest pension proposals from the broadcaster.

According to a release from the union 70 per cent of its members voted in a ballot to reject the newest proposals from the BBC, which director general Mark Thompson had previously said should be taken as its "final position".

Staff unions had previously planned strike dates for earlier this month in response to reviewed pension proposals from the BBC which the NUJ claimed remained "unfair and unacceptable".

But these were postponed following a "significantly improved" offer from the broadcaster while unions decided to again put the decision to a ballot.

Following today's result, NUJ union representatives agreed plans for a series of strikes, starting with a 48-hour walkout next week on 5 and 6 November, and another planned for 15 and 16 of November. The union added that further dates are to be named in the coming days and also threatened a walkout at Christmas.

"This massive vote against the BBC's latest proposal comes as no surprise, given the fundamental 'pay more - work longer - get less' nature of the offer," says NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear in the release.

"NUJ members across the BBC have consistently dubbed the proposals a 'pensions robbery'. That hasn't changed. The BBC have now left members with no choice but to take action to defend their pensions.

"Under the proposals people will be much poorer in retirement and the value of their pensions will be threatened every year by inflation. Staff are angry at continued management excess, believe they have been sold down the river in recent negotiations with the government and refuse to pay with their jobs and their pensions."

The NUJ added that its members will also refuse to take on additional duties as part of an indefinite 'work to rule'.

All other staff unions involved in the dispute - including Bectu and Unite - today said their members had voted to accept the latest offer as "the best that can be achieved through negotiation". In total 65 per cent of Bectu's members in Studio and Post Production voted to accept the offer while 89 per cent of BBC Worldwide members voted in favour of acceptance.

Bectu's general secretary Gerry Morrissey said in a release that the outcome was a "decent settlement".

"However, there is no hiding the fact that even with the improvements we have negotiated members will in future have less favourable terms than exist currently," he added.

Bectu said it expects talks between the joint unions and the BBC will continue however, until the end of the broadcaster's consultation period on 15 November.

Update - The BBC has supplied this comment from Lucy Adams, director of BBC People, which was sent to staff in response to the results:

"We are very pleased that the offer was accepted by the majority of union members from BECTU, Unite, Equity and the Musicians' Union. However the offer was rejected by some members of the NUJ. NUJ members represent 17 per cent of the total BBC staff. We are still in the process of consulting all staff (both union and non-union members) on our final pension offer and the acceptance by the majority of the unions reflects the feedback from staff at our pension seminars.

"Given this union result and feedback from non-unionised staff we will now implement the pay review offer and expect to go ahead with our final pensions offer when we conclude our consultation. The period of consultation with staff remains open until 15 November and during that period we urge the NUJ to reconsider its position in relation to the joint union result."

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).