BBC: pay deals have been consistently below inflation, unions claimCredit: By Coffee Lover on Flickr. Some rights reserved.
The National Union of Journalists, brodcasting union Bectu and Unite are to organise a series of meetings with BBC staff around the UK after receiving what they described as an "insulting" one per cent pay rise offer.
The unions had been pushing for an increase of inflation plus two per cent at the first negotiation meeting for this year's pay round, which is due to be concluded no later than August.
According to Bectu, the BBC has offered a one per cent rise and described this as "final".
Bectu general secretary Gerry Morrissey said in a release: "We can't accept a further cut in living standards for members, when the BBC has already taken tens of millions of pounds out of staffing costs by cutting 4,000 jobs, and watering down pension rights."
NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet added: "Given all the sacrifices that BBC staff have made in the last year it is insulting to be offered a rise that falls three percent short of the current inflation figure."
The unions claim that BBC pay offers have been consistently below the rate of inflation since 2007 and that the corporation has "no real interest in constructive pay negotiations this year".
The BBC said in a statement: "We have put forward a one per cent pay offer which we believe is realistic in the tough economic climate.
"It ensures both a minimum increase of £400 for the lowest paid staff and is fair to those who have previously had their pay frozen for three years.
"We felt that the joint unions demand, which was equivalent to a 5.9 per cent pay rise, was unrealistic."
In an all-staff email yesterday, seen by Journalism.co.uk, BBC director of business operations Lucy Adams said: "I want to just explain some of the rationale behind the pay deal. Within the BBC we are all still working through our plans to achieve savings of £700 million per year by 2016/17.
"All our divisions are going through tough and painful restructuring and savings programmes that are leading to job losses. Externally, there is a very tough economic climate - one in which many of our licence fee payers have seen their pay frozen over the last few years."
She added: "Clearly, we and the unions are some way apart but we will continue to speak to each other and keep you updated."
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