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BBC tech staff to strike over outsourcing

Strike vote comes after Siemens wouldn't meet union demands over pensions or job guarantees for current BBC workers.

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By Jo Best
Silicon.com

The trade union for BBC's IT staff has voted overwhelmingly to go on strike, following the announcement last week that the British broadcaster will outsource its tech division to Siemens.

More than 80 percent of BBC technology staff affiliated with the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union voted to strike after the German company wouldn't meet its demands over pensions and guarantees of jobs for current BBC workers.

The union asked Siemens to guarantee that no BBC technology employees would be made redundant within three years, but the company would only guarantee a one-year period before it would be able to introduce compulsory redundancies.

The union also demanded that terms and conditions of its contract remain the same for three years and for a pension plan to remain the same as that at the BBC.

Siemens will introduce a "broadly comparable" pension plan but turned down the "no changes request" and said no to a request for 2.5 percent above-inflation pay increases for the three years.

The is scheduled to take place on Sept. 1. However, according to the union, the "timeframe is too short and members have voted for industrial action in a bid to extend it," saying that it needs more time to work out its differences with Siemens.

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