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NUJ begins ballot on industrial action at BBC Scotland to protect staff member from redundancy threat

Ballot: The NUJ is prepared to take industrial action

The NUJ is holding a ballot on industrial action at BBC Scotland in a fight to protect the job of a member of staff facing redundancy - despite a cash injection of £5m at the broadcaster and the creation of 50 jobs.

The Drum understands NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet was involved in senior level talks at BBC Scotland in Glasgow on Thursday and ballot papers have been issued to members.

The union is asking why a BBC policy of redeploying staff instead of implementing compulsory redundancies appears to have been sidelined in Scotland and said all necessary steps will be taken to protect jobs.

NUJ Scotland organiser Paul Holleran said: “BBC Scotland got away with two compulsory redundancies earlier in the year and now they’re trying to get rid of another one of our members.

“This is at a time when BBC Scotland has just been given £5m to fund Commonwealth games coverage and the Scottish independence referendum.

“That will create 50 jobs, yet BBC Scotland still wanted to make this individual redundant in a few weeks’ time. There’s no logic attached to that.”

He added: “We’ll take industrial action, we’ll fight politically, we’ll lobby – we’ll do everything we need to protect our members and protect journalism.”

A spokesman for BBC Scotland said: "BBC Scotland has followed all the commitments on redeployment. We have always recognised that achieving our Delivering Quality First savings will not be easy and that it is personally extremely difficult for those facing redundancy. We have taken and will continue to take all reasonable steps to work with and support at-risk colleagues seeking redeployment."

The results of the ballot should be known by early October.

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