BBC staff are set to stage a 12-hour strike on July 23, raising concerns over the host broadcaster's coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The British broadcaster's coverage of the Opening Ceremony at Celtic Park a week from today, fronted by ex-England footballer Gary Lineker, Hazel Irvine and Clare Balding, is due to air at 8pm British Summer Time on the night and runs through until 11pm.
The strike, due to take place from noon to midnight on July 23, is set to affect news production for the opening of the Games, as well as newsgathering and programme production across BBC radio and television services.
BBC journalists and technicians who are members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), BECTU and the UNITE unions voted in favour of the industrial action in a dispute over pay.
The NUJ says 77 per cent of its members voted for strike action, while 79 per cent of BECTU staff came out in favour.
Entertainment and media union BECTU says participation in the BBC ballot was 42 per cent and that its members were balloted in the BBC, Studios and Post-Production Ltd and BBC Worldwide starting on June 26.
The votes for strike action are a rejection of the BBC's latest offer on the 2014-2015 pay review which is proposing £650 ($1,112/€822) for those earning less than £50,000 ($86,000/€63,000) a year and £500 ($857/€632) for employees on more than £50,000 ($86,000/€63,000).
BECTU has accused the BBC of hypocrisy for aligning staff pay with the UK Government's austerity measures while continuing since 2010 to protect the pay and "perks" of managers.
Campaigners said journalists at the corporation have seen a 10 per cent pay cut in real terms over the past five years.
"BBC rank and file staff are appalled at once again finding themselves at the back of the queue when managers sit down to review pay," said BECTU general secretary Gerry Morrisey.
"Instead of playing to the political gallery, BBC senior management should have the courage to reward staff fairly for the increasing demands they face."
The NUJ, which is calling for executive pay to be capped at £150,000 ($257,000/€190,000) to free up cash for rank-and-file staff, said more action is planned if management does not negotiate.
"Members are clear that they are prepared to take sustained action in this dispute and will name further dates if the dispute is not resolved," said NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet, who described the turnout in its ballot as "decisive" but refused to reveal the exact number.
"It's time for the BBC to revaluate its position and to resolve this dispute by negotiating a sensible and fair pay rise for staff who work so hard, for modest salaries, because of their genuine commitment to public service broadcasting."
Last month, the BBC revealed details of its coverage of the Games, which it claims will be the most comprehensive in history.
More than 1,300 hours of live action via up to 17 digital streams will be available across its network which it says will cover every event, every sport, from every venue for the 11 days of action.
The broadcaster said it would do all it can to bring its audience uninterrupted coverage of the Commonwealth Games.
"In the meantime we will continue to speak to the unions in an attempt to resolve this dispute," it said in a statement.
"However we have already made an improved offer and we are mindful that across the BBC we need to make significant savings and deliver more for less".
The strike action has been criticised by the Scottish Conservative Party's spokeswoman on sport, Liz Smith, describing it as "disappointing" and "deliberately timed" to disrupt the Commonwealth Games.
"There is absolutely no need for this strike to go ahead," added Smith.
"When athletes have given up so much to train and prepare for the opportunity of a lifetime, the various unions are preparing to strike, which has the potential to cause completely unnecessary unrest just when the Games are beginning."
Meanwhile, Glasgow 2014 and its partners, including the Scottish Government, said: "We understand that the BBC are doing all they can to bring full coverage of the Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony to audiences."
The Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony is expected to attract a global audience of more than one billion and is set to feature more than 2,000 volunteers taking part in the event, while stars such as Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle and Amy McDonald will perform on the night.
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July 2014: Rod Stewart to perform at Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony
June 2014: BBC to share footage of Commonwealth Games with other UK broadcasters
May 2014: BBC reveals details of biggest ever digital Commonwealth Games at Glasgow 2014
November 2013: Glasgow 2014 delighted by "range and depth" of BBC coverage unveiled for Commonwealth Games
June 2011: BBC appointed as host rights broadcaster for Glasgow 2014