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Unions break off talks with BBC

Earlier this week it was revealed that the BBC is instigating a major revamp of its pension arrangements to try and reduce the £2 billion of liabilities currently affecting the funding of the scheme. There is also talk of pay reductions and other cost-saving measures which have now caught the eye of unions, who have been in talks with the BBC directors. Unfortunately, these talks appear to have stalled and the unions are said to be gauging the opinion of BBC workers to see if there is any appetite for industrial action.

Many believe that the pension fund changes announced by the BBC, the first public funded body to do so, may well open the door for other similar moves in the public sector. There is no doubt that pension fund liabilities, funded by UK taxpayers, have increased dramatically over the last decade but whether the unions will give any ground remains to be seen. In reality, the unions are there to protect the rights of the workforce and the government is there to fund public sector services as efficiently as possible. Whether there is any friction between these two bodies remains to be seen - but the unions appear ready for a battle and David Cameron does not seem willing give in without a fight.

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