And this is where we vote for strike action . . .

by - 26th February 2013, 8.00 BST

BBCTour guides at BBC Television Centre today being voting on whether or not to strike over a proposed 17% pay cut.

The imminent closure of Television Centre in West London will mean that the guides, who show the general public around the iconic building, will move to New Broadcasting House in Central London.

To coincide with the move, management is insisting that the length of the standard tour guide shift will be reduced, leading to a sharp reduction in earnings.

Some 50,000 people took a tour of Television Centre in 2012 producing an income for the corporation of nearly £600,000.

The proposed pay cut is part of the BBC-wide cost saving exercise Delivering Quality First.

Managers insist that there is no alternative to the pay cut despite counter proposals tabled by BECTU. The BBC is also insisting that the guides must wear a uniform in order to display the BBC brand. No one else amongst the thousands of staff affected by the relocation is having to face a pay cut.

BECTU assistant general secretary Luke Crawley said: “Our members understand the financial reality facing the BBC. What they don’t understand, however, is why out of thousands of staff moving from West London to New Broadcasting House, that they are the only ones faced with a savage cut in earnings. None of the managers involved are facing any reduction in pay.

“The BBC seems very keen to tell my members that the pay cut is for the good of the department and the BBC. What managers are less keen to explain is how the workforce is expected to get by on a pay cut of nearly 20%.”